The South Carolina Department of Commerce and the South Carolina Department of Agriculture today announced that the agencies have partnered to create a new agribusiness project manager position. The position and the partnership were solidified with a memorandum of understanding recently signed by Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers and Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt.
The new agribusiness project manager will be part of the S.C. Department of Commerce’s Global Business Development team and will focus exclusively on agribusiness projects that will bring investment and job creation to South Carolina. Companies in this sector provide a range of goods and services relating to the production, processing, and distribution of food, feed, fiber and fuel.
Agribusiness, agriculture and forestry, has been a bright spot in the economy for the past few years. The economic impact of agribusiness in South Carolina was measured at nearly $34 billion providing almost 200,000 jobs. The new agribusiness project manager will focus on ensuring that the business climate is open and conducive to the expansion and development of agribusiness firms in South Carolina.
“In our 50 by 20 strategic concept to reach a $50 billion impact by 2020, we determined that a focused agribusiness recruitment effort was vital and that it should be staffed with professionals,” said Hugh Weathers, Commissioner of Agriculture. “The partnership between the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce is a real beginning to a coordinated agribusiness recruitment effort using the combined resources of our agencies and private individuals and organizations.”
“One of the things I’ve been focused on is bringing our economic development partners together in a more unified fashion to help recruit investment and jobs. This partnership with Agriculture builds on those efforts, and brings resources of that agency to bear on our continuing economic development efforts,” said Hitt.
The funding for the new position was appropriated by the S.C. General Assembly. The position will be posted early next week through the Department of Commerce, and candidates will be reviewed by both Commerce and Agriculture officials.
About S.C. Department of Agriculture
As South Carolina’s lead agency for the growth and development of agriculture and its related businesses, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture also assures the safety and security of the buying public. The Department of Agriculture’s vision is for the state’s economy to grow and prosper providing everyone, producers and consumers, opportunities to enjoy the fruits of agriculture. The base for many other businesses, agriculture is an essential cog in the wheel that turns the state’s economy especially in rural areas. For more information, visit www.agriculture.sc.gov.
About S.C. Department of Commerce
As South Carolina’s leading economic development agency, the Department of Commerce works to recruit new businesses and help existing businesses grow. This year, Commerce won the Gold Shovel Award and the Deal of Year Award from Area Development magazine. Commerce has been part of recruiting world-class companies to South Carolina such as Boeing, Bridgestone, Continental, Monster.com, Heinz, ZF Group, BMW and Google Inc. Commerce also supports small and existing business, rural development initiatives and offers grants for community development. For more information, visit www.SCcommerce.com.