Every county can be a winner...
Written by Mallory D. Biering   

On Thursday, September 20th, Governor Nikki Haley took time to share her passion for Bamberg County with her hometown newspaper. Governor Haley, who asked us to 'kiss the ground' when we returned, said Bamberg is the "best small town in the state. I just love it," as pictures and stories of her childhood were shared. And like any person born and raised in Bamberg, there was an undeniable excitement for her "home."

The motto, 'Can't is not an Option,' which is also the title of her memoir, is a goal she has set for our state. The challenges of unemployment and increasing industry are constant battles she faces each day. However, she makes sure to ask herself every day, "what can we do to make today better than yesterday," because anyone can be a winner, they just need to invest in a plan.

A favorite quote of Governor Haley's is 'winners do what losers don't want to." This quote, along with the idea that 'when you deserve better, you do something about it,' has allowed Haley to achieve a lower unemployment rate by bringing in industries all over South Carolina. Governor Haley doesn't just want to increase employment in larger cities, like Charleston or Greenville, which she says, "are great," but she wants to bring industry into an area like Bamberg, "a great pocket of the state," that people may have forgotten, but need to be reminded it's a place that will "wrap their arms around you."

This plan is being executed through The Original Six Foundation, a foundation which helps counties across the state to invest in a custom plan for improvement. These plans are made after meeting with the leaders of a county and discussing their strengths and weaknesses. Then, two months after the meeting, the county has a community day, focusing on the county coming together as one to say, "we deserve better, and we are doing something about it."

But before any of that can be done in Bamberg, Haley said Bamberg County citizens must see the county as she does, which is, "absolutely full of potential, because what makes a county is it's people. Bamberg County has always had great people," Haley said. Further adding that Bamberg, "is truly a county [she] brags about, [because] it's where neighbors take care of neighbors and people truly care about each other."

With plans like this in place, she can show a CEO how their company can be "a big fish in a small pond." From there, she is able to help give someone a job, and another family is taken care of, and she fully recognizes the amount, "of families [there are] to take care of in South Carolina," due to pins covering a state map. The pins represent over 27,000 people who have received jobs since she took her position. This constant reminder shows how far South Carolina has come, but still how far we need to go.

Not only has Haley helped lower the unemployment rate, but over 12,000 people have come off of welfare and started work, the number of foster kids have been reduced in half, all legislators now have to show their votes on the record, and a pension reform was done which decreased South Carolina's debt by two million dollars.

Making South Carolina a better place to live is a promise she made, and she plans to continue keeping it, even if offered a cabinet position, which she said she would refuse, in the case of Mitt Romney being elected president.

The future of South Carolina is unfolding all over the state with the help of Governor Haley. Her plan to "make today better than yesterday," is a goal some South Carolina citizens might not see as achievable, but, she says, "Can't is not an Option."