UNION COUNTY — An agreement between Union County and the company that operates its landfill is not only benefiting the county and the company but is also helping facilitate the growth of the Spartanburg Community College Union County campus which further benefit the county and the company.
In 2016, Union County entered into a new host agreement with Republic Services LLC covering the regional landfill the company operates in the Cross Keys area of the county. Under the terms of the agreement, which will last for the life of the landfill which is estimated to be 70 years or more, Republic will continue to pay the county host fees of approximately $1.5 million a year which will generate an estimated $100 million in revenue for the county over the life of the landfill; continue to accept waste from the county and its constituent municipalities at the landfill at no charge to the county or the municipalities; and give the county $40,000 a year for five years to a fund litter code enforcement officer.
Under the agreement Republic will also give the county $20,000 a year for five years to support upgrades and programming at the Spartanburg Community College Union County campus. In announcing the agreement, Union County Supervisor Frank Hart said the funding would help the campus provide the education and training the county needs to develop the highly-skilled workforce needed by local industry. Kathy Jo Lancaster, at the time Site Coordinator for the Union Campus of Spartanburg Community College, said that Republic Services has a history of supporting communities and helping them grow, adding that the company’s contributions would be used to purchase equipment and expand programs, services, and course offerings at the campus.
The results of Republic’s generosity were on display Thursday morning during a ceremony honoring Republic for its support of the SCC Union County campus.
During the ceremony, Republic Services LLC Division Manager Tony Davies was presented with a plaque honoring Republic for its support of the campus by SCC President Henry C. Giles Jr., Site Coordinator Isaac McKissick, Welding Instructor Cammie Hurst, and Hart.
To date, Republic has given a total of $40,000 to the SCC Union County campus under the landfill agreement with Davies personally presenting the first check to Supervisor Hart at the 2016 announcement of the agreement and the second check to Giles in August of this year.
Prior to his being presented the certificate of recognition, Davies was taken on a tour of the campus’ Welding Department and shown what the $20,000 allocated he presented to Giles earlier this year had been used for.
Hurst showed Davies the extension that had been built onto the Welding Department which she said opened up more space in the rest of the facility for students. She said the additional space is needed because the welding program is continuing to grow. Hurst said that when she began teaching welding at the campus last summer there were nine day students, but in the 2018 spring semester there will be 13 or 14. She said that similar growth has occurred in the afternoon class which has grown from eight last summer to 12 or 13 in the upcoming spring semester.
With the additional space, Hurst said the main training area where the student practice welding is more spacious and more efficient for easier movement and flow around the welding booths. She added that the expansion also opened space room for the possible addition of more welding booths and equipment that could be added at some point in the future as the program continues to grow.
The extension houses the Grinding Preparation Station and the Plasma Pipe Beveler Cutter. The Grinding Preparation Station, which can accommodate up to four students at a time, is used for level plate grinding, t-joint preparation, and pipe preparation. The Plasma Pipe Beveler Cutter is used to cut and combine metal pipes.
Hurst said that moving these into the extension and away from the welding equipment has also made the facility safer.
McKissick thanked Republic for its support, pointing out that its generosity has helped the campus to accommodate the growth and improve the safety of its welding program. He said that Republic’s generosity is another example of how the local business community’s support for the campus.
Giles said that SCC is using the funding provided by Republic to help support local industry through the development of the highly-trained, highly-skilled workforce it needs. He said it is part of SCC’s plans to grow the Union County campus and expand the course offerings that can enable residents to gain the training and skills needed to take advantage of the job opportunities offered by local industries like Republic.
Davies said that its support of the campus is part of Republic’s policy of being a good corporate neighbor and because it is part of the Union County community. He said that Republic also benefits from the growth of the campus, pointing out that it is always looking for employees with the training in welding and other fields provided by the campus, both for its facility in Cross Keys and elsewhere. Furthermore, Davies that Republic is growing, both in Union County and elsewhere, and because of its growth it will need more employees in the future. As a result, Davies said Republic will also benefit from the growth of the campus and its programs that can turn out the kind of employees the company will need in the future.