Thursday, August 4, 2016

Housing Rehabilitation Call for Applications

Sumter County Regional HOME Consortium
Owner Occupied Housing Rehabilitation Call for Applications

Assistance is available to eligible homeowners in Clarendon, Kershaw, and Lee Counties to cover the cost of repairs and improvements necessary to bring homes to applicable standards for decent, safe and sanitary housing as required by applicable codes. This program is not intended for minor repairs, remodeling, additions, or cosmetic improvements. Eligible applicants must have incomes equal to or less than 80% of the median income level for the county in which they live.
Assistance will be available to eligible homeowners subject to availability of funds. It is expected that there will be more applicants than funding available for this program. Preliminary applications will be reviewed and prioritized according to income level, extent of need, and other factors as determined by the Sumter County Regional HOME Consortium Board of Directors. Those who are not selected in the current application cycle will need to re-apply in future application rounds.
The application period will begin August 3, 2016 and remain open until September 2, 2016. Please contact Ms. Sharon Durden at (803) 774-1988 to provide preliminary household information and begin the application process. Additional information about the application requirements and the program will be provided to households selected for assistance.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Veterans Directed Home and Community Based Services Program

The Veterans Directed Home and Community Based Services program is designed to allow veterans who are potential candidates for nursing home placement to receive that level of care in their homes. The program provides veterans with a budget and allows them to choose their own care providers in place of receiving care services from the VA health care system. The following testimony is from one of the families directly served by the Veterans Directed program at the Santee-Lynhces Regional Council of Governments. For more information about this program or to see if you may qualify, contact Gladene Heyward-Reid at 803-774-1989.

This self-directed veteran's program has made it possible for us to take care of Doug at home. We have been able to hire caregivers that come on a regular basis and we have more hours for them to care for him. He gets the attention he needs, and I get some free time, which helps me, and most of all, gives us and our family peace of mind. This program is greatly appreciated because it allows us to keep our house in good condition. Things we can no longer do ourselves, we can hire help to maintain. We would like all veterans to have the opportunity to experience this self-directed program and be able to take care of their vet at home as long as possible. Thank you Lt. Gov. McMaster and the Veteran's Administration for working together to make this program possible.

-Doug and Kitty Heim

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

City of Bishopville Receives CDBG Grant

With the assistance of Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments, the City of Bishopville has been awarded a $750,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the South Carolina Department of Commerce for improvements to the sewer trunk line that connects the City's wastewater treatment plant with sewer lines city-wide. The grant will support construction of Phase I of the overall improvement project, which is anticipated to be a three-phase project.

"We are thrilled to have been able to assist the City of Bishopville in obtaining this grant through the CDBG Program," said Dr. Michael Mikota, Executive Director of Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments. "The award will allow the City to address a major issue with its wastewater system, which will benefit all residents of the City through reduced infill and infiltration of stormwater into the system and reduced chances for sewer overflows that might result from the deteriorating line".

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

WIOA - Equipping Workers with Skills Matching the Needs of Employers

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. As an example of how this program works, consider this: The trucking industry is the lifeblood of the U.S. economy. Nearly 70% of all the freight tonnage moved in the U.S. goes on trucks. Without the industry and our truck drivers, the economy would come to a standstill. To move 9.2 billion tons of freight annually requires nearly 3 million heavy-duty Class 8 trucks and over 3 million truck drivers. However, the for-hire trucking industry is facing a current shortage of roughly 25,000 drivers! Enter Mr. Keywane China and Mr. Deondre Clark. Thanks to the WIOA program, these gentlemen recently completed commercial drivers training with Xtra Mile Trucking in Bishopville, SC and have obtained their CDL credentials. Mr. China has accepted employment with Comcar Trucking as a Dedicated Truck Driver and Mr. Clark was hired by McElroy Trucking as an over the road CDL Truck Driver.

We congratulate Kewayne and Deondre on their achievement and wish them all the best in the future. If you or someone you know would benefit from skills training through the WIOA program, please visit your local SC Works Center in Sumter at 31 E. Calhoun Street, in Camden at 1111 Broad Street or via the internet at or

Monday, June 27, 2016

STEM Camps - Inventing the Future

About a dozen students from Sumter County recently completed a week-long STEM camp for girls learning about robots and electricity, "sparking" their interest in science, technology, engineering, and math. The camp was held at the Sumter Career and Technology Center and included team building and hands-on STEM activities. "The goal is to inspire young ladies to pursue STEM careers, a field which women traditionally did not pursue in the past," camp leader and mechatronics instructor Wendy Jacobs told parents on presentation day. Honda employees from the plant in Timmonsville assisted with the camp.

Students from Doby’s Mill Elementary in Kershaw County participated in a two-day STEM camp learning to engineer their own bubble wands. Instructor Amanda Raper led the students through observing standard bubbles from pre-made wands, sketching and building their own designs with pipe cleaners and straws, and testing and refining their creations. This activity teaches them the basics of engineering design -- ask, imagine, plan, create, improve – along with principles of science, all while making STEM fun.

If you would like additional information regarding STEM camps in the Santee-Lynches Region, please contact Brenda Golden, Regional Workforce Adviser at 803-651-1893.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Work Based Rental Assistance Program

The Sumter County Regional HOME Consortium has developed, in partnership with Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments and SC Works, a workforce development-focused Rental Assistance Program. For more information, see the program brochure below or contact Ms. Stacy Newman at Phone: 803-774-1987 or Email:

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Opening of Lee County Farmers Market

The opening of the Lee County Farmers Market last Friday June 17, 2016 was a blessing for the citizens of Lee County especially the Seniors. The opening of the Market will allow our seniors to receive vouchers to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables in Lee County. The Farmers Market is located at 220 E. Church Street Bishopville, SC 29010 and will be open Fridays and Saturdays from 8:30 am - 2:00 pm. I know everyone will join us in thanking the Department of Social Services and the State Office for including Lee County in their expansion.