May 19, 2017
The South Carolina Economic Developers’ Association (SCEDA) awarded Will Williams, President and CEO of Economic Development Partnership (EDP) located in Aiken, its Local Developer of the Year award during the 2017 SCEDA Annual Conference, held May 3-5 at the Sonesta Resort in Hilton Head.
Since 2005, the SCEDA Local Developer of the Year Award has been earned by hard working and dedicated developers in the Palmetto State. The award criteria include leading innovative programs, overcoming obstacles, impactful efforts in the community, consistent involvement with SCEDA, professional development and personal traits
Williams has been a member of SCEDA for nearly 20 years and involved in economic development for just as long. To him, the success of his work has always been measured by the impact on the community.
“It is very humbling to be honored by your peers,” Williams said of receiving the SCEDA Local Developer of the Year award. “You never do a job to receive awards but I am very appreciative of this recognition.”
Williams started his career in textile manufacturing and worked as a business developer for a construction company. He is known as an innovator with a focus on workforce development.
Some of his many accomplishments include fostering a strong apprenticeship program at manufacturing companies across Aiken. The benefits of this investment are evident across the region. Williams has landed more than $1.8 billion in capital investment with close to 2,200 new jobs. In 2011, he helped win a $1.2 billion Bridgestone announcement for an off-road tire plant, which is still regarded as the largest single capital investment in South Carolina’s history.
Jeff Ruble, director of the Richland County Economic Development Office, has worked with Williams over the years and considers him a role model in local developer circles with consistent contributions to economic development.
“The EDP region has thrived under Will’s leadership,” Ruble contends. “Locally, he is a pillar in the community in Aiken and serves on a number of local boards. He is an ordained elder at First Presbyterian Church in Aiken,” said Ruble.
“I am excited that others have noticed what we at EDP know about Will!”, states Gary Stooksbury, Chairman of the EDP Board of Directors. “An honor well deserved! Will, thanks for all you do for our communities.”