$1,000 scholarship encourages youth to look again at manufacturing jobs.
The roots of York Electric run back to an era, about 78 years ago, when YEC primarily was a rural electric power provider.
Today, YEC still proudly serves many rural homes and farms. We also serve plenty of suburban developments and industries that have put their own roots down here. All along, we’ve been about improving the lives of our members. Community commitment is one of YEC’s core values.
YEC serves several high-tech industries, including Silcotech Carolinas and Bluestar Silicones. We’re proud to call these industries members, too. Not only do these companies buy large amounts of power, which helps stabilize the rates that all member classes pay, they also provide livelihoods for many of our residential members and other local residents.
That’s why York Electric works hard to attract and retain these industries. YEC staff and board members serve on the board of York County Economic Development (YCED).
But if you’re remembering the textile plants of yesteryear, look again: Today’s manufacturing companies are, to paraphrase an old Oldsmobile commercial, “not your father’s factory.”
As YCED Director David Swenson notes, “Manufacturing employment in York County remains strong at 12 percent of our labor force and has grown by 1,900 jobs over the past few years. The manufacturing sector provides a good annual average wage at almost $60,000 and in 2016 this sector contributed the largest portion of our local economy with over $1.8 billion in goods and services produced in York County. The key factor to manufacturing employees getting a good job and achieving greater wealth is achieving a quality education.”
To help, YEC is upgrading our annual York Tech Scholarships. We’ll now offer one $1,000 scholarship to a student seeking a degree in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) field. See the ad on the next page for details.
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YEC member Rhonda Belton personifies the change in our service area. Raised on a farm in the Smith’s Turnout community on the York-Chester county line, she’s now a production scheduler at Bluestar Silicones, which her co-op serves. “Growing up, a lot of the manufacturing plants, they mostly offered production jobs,” Belton says. “There are a lot more jobs today as far as office personnel and other areas. We have positions in quality labs, R&D, plus technicians and scientists. It’s a mixture.” In her data-driven position, Belton’s finger rests right on the pulse of plant. “We stay pretty busy! I’m seeing a lot of growth. There have been a lot of new hires in the R&D department and production to help meet the customer demand for the new products.”
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