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Dominion Energy SC Donation Will Help Build a Home for the Calhoun Falls Farmers’ Market

Will Ferreira – wferrei@clemson.edu

Melissa Billey – melissa.a.billey@gmail.com

January 15, 2020

 

CALHOUN FALLS — December 17, 2019, was a wonderful day for Calhoun Falls. The Calhoun Falls Farmers’ Market will soon have a permanent home after a major contribution from the Dominion Energy South Carolina.

Dominion Energy SC officials presented a $25,000 check to Calhoun Falls Mayor Chris Cowan in a ceremony last month. The donation will help the town reach its $75,000 goal for a new pavilion that will permanently house the market. The market currently resides on Cox Avenue in the town’s downtown.

“Thank you, this is very much appreciated,” Mayor Chris Cowan told the check’s presenter Scott Neely, Dominion Energy SC Manager, Economic Development & Local Government

The Freshwater Coast Center for Rural Development (FCCRD) partners with towns in the region to start local farmers’ markets. Calhoun Falls residents, who do not currently have a local grocery store, can buy fresh produce at the market during summer months.

“This is a huge benefit for the Calhoun Falls residents and the local farmers,” FCCRD Director Wilder Ferreira said. “A permanent structure is necessary for providing a shelter to the local farmers while selling their produce and giving better accommodation to patrons as they purchase locally-grown food.”

Ferreira is counting on donations to give the homeless farmers’ market a permanent residence. Dominion Energy’s donation will help this dream become a reality.

Freshwater Coast Community Foundation Chairman Brad Evans said, “this fits into the foundation with community development and economic development, and we appreciate everything Dominion Energy SC is doing.”

Dominion Energy merged with SCANA Corporation in January 2019. Through its Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, as well as EnergyShare and other programs, Dominion Energy contributed nearly $48 million in 2019 to community causes throughout its footprint and beyond.

Please, contact Dominion Energy for any related inquiry at matthew.long@dominionenergy.com. For more information about the Calhoun Falls Farmers’ Market and the great foods that they are growing, please visit their Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/CFfarmermarket/.

CUTLINE:  Scott Neely, Economic Development and Local Government Manager for Dominion Energy, presented a check to Stephen Pettigrew in the amount of $25,000 for the Calhoun Falls Farmers’ Market. Pictured left to right:  Faye Crocker, CEO HopeSouth Credit Union; Robert Hester, WCTEL Board Member; Stephen Pettigrew, Pettigrew Hardware & Supply; Scott Neely, Economic Development and Local Government Manager, Dominion Energy; Chris Cowan, Town of Calhoun Falls Mayor. December 17, 2019.

 

ABBEVILLE: Abbeville County Industry Education Week Community Tour

Melissa Billey, Project Manager – melissa.a.billey@gmail.com

October 24, 2018

ABBEVILLE — The kickoff to Abbeville County Industry Education Week began on Monday, October 1, 2018, with the Community Tour of WCTEL, Prysmian, and Stoll Industries.  The community was invited to participate in a free tour of these three local industries. Everyone met at the Greater Abbeville Chamber of Commerce to take a bus to each of the sites.  The bus was furnished by Stoll Industries.

The tour began at WCTEL.  The tour included a brief introduction to the WCTEL Company and its many offerings to the community and businesses which included background information about the internet provider and employment there.  WCTEL is not just a place that you go to work for; it is a place that you begin your career at and retire from.

From there, the tour moved on to Prysmian.  This tour included some background information about what Prysmian does and the different types of jobs there.  A tour of the plant floor and the extrusion tower followed.  The tower gave an amazing view at 330 feet tall looking out over Abbeville County.  It is wonderful to know that one of the largest facilities inside of the Prysmian Group is located right here in Abbeville, South Carolina.

Stoll Industries was the last stop.  During the Stoll Industries tour, we visited the showroom, the design area, and the plant floor to see first-hand how their custom products are made.  It was amazing to see the talent that is involved in creating each piece that leaves Stoll Industries.

