Development officials look for "good corporate citizens"
Obviously we’ve got a heavy auto [presence] in our county, but we have many companies; some deal with auto, some don’t. They might be in plastics or metals or other things, dealing with the auto industry or not… so we’re pretty diverse as far as our industrial base is concerned.” Jon Coleman
When asked about what people might not know about Laurens County, Coleman points out that every high school graduate has the chance to get higher education for free. Established in Fall 2015, the Laurens County Future Scholarship gives recent grads two years of tuition-free education at Piedmont Technical College. The idea is that free education greatly increases the pool of skilled workers and therefore makes the county an attractive place for outside companies looking to relocate. That goes beyond the usual draws, such as having lower costs than some neighboring counties. Coleman said the program was modeled after a similar one in Tennessee that saw a 50 percent increase in local incomes within 10 years, and a 40 percent increase in degree attainment.