Friday, November 10, 2017
Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments' Board of Directors along with regional City and County Administrators attended the annual board retreat. This year's theme was "Back to Basics" where staff presented on Economic Development, Human Services and Community Enhancement. Staff worked with COG Board members on creating partnerships and collaboration among the many other agencies and civic organizations they serve on to assist all citizens throughout the region.
Executive Director, Chris McKinney, presented board member perfect attendance awards to Shirley Keels, Julia Nelson, and Dwight Stewart of Clarendon County; and Jim Campbell, Jim McCain, and Earl Wilson of Sumter County. Mr. McKinney also presented three National Association of Development Organization Awards for the following projects:
* Heartfelt Patriotism - Veteran Directed Home and Community Based Services Program for veterans of any age who are at risk of nursing home placement, are not on Medicaid, and can self-direct. The goals of the program are to improve access to and increased options of services; consumer choice of services; empowerment; support of families and family caregivers of Veterans; and to stay in their homes and be engaged in their communities. Partners were the South Carolina Lt. Governor's Office on Aging; Dorn VA Medical Center and its community based outpatient centers; and Public Partnerships, LLC - fiscal agent.
* "Hire Me" Industry Specific Regional Hiring Events for Economic Development Prospects - In late 2016, Crown Health Care Laundry Services was considering investing more than $12 million and creating 150 jobs in Lee County. To ensure the necessary number of applicants to fill the hiring needs of the company, "Hire Me!" events were executed mid-December in Bishopville and Sumter. Company officials wanted at least 600 applications and 685 applicants attended the event. Partners were Lee County, City of Bishopville, Sumter County, TheLink Economic Development Alliance, and Sumter Economic Development Board.
* Understanding the Green Heart of South Carolina - Santee-Lynches Green Infrastructure Inventory - The Santee-Lynches region covers over 2,400 square miles and is home to nearly 230,000 residents. Our assets include Lakes Wateree and Marion, portions of four major rivers, and numerous state parks, state forests, heritage preserves, and wildlife refuges. These "Green Infrastructure" elements combine to make Santee-Lynches a unique place to live, work and play. Through a partnership with the SC Forestry Commission, staff built a public geospatial database to inventory Green Infrastructure in the region and identified goals and objectives for region partners to consider as they carry out their projects and programs. Partners were the counties of Clarendon, Kershaw, Lee and Sumter; the cities of Manning, Camden, Bishopville and Sumter; along with Congaree Land Trust, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina State Park Service, and Central Carolina Technical College.
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Santee-Lynches RCOG staff collected and delivered over 200 canned goods/staple foods to the Clarendon County Council on Aging (CCCOA) in Manning as part of their quarterly community outreach. The food will assist those older adult residents in need throughout the county. Thank you to COG Board 2nd Vice Chair Mayor Julia Nelson (City of Manning) for her assistance in delivering these items. Jennifer Powell, CCCOA Director, thanked the COG for their support of senior adults in Clarendon County. COG staff continue to work with local communities in the four-county region on quarterly outreach projects.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments and SC Works along with its many partners held the Sumter County Job Fair at the Sumter Civic Center. The Job Fair hosted over 700 citizens seeking employment in Sumter and surrounding areas. Having approximately 60 vendors from around the region such as Continental Tire, Caterpillar, South Carolina Department of Public Safety, Thompson Construction, and RetireEase Senior Services to connect with for employment was beneficial to job seekers.
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Chris McKinney has been selected as the Executive Director of the Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments (SLRCOG).
McKinney will facilitate the strategic vision and oversee all assistance provided to the four county region, consisting of Clarendon, Kershaw, Lee and Sumter Counties and all of the associated municipalities. Based in Sumter, South Carolina, the SLRCOG has a professional staff of 30 people who serve a population of approximately 223,000 people.
McKinney will assume the role of Executive Director on October 16, 2017.
In September 2017, he retired from active duty in the United States Air Force after over 30 years of service. Prior to retiring, McKinney served as the Command Chief Master Sergeant for the 20th Fighter Wing, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina where he was an executive advisor to the Wing Commander and the installation's senior enlisted leader. He was responsible for the training, professional development of 8,500+ military personnel, and the morale and welfare of over 31,000 families and retirees at the nation's largest F-16 fighter wing in the Combatant Air Forces.
From April 2013 until June 2015, McKinney served as the Group Superintendent in the 33rd Operations Group at Eglin AFB, Florida where he was an executive advisor to the Operations Group Commander. He helped provide oversight to facilitate the training of F-35 pilots, F-35 intelligence professionals and Air Battle Managers. He was also responsible for the training, professional development, morale and welfare of 368 military personnel.
His military service includes combat tours of duty in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq and Afghanistan.
A native of Texas, he has an Associate's Degree in Meteorology from the Community College of the Air Force. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Management (Leadership Focus) from American Military University and a Master of Science Degree in Organizational Leadership from Columbia Southern University.
Friday, September 8, 2017
Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments and SC Works along with TheLink will host a Job Fair in Sumter County. The Job Fair will be held on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at the Sumter County Civic Center located at 700 West Liberty Street in Sumter. The Job Fair will be open to all Veterans at 9:00 a.m. and at 9:30 a.m. to all other job seekers. Professional dress is required for entry along with your resume to provide the approximate 80 vendors seeking candidates for their company or organization.
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Santee-Lynches RCOG staff collected and delivered over 200 canned goods/staple foods to Sumter County United Ministries as part of our quarterly community outreach. The food will assist the Ministries with feeding Sumter County families who are in need. Thank you to COG Board Members Jim McCain (Sumter County Council Chair) and Jim Campbell for their assistance in delivering these items. COG staff continue to work with local communities in the four-county region on quarterly outreach projects.
Monday, August 14, 2017
Approximately 200 job seekers participated in the Lee County Job Fair held at the old Bishopville High Gymnasium. Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments and SC Works along with partners such as WLTX News 19, Lee County Council, Tabernacle of Champions, and REP Communications Network held the four-hour event. With 35 vendors from around the region set up to host job seekers there were many positions to fill. Lee County companies of Carolina Metal Finishing, Coca Cola, Palmetto Corporation, and the new Crown Health Care Laundry Services were looking for the right candidate.