What We Do

A Promise Zone is a place-based approach to fighting poverty. The South Carolina Promise Zone was notified of its federal designation in April 2015 and since then has engaged the people and places of its six counties in numerous ways. Initially, more than 650 community members attended preliminary county-wide town hall meetings to explore Promise Zone opportunities. Community partners and supporters met collectively and in workgroups to develop collaborative strategies. Top elected and appointed leaders from the six counties met with Southern Carolina Alliance Economic Development Agency, the Promise Zone’s lead organization, to offer input on projects and ideas. In January 2016 a dozen regional and national leaders in rural and community development convened to review the South Carolina Promise Zone Strategic Action Plan and made suggestions to facilitate implementation. The workgroups continue to meet and focus on the following topics: economic development, education, workforce development, crime reduction, housing, healthcare, private capital leverage, agriculture and communication. Facilitated by a Promise Zone Coordinator, workgroups coordinate grant identification and application in addition to facilitation of other community projects. There is no allocation of funding as a result of the Promise Zone designation but community stakeholders are offered grant resources such as assistance in identifying applicable grants, grant writing classes and Promise Zone endorsement of their grant submissions to federal agencies to gain priority points and preference. To date, dozens of South Carolina Promise Zone community stakeholders have taken advantage of these grant opportunities and have been awarded. Promise Zone constituents are also kept aware of grant funding opportunities and training through the South Carolina Promise Zone website.

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