FLORENCE, S.C. -- The influx of new industrial prospect activity was less diverse at the state, regional and county level in 2018. Despite that, Florence County welcomed several new industry announcements and successfully worked with multiple existing industries on expansions.

Last year provided an avenue for self-reflection in assessing the need for additional industrial buildings and sites. As a result, one objective of 2019 is to enhance our current assets while focusing on a plan to diversify and develop new industrial product to ensure a prosperous future.

The quality of life in Florence County soared to new heights in 2018 with the addition of new hotels, art venues, restaurants and a plethora of activities. It continues to be an exciting time to live and work in a thriving environment.

The projects slated for 2019 in Lake City and Florence by public and private investors create a perfect recipe for sustainability. The element that generates the continued success of Florence County is and always will remain the citizens who live and work in this incredible county.

The events in October 2018 forever changed our community. In the days and months that occurred after this tragedy, our citizens united to provide support in a variety of capacities. We have a highly trained and skilled workforce, but more than anything, we have what you cannot teach. The people who call Florence County home care about their neighbors, work and the success of their community.

Our workforce will remain our competitive advantage with their desire to be trained, willingness to adapt, and resources available to accommodate new and existing industries. As a result, the 2019 announcement of The Continuum in Lake City will further strengthen the local labor force by providing an education and workforce development environment to K-12 and college students, an incubator for small businesses and creating a surplus of educational prospects.

Partnerships such as this are a vital tool to propel our county in a positive direction.

As we move forward in 2019, we find ourselves busy, privileged, optimistic, learning and growing. We are privileged enough to be working on developing new industrial sites and buildings while simultaneously busy with prospects who are interested in current inventory.

The quality of life continues to improve year after year, and we remain optimistic that it will continue well into the future. About the time we believe we have a grasp of the capabilities of our citizens, we learn that they have so much more to offer than their skillset alone.

The growth in 2019 will be experienced across the board if we continue the synergies of focusing on building this county to serve all.

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