Blackwell speaks with optimism and confidence

The Oconee County jobless rate moved up in July to 10.4%, from the June figure of 10.2%. Unemployment was also on the increase statewide and nationally for the same period. But, in Oconee, there’s optimism that this month’s announcement by the A. I. D. Company is going to put a dent into the jobless rate, by creating 75 jobs. And the county’s economic development commissioners learned this morning there’s reason for more optimism. Richard Blackwell, the county’s new economic development recruiter, talked optimistically with a tinge of confidence that the first occupant is going to be found for the Echo Hills industrial park. A. I. D.’s re-location to the Oconee Commerce Park is going to fill up that highway 11 park, but there’s plenty of room at the undeveloped Echo Hills Park farther up the highway. In fact, County Administrator Scott Moulder joked that Blackwell thinks he can land a development there, even before the first phase of the park is developed.