Congressman Rice hosts economic development - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Congressman Rice hosts economic development forum

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FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) Leaders from across the Pee Dee and Grand Strand met on the campus of Florence Darlington Technical College to discuss obstacles that stop economic development.

Congressman Tom Rice said forums much like this one help bring more jobs and education to the people of the 7th District.

"I feel like our district has been overlooked in terms of investment for decades and I'm working very hard to correct that," said Congressman Tom Rice.

Congressman Rice said he has been showing other federal leaders all that the 7th District it has to offer. The Congressman also said he's been hosting forums around the 7th District, in an effort to bring leaders in the district together to stimulate economic development. Rice says he also working with the University of South Carolina's Economic Engagement Department.

"They can provide training and they can also provide consulting and support," said Congressman Rice.

"We want to tell you how we can be are source. How we can become part of the tools in the tool kit that you need to bring to the table as you are looking at recruiting companies," said Ann Marie Stietz.

Rice believes the resources, experience and expertise the team has to offer can help bring more jobs and industry into the 7th District.

Leaders from cities and counties like Florence, Dillon and Horry, all came out to hear what USC can offer the 7th District.

The Economic Engagement Department specializes in designing custom plans to help municipalities grow. Through services like building business incubators, research and development, university leaders said they have a proven track record in spurring development.

"Many times we could not try to get a business industry because we didn't have the level of education and we didn't have the appropriate work force," said Dr. Susan Elkins.

Dr. Susan Elkins of The University of South Carolina, said research shows many people in our area lack the education required to get high paying jobs. To help combat that problem, USC has launched a new online degree program that works around busy lifestyles.

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