Welcome Terence Roberts

    Speaker Jordana Megonigal, CEO of The RECON Network

    You can view a recap of the meeting here.

    RECON focuses on veterans transitioning to civilian life

    RECON helps veterans transition to meaningful careers with purpose, including physical and mental health for vets and spouses

    Summit 11/19-11/20 will include tracks for vets, spouses, and companies looking for employees

    Veterans Ascend platform (locally owned) predicts career fit to 98.2%

    Q & A

    1. Are there financial incentives and tax benefits to hiring veterans? Yes! Learn more at the summit. There are work opportunity tax credits for those who are WOTC certified from $2,400-$9,600 per year. Must be set up in advance, not retroactive to post-hire.
    2. SC Works can help with hiring. What is new programs? Programs have not changed, are usually focused on benefits to be received vs. career transition. There are 1,800 organizations in SC, the trick is to find the right one.
    3. What help is out there for veterans’ spouses? Spouses’ resumes have gaps due to moving and role as support staff. https://www.veterans.gov/milspouses/
    4. What is the reach of RECON? Focus is in the U.S. with the assistance of networks.
    5. Is there a list of veteran owned businesses? Hard to find because of parameters – must apply for status or have been served by VA. https://avosba.org/avoba-membership/veteran-owned-businesses-by-state/ & https://www.veteranownedbusiness.com/
    6. Is there certification reciprocity in SC? Legislation is being discussed across the nation.
    7. What is the relationship to higher education? While education is a huge factor, RECON is not currently involved in SCACE.
    8. How is RECON funded? RECON is funded through events (many cancelled in 2020) and corporate partners.

    Abbeville: Shannon Sears, WCTel

    4 million dollar waste treatment, water treatment project

    12 million dollar housing investment in downtown Abbeville, new businesses downtown

    City back to normal pre-COVID operations

    WCFIBER and Blue Ridge Electric offering high speed internet to customers. 67000 customers, some of them underserved by internet

    Frannie Stockwell, Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce:

    Job Fair Nov 19th for all of Cherokee County: Dollar Tree, Natl Guard, Brown Pack, UPsource, Home Fashion, school district

    Survey recently sent out regarding need and interest in public transportation

    Small businesses opening in the county and the mall is renting out spaces to small businesses

    Meeting with Catawba Indians to partner on 85/transportation and projects

    Roy Costner, Pickens County Council

    COVID spiking

    Unemployment is down to 3.5%

    Working on Hurricane Zeta clean up; 60 roads were closed, 54 are open
    Grant acquired to build a pull off viewpoint for Table Rock, the most photographed location in the state

    Working on a broadband initiative

    New partnership with Clemson Paws

    Pickens held a drive through job fair today

    Sara Butler from USC Upstate/Spartanburg County:

    COVID procedures being followed strategically, particularly with uptick in cases

    USC task forces formed and lots of communication from staff/admin

    Many services are available, testing, counseling (dealing with Covid, loss (financial, emotional, losing a family member))

    Resources are available to students and faculty

    USC is adapting and surviving by providing live, online, and hybrid options

    Katherine Pendergrass, Union County:
    USC enrollment in Union County has doubled

    Honorable mention for the J Mitchell Graham award having to do with higher education and workforce training

    KJ is replacing Bi-Lo and Rose’s opening

    Alcohol sales on Sunday was approved so restaurants may want to be opening downtown

    Several events upcoming, drive in movie, coon hunt, Union Reads, Christmas parade

    Jonesville will share their comprehensive plan in December and Union will post for the public next week