Earl Wilson graduates SC Economic Developers School

October 11, 2007

Earl Wilson, a voting member of the Sumter Development Board since 2005, recently graduated the SC Economic Developers School (SCEDS) in Charleston. SCEDS is a program of the SC Economic Developers Association and is conducted at the Tate Center for Entrepreneurship at the College of Charleston. 

Wilson, a partner in The Orr Co., owns and operates 10 KFC and Arby’s restaurants in Florence and Sumter.

“All of our Board members have proven themselves in the business arena,” said Jay Schwedler, President and CEO of the Sumter Development Board. “But economic development is a fairly esoteric field that requires some specialized knowledge.”

The SCEDS Basic Economic Development Course is broken down into four sections, each exploring a different aspect of the field. Successful completion of all four sections is required for graduation. Over the course of a year, the SCEDS program covers the basics of economic development, including financing, business retention and expansion, workforce development, marketing and product development.

“Surely an astute businessman like Earl is a great asset to our board even without the specific economic development knowledge, but with that knowledge his value to this community and to our board has gone up exponentially,” Schwedler said.

Currently the Development Board has two other voting members enrolled in the basic course in John M. Brabham Jr. and Nicole Norris, both of whom are scheduled to graduate later this year.