Last week’s announcements that two out-of-state companies are bringing nearly 400 jobs - and millions in investment - to Anderson County is something to celebrate, but for reasons which go beyond the economic impact of new jobs and investment.
Anderson County Administrator Rusty Burns said it best: “Every single person who works for Anderson County should get credit for the announcements this week." Burns said the county’s various departments are making a concerted effort to work closely with the economic development folks and county council to ensure that any business considering locating in Anderson has met with every entity whose help they will need - from permits to roads and infrastructure to quality of life issues - when considering a move to Anderson.
Making it easier on relocating companies is both wise and good for both those looking for a place to do business and for the county. It is a direction that just makes sense, and Anderson County leadership should be commended for embracing such an approach. It is also why yet another announcement of new jobs and investment is likely in the days ahead.
Those involved in making it happen should be commended. For almost a decade, Anderson County has lagged in job growth, but under the current leadership things are indeed changing.
So if you get a chance, thank your council member for their efforts in opening the door to this change. And while you’re at it, send a note of support to Burns and Anderson County Economic Development Director Burris Nelson for aggressively working to build the kind of partnerships and cooperative efforts with other local institutions and groups necessary to attract the kind of stable, family-owned industries which offer decent wages and seem a good fit for our community.
If you know any county employee, also extend thanks to their willingness to continue their hard work despite years of no raises and increased insurance costs. As Burns said, every county employee had a hand in the current economic development announcements. Several council members have also publicly thanked county employees for their part in the success. Hope this provides potential impetus for discussion pay increases for all county workers the 2014 budget.
Anderson County still has a lot of work to do in many areas, but today we can celebrate that for now economic development seems to be on the right track. Let’s hope such cooperation and leadership extends to other county efforts and concerns in the days ahead.