Creation of jobs for the rural Americans has been a challenge, particularly for the state economic development institutions. The rural communities are constantly faced with a shortage of resources, political or leadership will to establish an effective economic development program necessary to provide high paying jobs to the locals. In this article, I outline the plan utilized by South Carolina’s Rural Development Council to bring high paying jobs to the rural community.
Through the Rural Development Council, South Carolina aims to increase access to production requirements for manufacturing firms including transportation, power connectivity, and other amenities as well as providing the company executives with quality or cost advantages. For example, South Carolina has extensively invested in interstate rail and highway systems connecting it to the Charleston port which is a key connecting point for the region to the world market. South Carolina has improved accessibility of other amenities which encourages firms wishing to invest in rural areas such as water and electricity which have the potential to improve the competitiveness of the rural areas. Moreover, the improvement of rural areas can enable manufacturers to address the high operational costs associated with urban settings. The low cost of operations in the rural settings can enable the companies to enhance the employees’ quality of life.
The Rural Development Council has also enabled all the counties of South Carolina to come together, a move that has created seven regional economic development alliances to increase their competitiveness. Through such an integrated economic structure, the South Carolina state has enabled rural counties to develop assets similar to those of urban settings which have attracted prospective employers in the rural areas. Through the rural development council, the state has also come up with pro-business pieces of legislation. For instance, in the 2013-14 financial year, the state was able to provide $5 million to help in conducting marketing programs which streamlined information flow between prospective investors and rural economic developers. Such incentives attract prospective investors to the rural areas and the establishment of businesses here has can offer the locals with high paying jobs.
Moreover, the Rural Development Council has played a critical role in the development of South Carolina’s business model. The model incorporates both the private and public sector in creating market and product for global consumption. The public sector of South Carolina has been using rural strategic plan in aiding county leaders to create a business environment which supports new companies targeting to establish operations in rural areas as well as existing ones with aims to expand. Such efforts offer increased opportunities for well-paying jobs for communities in the rural areas.
Finally, the Rural development Council also recognizes the need to improve the employ ability of rural employees. Without a doubt, high-paying jobs require highly skilled employees. For that reason, the council has adopted the Certified Work Ready Communities program, which is a national initiative that aims to improve critical skills for locals to take up new jobs. The primary objective is to integrate education and development of work-force by aligning them with the current labor market demands of the state.