During the election year, you hear a lot of talk about economic development. And for good reason, good-paying jobs are not as plentiful as we’d like them to be, so bringing in new industries to our communities is critical. It’s critical not only to our financial well-being, but also to local culture and our children’s future.
Here at York Electric, we talk about economic development a lot, too. Fortunately, that talk has revolved around success stories, such as the Lash Group, a healthcare consulting firm, and soon-to-open LPL Financial Carolinas to Fort Mill in the Kingsley Business Park. These two companies combined will bring more than 5,000 jobs to our area, and your cooperative is proud to serve them.
We are not too humble to claim that your cooperative played an important role in bringing these investments, worth nearly $240 million, to our area. We worked closely with the local development boards in providing the infrastructure to attract and assist these companies. We also partnered with the South Carolina Power Team, an economic development group focused on recruiting and retaining industries for the state’s electric cooperatives.
Our investments in these projects and others are guaranteed a return. Primarily, it fulfills the mission to improve your quality of life by providing economic opportunities. It also fulfills one of the Seven Cooperative Principles, Concern for Community. But more directly, it provides our system with a large base load, allowing us to spread out operating costs. The more industrial and large commercial loads we have, the less our residential members have to shoulder the burden of our power costs.
Of course, we don’t intend to stop at these successes. Right now, our area is a hotbed of industrial and commercial activity, and we intend to bring as much of it onto our lines as we can. Future successes throughout our service area will occur because of efforts we’re making toward improving our reliability and infrastructure. We’ll also be able to show the strong relationships we’ve built with our industrial and large commercial members.
And we’ll continue to make our territory attractive to potential industries. Because of our partnerships with the South Carolina Power Team and Santee Cooper, the state-owned generation utility, we’ve been able to help finance two speculative buildings. The 50,000-square-foot speculative building in Fort Mill near the intersection of Highway 160 and I-77 close to Shutterfly was recently leased to Catawba Enterprises, a freight-forwarding company. Also, construction is underway on a 40,000- square-foot speculative building located in our East York Industrial Park in York behind MacLean Power Systems. It is expected to entice more new industry and jobs our way in the near future.
Big investments in our communities, better-paying jobs for our citizens—that’s the kind of talk we like to hear.
President and Chief Executive Officer