From Main Street Walhalla
A great article about Dave from Main Street Walhalla:
“I've been to every community in this state. For years, that was my job, bringing business prospects to towns and helping communities be ready to have a new business move into it. As a former director for the state economic development program, I take a lot of pride when I drive by a big factory that I had a hand in recruiting to our state.
About nine years ago we started a nonprofit corporation called Tri County Entrepreneurial Development Corporation. We teach a training program with Clemson and with Tri County Technical College. Clients are assigned a retired executive as a mentor. I have been mentoring some businesses for over 10 years. We also have a building here in town that we’ve turned into a business incubator, that means a small business can start here and then like a chicken and egg we expect the business to hatch and move out into the local economy. We can account for around 300 jobs that have gone through the incubator. To be able to come into our community and help the small business person take the right steps so they can be successful, I think that's the best part about my job.
Walhalla is located perfectly for the growth that's coming to this area. We've got good leadership in our city that has real vision, and we have the Main Street Program to pull it all together. I have always felt a connection historically with the Main Street Program, which I have been a supporter of for over 30 years.
I live in a community called Keowee Key, which at 3500 people is bigger than three fourths of all the towns in our state. Myself and a couple other guys were interested in helping our 100 employees come up with a scholarship program to Tri County Technical College. Now any employee or their family that wants to can attend college free of charge.
I'm retired now but you know, I probably still work 60 hours a week. Every business is different so it forces me to learn and keeps it very interesting. For me to know I had a hand in helping somebody achieve a dream has been a lot of fun.”
Dave Eldridge, President TCEDC & Main Street Walhalla board Vice Chair