Working to improve quality of life 6-17
Article was added on Thursday, June 01, 2017
I would like to talk to you about economic development this
month. It's a passion of mine and something in which we excel
here at Santee Electric Cooprative (SEC).
Economic development is simply improving the quality of life of
an area by recruiting jobs and increasing salaries and the tax
base. When the economy is growing, employers seek new
locations to expand and/or diversify their revenue sources.
We at SEC want them to bring those new locations to our
territory. Why is that?
From the standpoint of being a part of the communities we serve,
we simply want to see our friends, family members, neighbors,
schools and local businesses prosper. You've all heard the
phrase, "A rising tide lifts all ships." Similarly, when a
large employer comes into an area, more people prosper than just
those who get jobs. Local restaurants, home builders,
merchants and numerous other businesses see secondary benefits as
well. Furthermore, the increase in the tax base means better
roads and schools.
From the standpoint of being your member-owned cooperative, we
appreciate these large employers because they tend to have high
load factors. High load factors bring the overall cost per
kilowatt-hour (kWh) that SEC pays for wholesale power down.
When our wholesale cost comes down, your retail cost comes
The electric cooperatives in South Carolina have a great
organization that we work with to help recruit business in our
area. This organization, SC Power Team, has a very talented
staff of economic development professionals who are well-trained in
bringing employers from all over the world to South Carolina and
have had a tremendous amount of success in the 4 counties that SEC
I recently attended a conference for economic developers where
we had an opportunity to hear Hartley Powell, Director of the South
Carolina Department of Revenue, offer his thoughts on our common
goals. South Carolina has a tremendous amount to offer, but
one area that Powell said we needed to improve is our supply of
skilled labor. Powell and I both agree that too few of our
young people are pursuing those valuable technical degrees and
certificates. The vocational schools and technical colleges
in our state offer a wonderful array of welding, electrician,
machinist, plumbing and other technical career opportunities that
are associated with much higher salaries than the average 4-year
liberal arts degree. With another school year starting in
August, I encourage those who are still searching for the right
direction to consider one of these programs.
Help keep our state financially strong and appealing to the
employers that we would all like to see locate in the Palmetto
State. And know that your cooperative is doing all we can in
this endeavor as well.
Enjoy your summer!
Robert G. Ardis III
President and Chief Executive 0fficer
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