EDB meeting explores present success, future prosperity

The Darlington County Economic Development Board met on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023. PHOTO BY STEPHAN DREW

By Stephan Drew, Editor


An important event occurred on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, at the Coker University library. The Darlington County Economic Development Board (EDB) convened a meeting that delved into the county’s present and future prospects. The event was marked by discussions surrounding workforce development, the soaring success of solar farms, the ASCEND program, and the impending Renewing Long-Term Strategic Plan.

Workforce development emerged as a focal point of the meeting. With manufacturing jobs ranking as the number one employment component in the county and healthcare jobs at a close second, nurturing a skilled workforce is paramount. The EDB, in collaboration with local educational institutions and businesses, is actively working to bridge the skills gap and ensure residents are equipped for the job market of today and tomorrow.

The meeting also shone a spotlight on the increasing number of solar farms dotting the Darlington County landscape. Duke Energy representatives were on hand to discuss this booming trend. As the county embraces sustainable energy solutions, solar farms have flourished, contributing to both the local economy and environmental efforts. Duke Energy expressed its commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, aligning with the global push towards a greener future.

A resounding success story, the ASCEND (Advanced Student-Centered Entrepreneurship Development) program was celebrated at the meeting. This initiative, designed to foster entrepreneurship among students, has become a model for educational and economic collaboration. ASCEND equips young minds with the skills and knowledge to bring innovative ideas to life, contributing to the county’s economic diversification.

The Darlington County EDB is not resting on its laurels. They are diligently working on the Renewing Long-Term Strategic Plan, which promises to be a roadmap for the county’s growth and development over the coming years. This comprehensive plan will be completed in just a few months and is expected to address key economic, infrastructure, and community development priorities.

In a testament to the county’s economic vitality, the EDB reported an increase in the number of its members, reaching levels not seen in the past six or seven years. This surge in interest underscores the shared commitment of local stakeholders to drive Darlington County’s prosperity.

The Darlington County Economic Development Board’s meeting showcased a community dedicated to shaping a promising future. From workforce development to renewable energy initiatives, education-driven entrepreneurship to strategic planning, the county is charting a course toward greater economic prosperity and sustainability. With solar farms lighting the way and a renewed commitment to the long-term plan, Darlington County is poised for a bright tomorrow.

Author: Stephan Drew

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