Once again, I thought I’d write to let you know some of what we’ve been doing this week.
I started out the week feeling a bit sore as over the weekend Bolton and I ran in the Marine Corp Mud Run at Fort Jackson, an event that raises money for families of Marines killed or injured on active duty.
On Monday I headed over to Kingstree, where I spoke to the Rotary Club about how 2010 represents a real chance at achieving some of the reforms we’ve been pushing for years – chief among them job creation, government restructuring, spending caps, and tort reform.
Tuesday we attended the ribbon-cutting at Unifor Aluminum Forgings in Laurens County – an $8 million investment that builds on a history of positive job growth in the area. After that, we headed to the Fujifilm facility in Greenwood – the company’s North American Research and Development headquarters – and later to BorgWarner Torqtransfer Systems in Seneca. Meeting with large and small business folks alike offers a unique opportunity to talk about the headwinds facing the business community as well as the ways they’re finding success in this challenging economy. Not to be ignored, we took a lunch break at the now 50-year-old Dixie Drive-In in Greenwood – that was quite a treat.
The following day, after a bit of time on an Upstate country radio station, I stopped by Tommy’s Ham House in Greenville for breakfast with a number of friends who share a desire to reform the way things work in Columbia. We also had a chance to visit Komatsu America International’s impressive facility in Newberry, as well as Newberry College to touch base with SLED agents who were responding to small explosions on campus earlier that day.
On Thursday, I took a tour and met with employees at Haier America Refrigerators in Camden. I think it’s telling that Haier is the first Chinese company to put down manufacturing roots here in the US, and even more so that this plant represents the largest investment by a Chinese company across the nation. I also spoke to a friendly crowd at the Camden Rotary Club about the upcoming legislative session.
Friday involved some very productive conversations with legislators about job creation and passing some much-needed reforms this coming session. In particular, we’re encouraged about the prospects for restructuring health care agencies – a commonsense initiative that’s gotten some favorable media attention since Senator Peeler’s subcommittee is already considering legislation. Also on Friday, I signed an Executive Order creating an Interagency Transportation Coordination Council. In short, this group will work to make state government health services transportation programs more efficient and better coordinated – an important goal, especially given our state’s budget shortfalls this year.
We also found time throughout the week to stop by the Greenville News, the Seneca Daily Journal, and the Abbeville Press and Banner, as well as some local talk radio – and thanks to those of you who listened or called in.