The sign isn’t out front yet, and the landscaping’s not quite finished, but the wheels of economic development have begun turning anew inside Alliance Pickens’ new building.
The 6,000-square-foot facility, located within the 310-acre Pickens County Commerce Park in Liberty, is another tool to help leaders like Ray Farley, executive director of Alliance Pickens, recruit businesses to Pickens County.
“This building is a stamp by Pickens County that it is serious about economic development and that it is serious about being the preferred location for business and industry,” he said.
The building’s largest feature is its training room, a technologically equipped room designed to be used by local industries and schools alike to expand the county’s emphasis on advanced work-force training.
“We developed this building around the whole concept of melding economic development with work-force development,” Farley said.
Using the soon-to-be-trademarked phrase “scholar technician,” Alliance Pickens has set about marketing Pickens County as a business destination with a well trained work force. Collaboration and cooperation with the school district’s Career and Technology Center and with Tri-County Technical College have made it possible to develop the kind of career-ready work force desired by today’s manufacturers, Farley said.
“We are unique in the United States for having this level of technical manufacturing training as a part of our community infrastructure,” he said.
Construction on Alliance Pickens’ $1.3 million facility got underway early last year, and staff moved in this spring, leaving behind rented offices in the Pickens Red Cross building.
In addition to office space and training facilities, the building itself will serve as a marketing tool for recruiting business, Farley said, offering ready-to-occupy “landing pad” office space that can be used by incoming businesses to start their earliest operations.
“That’s playing very well in our recruiting effort,” he said.
At a recent presentation to a meeting of the Greater Easley Chamber of Commerce, Farley recounted some of the recent successes of industry in the area, including the high-profile addition of TaylorMade, which opened its golf ball production facility earlier this year.
In the last few months, 12 professional golf championships have been won with balls made in Liberty, Farley said.
“These are very, very good times for business and industry in Pickens County,” he said.
“The economy is robust. The products that Pickens County makes, and the market niches that Pickens County manufacturers make product for, are strong markets.”
Alliance Pickens is the economic development arm of the Pickens County government. Learn more at alliancepickens.com.