Center provides more leadership in Promise Zone

MARCH 2016 | A newly-released strategic plan that provides long-term guidance for the S.C. Lowcountry Promise Zone received major input from the Center for a Better South, including production of a four-minute video about the project.

The plan, released earlier this month after town halls, meetings and strategy sessions involving 1,000 people, organizes efforts to reduce poverty in the southern tip of South Carolina through strategic efforts of eight workgroups, each of which has specific goals and all of which seek to achieve transformational goals by working together.

“After providing critical leadership to win the Zone designation and help these rural areas with significant challenges, we’ve been gratified to work with hundreds of people to plan ways to develop opportunities that can reduce poverty, grow jobs, improve education and more,” said Center President Andy Brack. “Simply put, this is rewarding work — and if we keep pushing, it will become even more rewarding.”

Since September, South Carolina organizations have received more than $11.6 million in federal grants and loans through the Promise Zone. At the same time, the program’s lead organization, the SouthernCarolina Alliance, has been a catalyst for $405 million in capital investment that is expected to create more than 250 jobs. To learn more about the Zone’s continuing success, click here.

Brack highlighted the Zones four, broad objectives to transform the region:

  • Development of high-speed broadband Internet networks to provide access to citizens and to help make the region more attractive to business growth.
  • Attracting public and private investment to develop a shovel-ready mega-site for industrial development in targeted clusters to develop jobs.
  • Building a sustainability culture to take advantage of regional assets, particularly in agriculture, technology, tourism and energy.
  • Transforming public education and health care through innovation, collaboration and hard work.

You can read the full plan here.