New Director, New Branding
With its new executive director making presentations at the first board meeting of 2016, Laurens County Development Corporation is transitioning from a brand that highlights its initials, to a logo that tells industrials around the world that Laurens County is in the United States.
Jon Coleman, LCDC executive director, said a consulting firm advised the economic development agency that its logo emphasizing the letters LCDC would be OK for "the people in this (board) room" but would not connect with the global industries the economic development agency is seeking to attract.
"We will use it going forward," Coleman said at the LCDC board's Tuesday meeting. "It tells international clients where we are." Stationary and business cards will not be reprinted immediately; Coleman said the current stock can be used up since the former logo, which is still on the agency's office in Professional Park, isn't wrong - it's just not exactly the message the agency wants to send, internationally. The new logo will be used in future advertisements and in marketing.
The letters LCDC (in a new font) will still be used for small logo merchandise (cup, paper weights, etc.). Coleman also reported LCDC has an ad in the newest SC Department of Commerce magazine (providing board members a copy), the Industry/Investor golf tournament will be staged in March, and the state budget includes money for the Phase 3 expansion of the Center for Advanced Manufacturing, operated by Piedmont Technical College in Laurens County.
Coleman showed the board a presentation that Laurens County for 2015 had its 4th best year for jobs creation and 5th best year for investment in the past 20 years. The November unemployment rate for the county was 7% (6.1% in 2014).
Investments in Laurens County in 2015 generated 892 new jobs and $147,200,000 in new money. A "job multiplier" formula applied by the Upstate Alliance puts Laurens County at $74,221,265 in new wages generated by investments in 2015.
The LCDC board also approved a by-laws change that expands investors membership from 15 to 17, and keeps officers in place on a 2-year, instead of a 1-year, cycle. The board heard from Rich D'Alberto, Laurens campus president of GHS Laurens County Memorial Hospital, about the proposal to change the method of governance of the Greenville Health System.
"(Some Upstate) legislators don't want to see it," D'Alberto said, "because they think it will take away local control," which he said is not true. The change in governance proposed is similar to the position the Laurens County Hospital Board took 3 years ago when it entered into a management agreement with GHS - D'Alberto called the arrangement "a lease" between Laurens County Health Care System and the Greenville Health System.