2014 Brought Oconee County a Spark

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It may seem a little early to discuss Oconee County’s economic accomplishments for 2014, but after the successes shared at our annual meeting this past month, I felt it was a good time for the our residents to hear what has been going on.

This year has seen a lot of positive progress in Oconee County. Key highlights include:

  • Public-Private Partnership Created. The Oconee Economic Alliance was formed from the merger of the Oconee Alliance, Oconee County Industrial Group, the Tri-County Entrepreneurial Development Corporation and The Oconee County Economic Development Commission. This effort allows our county business leaders to streamline economic development efforts as we grow our business base. This merger also led to a new office in Seneca, a new logo and new marketing materials used to highlight Oconee as a great place to invest.
  • Business announcements. The efforts of the Oconee Economic Alliance resulted in the announcement of 301 new jobs and $45 million in capital investment just in the first eleven months of 2014. Those job figures were more than the previous four years combined.  We were blessed with announcements from U.S. Engine Valve in February, BorgWarner in March, Plastics Product Company in May, Greenfield Industries/Green Tech Recycling/ TDC Cutting Tools in June and ACI Plastics in September.
  • National rankings. Oconee is getting national attention for its pro-growth endeavors by being ranked the 27th top performing micropolitan area by Site Selection Magazine; the county’s per capita income increased by $2,000 and Oconee earned an “Entrepreneur Friendly” designation.
  • Product development. Projects such as the Golden Corner Commerce Park continue to transform raw land into true industrial real estate by putting key utilities into place. Oconee County finished Phase I development of the Oconee Industry and Technology Park, as well as completed site certification on the Seneca Rail Site and the Golden Corner Commerce Park. By making strategic investments in sites like these we demonstrate to visitors and residents alike that we are open and ready for business.

Looking back at 2014, I hope you will agree that progress has been made, but there is more to be done. I strongly agree with that and trust we will work even harder to not rest on past success, but continue to strive towards greater economic prosperity for Oconee County.


Scroll through the presentation below to find out more about Oconee County’s 2014 success.


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

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