Terence Roberts briefly discussed the national situation related to police violence and racial tension and mentioned that he believes that Ten at the Top is uniquely positioned in the Upstate to play a role in convening community leaders from across the region to discuss public safety and how we can create a safer Upstate for all residents. Dean Hybl shared that n the coming weeks, TATT will be convening representatives from local governments, public safety, business and community organizations to create a regional dialogue around challenges and opportunities to advance the region. If you are interested in being part of this dialogue, please reach out to Dean Hybl.
Initiative/COVID-19 Updates: Supporting Upstate Veterans—Charlie Hall, President, Upstate Warrior Solution
- Formed in 2012, Charlie was Marine until 2012, from York, moved to Gville after active duty. Needed holistic support network in Upstate. Modeled after larger cities “quarterbacking” agencies to work with vets and community partners to build vet programs into orgs.
- Seed funding 2014 to staft out, offices in G, Sp, And,, Pick, Ocone, going to add Union, cherr laurens. Greenwood Newberry not as much outreach. Greenwood has strong VA officer.
- TATT helps to cover Upstate appropriately and streamline efforts.
- Over 7,000 vets working with over last eight years. Small percentage of actual vets – $130k in Upstate, highest numbers in G, Sp, Anderson. Many younger vets moving back to hometowns in Upstate. Only scratched surface.
- COVID-19 worked from home started campaign to reach out to vets and community partners, VA, local nonprofits. Almost every non-profits deals with vets.
- Same issues pre-virus, needs popped up. Younger vets still average middle class, started to get jobs back after furloughed, not as negatively affected as expected. Lower income vets being served by non-profit organizations. Number pretty concistent with pre-virus.
- Partnered with Premier in Greer, $50K grant for relief to warriors and families. Spent $30k of $50k so far. Don’t normally do direct support, but this has been great connection with vets.
- David Dougherty wants to connect Upstate Warriors with Greenwood as Cary gone from VA.
- UWS compliments the VA; Upstate doesn’t have VA hospital so our vets go to Columbia or Asheville. Spartanburg, Greenville, Anderson have outpatient clinics.
- VA Officers in each county, State Secretary of Vet’s Affairs all work together, loosely overseen by state level. UWS tries to fill gaps. Federal VA does a great job with healthcare, GI bill payments. But gaps in families, mental health, disability claims. County officers limited to doing claims.
- New Secretary GRIMSLEY has his work cut out for him but looks intent to effect change. SC ranks last in country for VA funding at state level.
- Works with organizations and Senators’ offices for references for support
- Charlie discussed “legacy” groups such as American Legion, Fleet Assoc, AMVets, etc. – these are mostly social and advocacy groups. He finds vets under 50 do not connect or relate. There is a disconnect. Wants to grow relationships with younger vets.
- There are four networks in SC of community veteran engagement boards, sanctioned by the VA (Charlie chairs the GVL one): Upstate, Pee Dee, Low Country and Midlands groups. Common data and shared outcomes are the goal.
- #1 thing he wants us to know: Refer vets to us.
TATT Updates Dean Hybl
TATT Summit moved to May 5, 2021
Abbeville: Susan Jackson, Office of Congressman Jeff Duncan
- Rotary met at Belmont Inn, bought by new owners during the pandemic. Going well.
- Bank—no more PPP loan applications; stimulus and loans already given seem to have helped a lot
- Hospital had the testing drive thru clinic last week. 605 tested. Only 5 were positive. 3 of those asymptomatic.
- Nursing home held testing. 185 staff and residents. ALL NEGATIVE.
- Farmer’s Market started Sat.
- Celebrated a WWII vet’s 102nd birthday
Cherokee & Union Counties: Ann Angermeier, Upstate Workforce Board
- Highest turnout in the election state wide (contested sheriff race)
- On 17th Katherine Pendergrast and her will facilitate a “recovery task force” of community leaders, businesses, government
- New bakery on Main St doing REALLY well. It was needed.
- Peaceful Protest
- Free COVID testing on 16&17. No doctor referral needed. Goal: 500.
- Parntership with council on elderly; got vouchers for produce for elderly from market
- 500K grant for sewer updates
- Frannie/Ann are heading a COVID recovery task force called Reignite Cherokee
- Hoping governor will put a lot of that relief money in to small businesses/let cities determine who gets it.
- Incubator fiscal agent? Has a new business that left and opened on main st. (Annie added that a new business has also entered the incubator).
Greenwood: David Dougherty, Greenwood Area Chamber of Commerce
- Initiative: Wear Masks! Chamber, Health system and others are doing marketing/PR and will place billboards, etc. They are still working with an emergency management team weekly.
- Topiaries, virtual flyover and ribbon cutting for the Flower Festival.
- Small Business Development Center’s Ben Calhoun has been hosting seminars, etc.
- GVL is having its problems, there is also an uptick in Greenwood.
Spartanburg: Sherry Dull, SPATS
- COVID Update: back to work, payments taken through vacuum tubes
- Demonstration in Spartanburg that also went well and peacefully
- Luis Gonzales update on ridership: down this year to last year, even after offering free ridership, but month to month saw an increase
- New projects still steady
- Spartanburg trails: SPATS and PAL coordinate the purchase of trail counters as we’re able to afford them. 4-5 per year, 15 in addition to Parks & Rec and the city and other municipalities
- Dramatic increase in trail activity—5 trails seeing more than 200% increase
Adjourn Terence Roberts