Case Statement

A Case Statement representing

the Four-year Strategic Plan of

Public Education Partners

for Aiken County

The Challenge

Aiken County is home to a growing number of national and multi-national companies as well as long-time corporate citizens.  Business parks attract new business, further diversifying the County’s economic base, while hundreds of small businesses exist to service these companies and the citizens of Aiken County. Employers of all sizes share a fundamental element for success – a consistent source of highly qualified employees.


Maximizing the education experience for our youth while readying them for careers is the key for continued economic growth throughout Aiken County.  To assure a healthy economy for our citizens and a workforce on which our employers can depend well into the 21st century, we must:


·      Ensure students in K-12 education acquire necessary basic skills,

·      Help students set realistic career goals targeting workplace opportunities,

·      Attract adults with low skill levels back into the education system.

The Response

In 1995, a unique blend of visionaries came together and created a strategy to move Aiken County to the forefront in economic and community development – AIKEN 20/20.  This program established a vision for education:  “Aiken County will provide the highest quality educational opportunity for citizens of all ages and will actively involve the entire community as partners in the process.”  From that vision, Public Education Partners (formerly GALEF) was born.


In 2000, a clear mandate emerged for the continued presence of an advocate as well as a partner that would link public education and the business community to promote constructive change.   In response, a diverse group of community and business leaders came together to develop a new plan for Public Education Partners that would span the next four years and serve all areas of the district.  The vision was to establish Aiken County as a premier 21st century education community. 


Success Today! is the collaborative response to underwrite this ambitious program which encompasses the spirit of Public Education Partners’ leadership team to make Aiken County a premier 21st century education community. 

Now is the time to put this strategic plan into action as business, education and community partner for Success Today!.

The Solution

Our Strategic Plan details those components of this four-year initiative and we encourage you to review and study the plan. Go to Strategic Plan. to learn those elements that will impact the educational opportunities of our youth well into the future.

The Benefits

Success Today! will directly impact the Aiken County business community.  Specific results will include:


·      An increase in workforce numbers equipped with basic skills.


·      A workforce informed about manufacturing-based career opportunities.


·      A workforce trained and occupationally ready to enter a manufacturing career.


The Results

Results will be measured in year four using existing methods to assess the impact from implementation of the four-year strategic plan.  We group outcomes for families, adults and K12 students.

1.  Figure 1 projects a dramatic increase in those adults who complete a high school diploma and the number of family learning center participants.  Success Today! will result in a 100 percent increase from 2000 to 2004.

2.  Figure 2 tracks both math and reading proficiency scores comparing 2000 to 2004, the percent of 8th graders scoring proficient or higher on the PACT test for language and math.  Success Today! will result in an increase, surpassing state gains for Aiken County.  


The Leadership Team

Citizen and business leaders have come together from across Aiken County to support public education via Public Education Partners’ Four-year Strategic Plan.  These leaders are committed to the vision of Aiken County as a premier 21st century education community and invite you to join Success Today!


Cindy Besson, M.D.,F.A.C.O.G.

Women’s Health Associates


John Bradley, Ph.D., Chairman

Aiken County Board of Education


Fred B. Cavanaugh, Jr., Mayor

City of Aiken


Tim Dangerfield, Vice President

REI, Inc.


Linda Eldridge, Ph.D., Superintendent

Consolidated School District of Aiken County


Lawana Furtick, Broker In Charge

The Furtick Company


Susan Graham, Ph.D., President

Aiken Technical College


John L. Girardeau, President

Southern Mortgage Company, Inc.


Tom Hallman, Ph.D., President

University of South Carolina - Aiken


Lark W. Jones, Mayor

City of  North Augusta


June Murff, President

Aiken Chamber of  Commerce


Lessie Price, Manager, Community Assistance Department

Westinghouse, Savannah River Site


Betty Ryberg, Community Representative


Ricky Satcher, Chief Executive Officer

Aiken Regional Medical Centers


Nancy Smith, Ph.D., Assistant Superintendent, Area 2

Consolidated School District of Aiken County


Jeff Spears,  Senior Vice-President

Bank of America


Gary L. Stooksbury, Chief Executive Officer

Aiken Electric Cooperative, Inc.


Steve Sucher,  Human Resources

Bridgestone-Firestone South Carolina


E. Sutton,  Director of Grants & Community Development

United Way Aiken County


Tommy B. Wessinger, Chairman & CEO

People’s Community Bank


Inease Williamson, President

Wagener Insurance Agency & Realty, Inc.


Ronnie Young, Chairman

Aiken County Council