Oconee Job Prospects Are Here and Growing
By Richard K. Blackwell
Here’s some good news you can take to the bank: Oconee County is putting people to work. Relentlessly.
The Upstate is in the middle of an economic renaissance, and nowhere is that more evident than Oconee County. We’re quickly shedding that image of “hidden gem” for a new look: that of a dynamic economic hotspot that has earned its right to sit at the grown-ups’ table.
While we are proud of the county’s economic growth, this isn’t idle bragging: Numbers are numbers, and ours are strong. A graph tracking the course of unemployment in Oconee County looks more or less like a sliding board. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in July of 2009, unemployment stood at a painful 14.9 percent. That’s the top of the slide, and the ride down to the sand box has brought us to a remarkable countywide unemployment rate that has been hovering on average around 4 percent. According to the Labor Bureau’s latest available statistics, Oconee County’s workforce now stands at more 33,821 employed, out of a total countywide labor force of 35,612.
It’s been a great ride for Oconee County, its businesses and its residents, and the ride is far from over. We’re constantly working to ensure that our residents have opportunities to build successful lives and careers. We do that by attracting leading businesses from around the world that want the benefits we offer, such as access to a wide range of transportation options, inexpensive resources, and an able labor pool. With these attributes, businesses can invest with confidence that Oconee County will continue to deliver a world-class workforce and a low cost environment of doing business.
To help keep the momentum going, the Alliance has teamed up with our friends and fellow stakeholders, the Oconee County Chamber of Commerce, to present the Oconee Job Fair. This event provides a great opportunity for anyone within the Oconee County laborshed to find a job, or a new job, or maybe even a new career path. With commitments from over 30 area employers representing more than 250 job openings, there was no shortage of opportunities to find successful careers.
The future looks bright for Oconee County. And that is good news.
Richard K. Blackwell is the executive director of Oconee Economic Alliance, which is a public-private nonprofit effort to accelerate job creation and capital investment, increase per capita income, diversify the local tax base and generate awareness of Oconee County as a business location. To learn more visit www.InvestOconeeSC.com.