In late 2019, the Laurens County Development Corporation (LCDC) began a comprehensive, county-wide strategic planning process. Guided by national economic development strategists, Ernst & Young (EY), the strategy was to create a unified vision for economic development and assist the LCDC in optimizing these efforts, as well as to continue the economic momentum that has been building in Laurens County. This was to include identifying target industry clusters best suited for the county’s assets and providing the LCDC and other County leaders and stakeholders guidance in increasing prosperity for all its residents.

The first phase was the Discovery Phase which involved widespread community participation—through a county-wide survey, several focus groups, stakeholder interviews, as well as forming a steering committee. In quarter one of 2020, community leaders and our steering committee gathered as EY presented the key themes that arose out of the Discovery Phase of the process. They presented on ideal target industries, which later included open discussion with a more widespread group of representatives from the community. From these meetings and workshops, goals related to each of the themes were developed, followed by the creation of specific actions to achieve said goals.

At the arrival of the pandemic in early March, our hope was to put only a brief hold on the rollout of the strategy. But as its impact continued throughout the summer (and beyond), we made the decision to delay the rollout until further notice. Because of this hold/delay, in September, the LCDC team–with guidance from the EY consulting team–began activating a short-term implementation plan to focus on high priority elements within the plan, while identifying ways to educate and engage core partners in refining their future roles. 

This March began the implementation and rollout of the plan for increasing economic growth and prosperity over the next five years. Seven teams have been formed to carry out this vision:

  • Infrastructure Priority Task Force - Will identify and raise awareness for the infrastructure needs of Laurens County. Meet the team
  • Industry/Large Business Solutions team - Will work to ensure Laurens County remains competitive for potential and existing industry and large business. It will also support the LCDC’s existing industry efforts by seeking solutions for challenges facing local industry. Meet the team
  • Talent & Workforce Solutions team - Work will focus on further developing the talent pipeline in Laurens County. Meet the team
  • Communications/Marketing team - Will work diligently to unite Laurens County in celebration of its numerous achievements and assets. Meet the team
  • Small Business & Entrepreneurship solutions team - Tagging on to the efforts of the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce, this team will drive support for the establishment and growth of small and locally owned businesses in Laurens County. Meet the team
  • Livability Solutions team - Will develop priorities for increasing quality of life throughout Laurens County. They will raise awareness for these priorities and placemaking investments and lead efforts to fund them. Additionally, this team will ultimately coordinate with the Communications team to promote livability in Laurens County. Meet the team
  • Leadership Team - This team is meant to inspire a greater spirit of collaboration amongst leadership in Laurens County. It will also serve to inspire and educate future leaders in Laurens County. Meet the team

Each implementation team currently meets monthly, focusing on a “year-one agenda” compiled from the inaugural group meetings and brainstorming sessions. During these sessions, the teams work on agenda items, identify additional partners, assign roles and responsibilities, and define how the LCDC should support each team’s goals.

Our team is extremely excited about the rollout of this strategy and grateful for the contributions by our volunteer implementation team members to this strategy over the coming years as it supports a more prosperous Laurens County.

Updates, Reports, & Media Mentions

Here you'll find more information and resources linked to our strategy: a copy of the report/overview, media coverage of the strategic planning process,  and reports written by the consulting team. This section will be updated with more information throughout the implementation and rollout phase of the strategic planning process. 


Whitney Lagrange, Director of Marketing
Laurens County Development Corporation


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