The community tour finished with a Chick-fil-a lunch sponsored by Stoll Industries at their facility.  All of this was made possible by WCTEL, Prysmian, Stoll Industries, SAGE Automotive, and the Freshwater Coast Community Foundation (FCCF).  We look forward to seeing you on the tour next year.

The Abbeville County Industry Education Week was held October 1-4, 2018.  Abbeville County students were able to tour WCTEL, Prysmian, SAGE, Thermaflex, and Stoll Industries.

A finisher applying coating to one of the many products designed and made at Stoll Industries. Abbeville County Industry Education Week Kickoff Community Tour, October 1, 2018.

ABBEVILLE: Abbeville County Industry Education Week

Melissa Billey, Project Manager – melissa.a.billey@gmail.com

September 18, 2018

ABBEVILLE — A meeting was held at the WCTEL Corporate Office on Tuesday, September 4, 2018, to discuss the Abbeville County Industry Education Week. Wilder Ferreira, FCCF, led the meeting to gather information and set up the activities for this year’s event. Those in attendance were:  Melissa Billey, Dr. Charles Costner, Dr. Betty Jo Hall, Lori Lindler, Lee Logan, Renee Robinson, Jean Smith, Virginia Smith, Stephen Taylor, Jeff Wilson, and Wilder Ferreira.

Looking back at last year’s Industry Education Week, a discussion was held of what worked well and what could be improved upon.  Lori Lindler, Calhoun Falls Charter School, Vice Principal, commented that after they arrived back at their school last year, the ninth-grade students were so engaged that a conversation continued with questions and answers from what they had seen that day.  This shows that these students were not only interested in what they had seen, but it also captivated them enough that they wanted to continue the conversation. This is very positive for Abbeville County and these students.  They are not only able to see what careers are available here in Abbeville County, but also learn what it will take to make that transition from high school to the professional workforce here in their home area.  With the investment in their education by local businesses through scholarships and grants such as the Abbeville Promise, these students will have a significant advantage in this area for upcoming jobs.  These students, by receiving a tour of local businesses, get to see what products are made, what jobs are necessary at the businesses to make these finished products, and what they need to do as far as education to pursue these jobs.

The Abbeville County Industry Education Week will be held October 1-4, 2018. These students will tour WCTEL, Prysmian, SAGE, Flexible Technologies, and Stoll Industries.

 

Abbeville County Industry Education Week planning meeting held September 4, 2018.

ABBEVILLE: WCTEL

Melissa Billey, Project Manager – melissa.a.billey@gmail.com

August 21, 2018

ABBEVILLE — West Carolina Tel (WCTEL) is not only a full-service state-of-the-art telecommunications provider; they are a moving-forward-to-the-future community sponsor that partners with other entities to better the area that we call home.  WCTEL is helping to build a stronger future in Abbeville County, McCormick County, and the Starr-Iva area of Anderson County, also known as the freshwater coast region.

 WCTEL does more than just telecommunications, it supports the freshwater coast community’s future.  While WCTEL provides infrastructure to the Abbeville area and surrounding areas, it also assists with the community growth by supporting projects such as the Abbeville Promise to help provide a good solid future to Abbeville residents and help retain the workforce in the area.  The Abbeville Promise will help fund graduating high school students who want to go to college, but do not necessarily have the means to go, by awarding them with a scholarship to Piedmont Technical College.  The Abbeville Promise will be very helpful in Abbeville County to make sure our businesses have a continual pool of well trained, well-educated young people to ensure a strong future.  WCTEL also hires interns from colleges to work through the summer so that they have work experience when they graduate out of college.  This makes these students even more marketable and workforce ready after graduation.  WCTEL is also part of the Apprenticeship Carolina SC Technical College System Program which is also a part of the National Apprenticeship System.  This apprenticeship program helps by combining supervised on-the-job training with job-related education in the classroom.  Again, helping to get the soon-to-be-graduates ready to “hit the ground running” after graduation.  Also, this benefits the student by earning a paycheck during the apprenticeship.  One more benefit, the student is then trained for a job at the facility if there is an opening. 

