PAGELAND — Business and government leaders came together Sept. 29 at the Pageland Community Center for the 23rd annual industry appreciation banquet hosted by the Chesterfield County Economic Development Board.
Before sitting down to enjoy a catered meal, those in attendance were working their way around the talking and shaking hands.
“We’re very pleased,” said board executive director Kim Burch. “We had a very productive year. We have been tremendously busy and I just want you to know that we’ve had some very good things happen this year.”
One of those big things was making it into the Carolina Panthers football team’s yearbook.
“How many people from around the United States see a Panthers game?” Burch said. “How many people look at it online? It’s good to get our name out there.”
Touching on expansions, she noted that INA had a very large expansion in Cheraw. Fiber Fuels in Jefferson had an expansion. One company who she said would remain undisclosed had an expansion of 40 to 60 people. It represents an investment of roughly $23 million.
Nestlé Waters North America, which is building a bottling plant near McBee, and Titan Stainless, which is bringing 50 jobs and making a $2.6 million investment in Pageland’s Lynches River Industrial Park, were also included in industry expansions.
“We work hard, we have several looking. We hope to have several more announcements pretty soon,” Burch said. “Its been years, but we have several new ones looking at our county.”
Burch also thanked Chrystie Crowley, the economic development board’s administrative assistant.
“Without her, me and Cherry (McCoy) wouldn’t be able to work,” Burch said. “She keeps us together, she keeps us on the road. She tells us where we’re supposed to be and what time. We appreciate her so much.”
Dr. Ron Bartley, president of Northeastern Technical College, talked about the recognition that Chesterfield County earned that he said makes it easier for the economic developer and the county to market to potential businesses and industries.
The ACT Work Ready Initiative was accepted by Lenora V. Powe on behalf of the county earlier Tuesday in Charleston. She and Bartley presented it to Burch and the county during the appreciation dinner.
At last count, there were at least 35 industries that had signed on to this initiative, especially in the school division.
“We had to achieve certain goals with ACT. We achieved all the goals and exceeded all of them and one of the goals we exceeded by a thousand percent,” Bartley added. “I want to present this to Kim, so we can forever tell people that we are an ACT community. We have the people ready to go to work for any industry that is ready to come to Chesterfield County.”
Burch said without the schools, there wouldn’t be any employees trained for success in Chesterfield County’s industries.
Reach Maria D. Grandy at 843-537-5261.
Sponsors were recognized on the wall of fame for the night.