CLINTON, S.C. (courtesy presby.edu) — The Clinton Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) has elected Presbyterian College President Dr. Matthew vandenBerg to serve on its board of directors.
“I am excited and honored for the opportunity to strengthen and grow the partnership between Clinton and its college,” said vandenBerg. “We are a proud member of this community, and we eagerly embrace our calling to serve Clinton and Laurens County as faithful partners in progress.”
Throughout its history, the college has played a central role in Clinton’s economy – as an employer, as a consumer, and as a partner.
Marvin Moss, the City of Clinton’s economic development manager, said vandenBerg not only recognizes PC’s role in the local economy but also brings new ideas to the table.
“Matt seems very interested in creating the types of partnerships our community needs to thrive,” he said.
Stan Bryson, the CEDC’s former board chair, said PC is a vital voice within the organization.
“It’s very important to include the college in economic development decisions,” Bryson said. “PC is one of the city’s largest employers and a key partner in growing our community.”
In a letter to the editor published last fall, vandenBerg wrote that many colleges and universities have built themselves into self-contained cities that take their host communities for granted. PC, on the other hand, is “passionate about – and deeply committed to – growing and strengthening our relationship with our host city of Clinton, as well our broader Laurens County community,” he stated.
PC’s re-development of the 112 Musgrove Street property is an early example of that renewed partnership. Developed more than a decade ago as a downtown college bookstore, PC will begin this spring turning the building into a thriving center for student gatherings, meetings, and events. It will also feature dining options open to the public.
During the project’s groundbreaking ceremony in late October, Clinton Mayor Bob McLean hailed efforts to transform PC and Clinton into a hub of economic and social activity.
“PC and the City of Clinton depend on each other for growth,” said McLean. “Matt understands that when we work together, we both benefit. As mayor and a PC graduate, I’m excited about working with him to shape our shared future.”
CEDC’s mission is to increase employment opportunities and entice industrial and commercial growth to Clinton. The board of director’s has 11 members, including the mayor, two city council members, the city manager, and six local residents.