 Recently, WCTEL was awarded the Smart Rural Community Award by NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association.  Thirteen companies in rural areas of the United States and Canada earned this designation in 2017.  That is quite an honor for WCTEL, but even better, it shows the extraordinary efforts of WCTEL to advance the community with broadband solutions to provide their customers with state-of-the-art technology so that our area continues to move forward into the future.

 Currently, WCTEL offers high speed Internet, voice, HD TV, security, wireless services, hosted business solutions, and home automation to Abbeville County, McCormick County, Starr-Iva area of Anderson County and the surrounding areas.  They have built a solid infrastructure with fiber that supports businesses and residents in the area.  This not only benefits the current businesses that are here now, but it also shows to potential businesses coming to this area that fast, reliable Internet and advanced business solutions along with network support are available to their businesses in this region.  Infrastructure is one of the top items that companies look into for potential areas to grow their businesses.  With WCTEL, they can see that this is a viable area where they can move into and expand.

 WCTEL is doing a great job at connecting the dots to continue with a viable future in technology, personnel, and community support.  They are doing a great job at keeping that circle going:  the more trained workforce we have, the more jobs we have, and the more people stay in our communities to start the circle again.

Please visit WCTEL on their website at www.wctel.com for more information and to learn about everything they are doing for the future.

WCTEL (L-R): Virginia Smith, Marketing Representative; Lance Tade, CFO; Shannon Sears, Director of Commercial Operations; Chuck Nash, Director of Business Solutions; and Jeff Wilson, CEO. August 22, 2018.

FCCRD Advisory Board Meeting

Melissa Billey, Project Manager – melissa.a.billey@gmail.com

April 18, 2018

ABBEVILLE — A meeting of the FCCRD Advisory Board was held on April 18, 2018, at 8:30AM, at WCTEL conference room.  Lee Logan, the Chairman of the FCCRD Advisory Board, opened the meeting with a warm welcome and prayer.  Breakfast was provided by WCTEL.

 Wilder Ferreira began the meeting with the introduction of the new employee, Melissa Billey.  She will be assisting Wilder as the FCCRD Project Manager as the FCCRD continues to grow.  Wilder gave a presentation on the many projects that have been completed, projects that are on-going, and future projects that are in the works.  FCCRD has made such a difference in assisting the rural areas of Abbeville County, McCormick County, and the Starr-Iva Community.  The development and continued support in agri-business, education, entrepreneurship, and the arts has been seen and felt in each community in these counties.  The passion for partnerships and alliances working together can be felt from each individual in attendance that represented these areas.  Wilder Ferreira’s expertise has been utilized by the FCCRD to help revitalize and grow programs to assist the communities.

 Lee Logan followed Wilder with information on the Abbeville Promise.  The Abbeville Promise Kick-off Event is scheduled for April 19, 2018.  Lee also updated the group on how well the projects are coming together and impacting the areas.  Some projects that are making an impact are:

  • The Aquaponics Project at Diamond Hill Elementary where 6th grade students in Ms. Busby’s class are learning about plants grown in water.
  • The Starr-Iva Alliance that is focusing on workshops, public relations, and consulting to promote small businesses in the Starr and Iva areas.
  • The Abbeville County Youth Leadership Program that will focus on high school seniors to promote soft skills and leadership.
  • The McCormick County Workforce Development Program that will focus on high school juniors to obtain an IT Professional Certification upon graduation for job placement.

 The meeting was closed by Lee Logan.

Wilder Ferreira, FCCRD, speaking during the FCCRD Advisory Board Meeting at WCTEL on April 18, 2018.