BAMBERG – Bamberg County Council heard from a Goodwill Industries representative on how the nonprofit could provide job training, employment placement services and other community-based programs in the county.

Monique McDaniels, vice president of community engagement for Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina, on Oct. 3 shared ways the organization could service and partner with the county.

“This county is particularly covered. We split some of it, along with our Palmetto Goodwill partner, which is the Charleston-Pee Dee area,” McDaniels said.

“Goodwill Industries takes gently donated items that we’re so gracious that the community provides to us. We resell them in our retail stores and our online platform. We take those funds and we provide job services in the community,” she said.

She continued, “We support veterans, we support seniors, we support young people, those that are re-entering the community from being incarcerated. We spend over 90 cents of every dollar back into the community of putting folks back to work. So we’re just really excited about that.”

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“Goodwill Industries is independently owned by 155 different presidents and CEOs throughout the country. … We want to service our communities and meet them where they are and their need,” McDaniels said, before explaining the types of services Goodwill could provide locally.

“A lot of our programs stem around: How do we get people trained? How do we get them upskilled? How do we help them become independent where they are? Some of that may be entrepreneurship.

“Some of that may just be getting them new certifications, helping them go back to school. We’ll also help them get tech funding and also provide them with equipment if they just need that,” she said.

She continued, “Anything related to job services — how we get you back to work, how we can give you wrap around services — we have wonderful grant opportunities that allow us to also provide transportation, technology, Wi-Fi hotspots. So we have a lot of plethora of services that we can provide.”

She informed Councilman Larry Haynes that Goodwill had suspended its pickup services for donated items because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have not restarted them. You would have to bring it to us unfortunately, but we appreciate your donation and supporting our mission,” McDaniels said, noting that the closest donation center and retail store is in Orangeburg.

While Councilman Evert Comer Jr. said the county does not currently have any available space in which Goodwill could set up, McDaniels said other services could be offered remotely.

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“We don’t have a donation center or a retail store here, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t provide services. … We can also co-locate somewhere if y’all have space. We’ve done that within schools, in youth centers. … We run our programs, of course, like anyone else, where they are digital. They can be online, they can be virtual. So we can make it work for anyone that needs them,” she said.

McDaniels continued, “We teach digital skills. We help get apprenticeships for young people. Our seniors, we have trained them in getting back to work. So a lot of space just needs to be administrative, but we’re really more so looking for community partnerships.”

Also during the meeting, County Treasurer Alice Johnson gave the August financial report, stating the county had $605,689.38 in income and expenditures of $740,456.88, leaving a negative balance of $134,767.50.

When the negative bank balance at the end of August ($864,208.28) was added, the county’s regular account stood at a negative $998,975.78

Councilman Dr. Jonathan Goodman II questioned the large deficit and suggested “some type of moratorium on spending.”

While Johnson said it was important for the county to “watch what we spend and when we spend it,” County Controller Gina Smith and Preston noted that Johnson just reports on one of the county’s bank accounts.

Smith said the county is not short on cash because other bank accounts have money in them, including $822,101 in its property-tax-rollback account and $634,996 and $487,260 in its respective fire service and solid waste accounts, as of the end of August.

County Finance Director T.M. Thomas reported the general fund had year-to-date revenues as of the end of August of $983,552, with expenses coming in at $1,341,534, for a negative general fund balance of $357,982.

He said the county departments continue to operate within their budgets and that the deficit will be reduced with the help of forthcoming property taxes.

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“Unfortunately on the revenue side, these are slow months for us. … Hopefully when taxes get out, we can get that number to catch up with the expenditure side,” Thomas said.

Smith also reported that the county had already started its yearend financial statement audit ending June 30, 2022.

“I am preparing the general ledger, or the books for the audit. My goal is to turn the books and the general ledger over to the auditors on Oct. 17. … The law and the comptroller general of the state is requiring us now to turn the audit in by Dec. 31,” Smith said, or face withholding of funds.

“That will be a very negative consequence. We don’t want that to happen. So that’s what I’m working toward. That’s my main order of business these days,” she said.

In other business

  • Council heard from County Coroner Wallace Hicks Jr., stating that the county had 125 deaths as of Jan. 1. He said the county had also performed 20 autopsies already this year, with 10 performed from July through September.

“So right now we’re probably going to go over on the ($25,000 budget for) autopsies this year. It’s probably going to be a couple thousand over because we still got nine more months to go, and a lot can happen in nine months. We hope not,” Hicks said, noting that his staff includes three deputy coroners and an administrative staff person, who he said also knows the job.

Comer asked, “Other than needing more money, is there anything else you need from us?”

“No, no. Just support me in whatever I need some funding for,” Hicks said, noting that he is thankful for the new transport van, office space and morgue the county has provided.

  1. Council heard from SouthernCarolina Project Manager Brian Warner, stating the purchase of the county’s Wolfe industrial site is complete at no cost to the county.

“We also are set to start with due diligence on that property, which we’re using grant funding for. This is going to make it a whole lot more marketable,” he said.

Warner also reported that the county’s U.S. Highway 301 sewer expansion is complete. has a new special: $1 for 26 weeks

“The Bamberg Board of Public Works took care of that and … was able to also help with some of the storm water issue that one existing industry was having,” he said.

He said there have also been two site visits in the last month to the spec building located at the county’s CrossRhodes Industrial Park.

Contact the writer: or 803-533-5534. Follow “Good News with Gleaton” on Twitter at @DionneTandD

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