Areas of Progress – June 14

June 13, 2018

Areas of Progress is a weekly roundup of measurable areas of improvement and progress from around the state, especially in the areas of education, entrepreneurship, the arts, the environment, energy, agriculture, and philanthropy.


Volunteer firefighters on the increase in Newberry

The City of Newberry Fire Department has successfully increased the interest in volunteering for the fire service with the hiring of a full-time recruitment and retention coordinator who joined the staff in 2014. At that point, the Newberry Fire Department, a combination fire department consisting of both paid and volunteer firefighters, had only 12 volunteer members. These 12 volunteers compiled a total of 275 training hours and 264 total staff activity hours outside of training.

By 2017, the department had 24 volunteers (100 percent growth) with a compiled 1,041 training hours (up 26 percent)and 1,140 staff activity hours outside of training (up 23 percent). Eighty-one people expressed an interested in becoming volunteer firefighters, and 25 of those have been hired ( 31 percent recruitment success rate).

A strong marketing program and community education plan helped the community understand the need for volunteer firefighters. Participation and training standards were not lowered, but rather made more flexible and readily available.

Provided by the Municipal Association of South Carolina



U.S. Army Corps of Engineers allocated more than $54.6 million in South Carolina

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers allocated more than $54.6 million of additional federal funding in their annual Work Plan to the Charleston District’s Civil Works program for FY2018. This funding is in addition to the approximately $22.3 million that was previously announced.

The largest amount received was $49 million to continue to deepen and widen the lower harbor to the Wando Welch Terminal.

$4.9 million were allocated to the Lakes Marion and Moultrie project to continue construction of water transmission lines that bring potable water to an underserved area of the state.


SPINX raises more than $300,000 for March of Dimes

SPINX, the Greenville, SC-based fuel and convenience retail company, raised $334,451.00 for the March of Dimes, shattering its goal and nearly doubling its record last year of $180,000. Throughout the 10 years SPINX has supported March of Dimes, it has raised more than $1,000,000. As a community-centric business, SPINX is dedicated to supporting local organizations that focus on improving the lives of children in the communities it serves.




Columbia Ranks as #2 Most Popular City Where Millennials Are Moving

According to Pew Research Center estimates there are around 71 million millennials in America and they are expected to surpass the number of baby boomers in 2019. That makes millennials a coveted generation for cities looking to bolster their workforce and tax base.

The #2 ranked city on the poll was Columbia! In total, Columbia received 6,900 more millennials than it lost. In total around 8,000 millennials came to Columbia from outside of South Carolina, while 3,700 millennials decided to leave Columbia for another state.


Spartanburg County Cultural Organizations and Artists Awarded over $600,000 from Chapman Cultural Center

Chapman Cultural Center awarded twenty arts, science, and humanities organizations and seven local artists a total of $621,200 on June 12th. In the last twenty-three years, through donations to United Arts Fund, Chapman Cultural Center has awarded $14.7 million in grants to strengthen, develop, and promote the cultural vibrancy in Spartanburg County in a sustainable way.

Spartanburg’s creative ecology is thriving because of it!




Would you like to submit an Area of Progress for consideration in the areas of education, entrepreneurship, the arts, the environment, energy, agriculture, and philanthropy? Please reach out to me directly. Alan Cooper – [email protected]