The unemployment rate for Chesterfield County was 9.5 percent in December with 1,770 unemployed, while the state jobless rate topped out at 6.7 percent.
Cherry McCoy, executive director of the Chesterfield County Economic Development Board, said she was relieved to see Chesterfield County drop from the top four down to sixth in the state.
However, McCoy warned that the number would likely escalate when Culp Weaving in Pageland completes all layoffs and closes in May.
In the interim, the county continues to tempt new business into the area. A Union County contractor working with developer Ingram Walters will build a spec building of about 10,000 to 15,000-square-feet in the rear section of the Lynches River Industrial Park. This is the first-ever private spec development in the county.
McCoy is awaiting approval of the third step of final rural infrastructure fund grant application for a Pageland-Jefferson sewer study. If this phase of the grant writing process passes muster, the final step will be submitted in March.
The study will help determine feasibility of the areas to support large industrial plants. McCoy said prospects often ask for 500,000 gallons of sewer processing capability daily. At present Pageland can process 250,000 gallons. Jefferson has a 20,000-gallon processing capacity.
Electric Gun Safety Lock, Inc. (EGS) will begin hiring in March. McCoy said the office has collected resumes from a variety of skilled perspective employees. The office agreed to coordinate resumes and contact numbers for interested applicants.
Negotiations are under way for a proposed gated community in the Lake Robinson area near McBee. Homes in the development start at approximately $250,000.
Harold's Construction from Johnsonville came in with the lowest bid for roadwork at the Chesterfield Industrial Park. McCoy said she was disappointed that a local company was not able to come in low enough to win the bid.