Barnwell native on loan for Promise Zone project
Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) continues to partner with the SouthernCarolina Regional Development Alliance (SCA), whose mission supports industrial development and employment opportunities in some of the state’s most rural counties.
Sandra Devoe Bland, Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board Liaison and Technical Advisor for the SRNS Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, has been recently assigned to the SCA home office located in Barnwell to assist with implementing “Promise Zone” initiatives throughout Barnwell, Allendale, Bamberg, Hampton, Colleton and Jasper counties.
“I am pleased to be a part of the SouthernCarolina Regional Development Alliance in their impressive efforts to promote economic growth and employment opportunities to the area through Promise Zone initiatives,” said Bland. She added that the SCA will partner with the federal government to gain access to critical resources and expertise to help these counties grow and thrive within one of four national Promise Zone designees.
Promise Zone recipient counties will have access to multiple federal incentives over the next nine years. These incentives will help establish and nurture new federal programs that are designed to boost economic and educational growth within some of our nation’s most high-poverty, rural and tribal communities.
The Southern Carolina Promise Zone is home to approximately 90,000 residents, 28 percent of whom live in poverty. The median income for the six-county Promise Zone area is $32,700, a full 25 percent less than South Carolina’s median household income and 45 percent less than the United States’ median household income. Educational attainment and employment rates are low among residents of the Promise Zone and quality affordable housing is scarce.
“I am familiar with the landscape within this Promise Zone. I consider this a tremendous opportunity to give back to the communities in the low country, especially since it includes my hometown of Barnwell,” said Bland.
Bland graduated from Barnwell High School (1980), the Georgia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (1984) and has a Masters of Project Management from Keller Graduate School of Management (2009).
The SCA will accomplish its Promise Zone initiatives with the help of the following key partners: South Carolina Housing Authority; South Carolina Department of Commerce; Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina; South Carolina Department of Agriculture; South Carolina Victim’s Assistance Network; GrowFoods Carolina; Palmetto Project; and, Lowcountry Council of Governments.
Savannah River Nuclear Solutions is a Fluor-led company whose members are Fluor Federal Services, Newport News Nuclear and Honeywell, responsible for the management and operations of the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site, including the Savannah River National Laboratory, located near Aiken.