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Letter to the Editor

Writer supports funding for Piedmont Tech

web posted March 31, 2009
Dear Editor,
For several years, I have served voluntarily on the Piedmont Technical College (PTC) Foundation Board because I know first-hand, the tremendous value that PTC has made to our county directly and to the people that live in our county. As a result of my involvement with PTC, I just had someone call and ask if I had read your comment about the funding of PTC from the county. After this call, I visited your website and was very disappointed to read your opinion related to the funding of PTC from the county.
I believe that we all have a right to our opinion, but I do not believe that we the right to apply factual information incorrectly. The current funding represents about one-half of prior funding and you fail to connect some significant matters to the funding of PTC. In addition, the county is required to contribute to the operation of the technical college that supports the education and vocational training of our citizens.
To begin with, there have been hundreds of thousands of dollars that have been given by private donors and by the PTC Foundation to make the fine facilities available in Edgefield County. Because of these facilities, students are able to attend classes and enhance their education and vocations at the location in Edgefield and not have to drive to the Greenwood campus for every class. An economic impact study found that every dollar invested in the local technical college created a significant increase to the local economy and raised the salary level of the students that attended the college.
While many small towns across the country struggle to survive and create an identity to attract business and tourist, we have only begun to see the value of the pottery center that is a direct result of PTC investing a tremendous amount of resources to establish this center for the benefit of Edgefield County. I appreciate the fact that you appear to have the financial stewardship of our county government at heart, but your comment about the funds allocated for PTC have clearly missed the mark. Our county receives significantly more wealth and value from PTC than we scratch the surface of from the funding by our county government.
Thomas H. Herlong
Johnston, SC


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