Columbia, South Carolina, Oct 26, 2010 -- Vernita F. Dore, State Director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development today announced an award of a $199,900 grant to SouthernCarolina Alliance. The grant is a Rural Business Enterprise Grant administered through USDA Rural Development’s Business and Cooperative Programs.
SouthernCarolina Alliance plans to utilize the grant to provide technical assistance and training programs to improve economic and workforce development in a four-county area to include Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, and Hampton Counties. SouthernCarolina Alliance will contract with USC Salkehatchie Leadership Institute to assist them in carrying out these initiatives, which include small business assistance; tourism development/marketing; advanced leadership training; and workforce training focusing on the nuclear industry. Twenty jobs will be created and 507 jobs retained with 20 businesses to be assisted.
Dore said, "The partnership between SouthernCarolina Alliance and the USC Salkehatchie Leadership Institute is important to the economic growth of this four-county area. USDA Rural Development is pleased to assist this partnership with funding to build a stronger rural economy so that rural communities remain the best places in South Carolina to live, work and raise a family."
"The USC Salkehatchie Leadership Institute has always worked in partnership with SouthernCarolina Alliance on projects, but this project funded by USDA Rural Development gives us the opportunity to build on that partnership as we work together to build this region," said Anne Rice, Director of the USC Salkehatchie Leadership Institute.
"SouthernCarolina Alliance appreciates the support of USDA Rural Development in our economic development efforts. The funding from Rural Development for our regional small business center, leadership development and training for the nuclear industry addresses a critical need in our four-county area. We look forward to directing this effort and to working with our partners at the USC Salkehatchie Leadership Institute to bring these crucial services to serve the people of Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell and Hampton Counties," said Danny Black, President of SouthernCarolina Alliance.
USDA Rural Development’s mission is to deliver programs in a way that will support increasing economic opportunity and improve the quality of life of rural residents. Rural Development promotes economic development by providing loan and grant programs to finance and foster growth in business development, homeownership, and critical community and technology infrastructure. For more information regarding USDA Rural Development programs, contact the Aiken area office at (803) 649-4221, or by visiting USDA’s web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov.