These organizations not only lease a space in Upper Savannah COG building; they also serve a similar geographic area and collaborate on mutually beneficial projects.
During the 1996-97 school year, ten superintendents began discussions of ways they could work together to make their districts more efficient and more effective. In the fall of 1997, those superintendents formalized a working collaboration that was named the Western Piedmont Education Consortium.
The original intent of the ten superintendents was to find ways to save money, save time and to strengthen operations through sharing costs, sharing resources and sharing expertise.
Western Piedmont Education Consortium is an association of school districts in upper western South Carolina who work collaboratively to accomplish specific goals. The Consortium serves 12 school districts. In 2016, Lander University and Piedmont Technical College joined the Consortium.
The Upper Savannah Land Trust was incorporated on October 1, 2000, by citizens of the western South Carolina piedmont as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Finding widespread interest in our mission, the Trust began accepting conservation easements from landowners.
The first was a 33 acre tract. From this humble beginning, the Trust has grown to protect almost 50,000 acres in our eight-county region of South Carolina. The generosity and foresight of many easement donors and financial supporters has made this phenomenal growth possible.
The mission of the Upper Savannah Land Trust is to encourage and support conservation of natural and scenic lands, farms, forests, waterways, and open spaces on our eight-county area: Abbeville, Anderson, Edgefield, Greenwood, Laurens, McCormick, Newberry, and Saluda Counties in the upstate of South Carolina.
The mission of the SC SBDC is to advance South Carolina’s economic development by helping entrepreneurs grow successful businesses. This means not only assisting the formation of new ventures, but also finding ways to help existing businesses to compete in a demanding market and faltering companies to stay on course. Consultants have often been entrepreneurs themselves so they know how first-hand the importance of an accurate business plan or what a financial institution looks for when deciding whether to fund a business.
Small Business Development Centers continue to play a crucial role in supporting the nation’s economy. According to the SBA, more than half of all private sector employees work for small businesses. In an economy struggling to produce jobs, many downsized workers have developed a high entrepreneurial spirit. Helping those who seek their fortune in the private enterprise system not only paves the way for their success, but often supports job growth.
Every SBDC carefully tracks outcomes, keeping close tabs on the number of clients served and the end results of each entrepreneur’s journey. SC SBDCs offer free, confidential consulting on financing, marketing, employee management, importing and exporting, technology, market expansion, bookkeeping, manufacturing, government procurement and nuclear industry opportunities. There are also programs for veterans and minority-owned businesses. SC SBDC programs are constantly evolving to meet the needs of an ever-changing economy, providing much needed services to South Carolina’s small business community.