June 10, 2014
Index Journal, Chris Trainor
In the past year, officials with Greenwood County and Partnership Alliance have seen positive signs in the realm of economic development.
James Bateman is hoping to help keep that positive momentum going.
Partnership Alliance hired Bateman as its new business development manager. Bateman, a University of South Carolina graduate, officially began work with the Partnership on Monday.
He is a former assistant manager for small business development with the South Carolina Department of Commerce.
Bateman, 27, is taking the position previously occupied by Catalina Valencia, who left the Partnership in October 2013 after accepting a consulting position with a firm in the Greenville area.
Partnership Alliance’s newest addition said he is pleased with the opportunity to work for Greenwood’s public-private economic development firm.
“I’m very excited to join the Partnership Alliance team,” Bateman said. “With Heather (Simmons Jones) recently being chosen as full-time CEO and having a couple of big successes during her time as the interim CEO at Partnership Alliance, it is a great time to join the team, with new direction. Also, we have an opportunity to continue the momentum that Greenwood County has and work toward future successes.”
Bateman said he sees a great deal of potential in Greenwood County, particularly in the bio sector.
“One attribute that I see and that I think anyone looking at Greenwood County can see is the Greenwood Genetic Center and the new partnership with Clemson with their (to-be-constructed) human genetic research center in the research park,” Bateman said. “That could really be utilized as a recruiting tool, much like the folks in Greenville use the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research.”
Simmons Jones said she likes what Bateman brings to the table.
“Of the things that stood out in his favor, first and foremost were the relationships he brings from the Department of Commerce, both internal to the department and also those folks that he has worked with throughout the state the last couple of years,” Simmons Jones said. “I particularly was interested in his knowledge of minority and small business programs, because often those sorts of projects kind of fall to the side.
“Entrepreneurial development and small business is important to a community, as are the larger business development projects that we work with.”