EDA Awards Grant to Fund SC Promise Zone Coordinator

SouthernCarolina Alliance Receives Grant to Fund Work in the Promise Zone

February 04, 2019

SouthernCarolina Alliance Awarded EDA Grant for SC Promise Zone

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded Southern Carolina Regional Development Alliance a grant of $120,000 to assist in funding work in the SC Promise Zone.   

The mission of the South Carolina Promise Zone is to reduce poverty in Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper Counties through collaborative efforts to better access and prioritize federal grant opportunities for the rural counties. Partners and supporters of the Promise Zone work together to improve the quality of life of residents by growing jobs, leveraging private capital for economic prosperity, improving education, reducing crime, expanding health care and creating more affordable housing.

“We are pleased to receive this grant award to enable us to fund work on behalf of the SC Promise Zone,” said SouthernCarolina Alliance Chairman Marty Sauls.  “This grant will help fund our full-time SC Promise Zone Coordinator, who works daily to identify available grants that match up with the funding needs of our region in economic development, education, workforce training, health care, housing and other aspects that will improve our quality of life and make our region more marketable to investment from around the world.”

The coordinator for the SC Promize Zone, Julie Dempsey, served the Promise Zone as an Americorps VISTA volunteer for fifteen months prior to taking the coordinator position on January 7.   A retired Registered Nurse and Family Nurse Practitioner residing in Barnwell, Ms. Dempsey taught nursing at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia for 22 years before retiring as an Assistant Professor in 2016.  

“Working with SouthernCarolina Alliance and our Promise Zone partners for more than a year, I have a firm grasp on the challenges we have in workforce, education, health care and other areas that need to be met to not only improve our standard of living, but also to support our economic  development recruitment efforts,” said Dempsey. “We will be working on grant opportunities that will fund infrastructure, training, better health care services and education to make a real difference in our communities.”

 The expected long-term potential economic impact of the grant includes better grant writing and acquisition of funding for economic development projects; collaboration among partners such as government officials and groups, non-profit and for-profit organizations, business and industry, educators, and other agencies and individuals; enhancement of community assets; and increased community investment secondary to the Opportunity Zone initiative.

For more information on the SC Promise Zone initiative, visit:  www.SCPromiseZone.org.

About the EDA:

EDA’s mission is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. EDA implements this mission by making strategic investments in the nation’s most economically distressed communities that encourage private sector collaboration and creation of higher-skill, higher wage jobs. EDA investments are results driven, embracing the principles of technological innovation, entrepreneurship and regional development.



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