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Carolinas Nuclear Energy Industry Group Recognizes Emerging Leaders

Trade & Development - Economic Development

COLUMBIA, SC – The Carolinas’ Nuclear Cluster graduated 21 from its ‘Leadership Energy Carolinas’ [LEC] class of 2010. LEC is a personal and professional development forum for future leaders of the nuclear industry in the Carolinas. The following people completed the one-year program:

From the Charlotte USA Region:
Hayley Doering, Areva NA
Amy Presson, Duke Energy
Cameron Lee, Duke Energy
Stephen LaPointe, Duke Energy   
Kate Nolan, Duke Energy   
Andrew Sowder, Electric Power Research Institute
Eugene Pisarskiy, URS Corp.   
Adam Scheider, URS Corp.   

From the South Carolina Midlands:
Krista Kersey, Midlands Technical College   
Clint Chandler, Midlands Technical College   
Melanie Sumner, SCANA   
Amy Love, New Carolina
Kelly Long, US Senate staff
Amy Buu Keller, Westinghouse Electric Company       

From the Aiken Area:
Adrian Mendez-Torres, Savannah River National Lab   
Don Bickley, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions    

From the Raleigh Area:
Lisa Marshall, NC State University
LaQuisha M. Parks, Progress Energy   

From the Charleston Area:
J.O. Richardson, Jacobs Engineering
Dave Eckert, Pegasus Nuclear   

From the Greenville/Spartanburg Area:
Bill Linton, Linton Consulting   

The graduates of the LEC class are expected to use their skills and knowledge to further develop the industry in the Carolinas. The class members range across a spectrum of disciplines – operations, finance, legal, human resources, training, policy and research.

The Carolinas’ Nuclear Cluster is a collaboration of more than 40 organizations designed to strengthen the industry and economic development in the Carolinas. The group officially started in 2008.

A ‘cluster’ is a group of businesses and other organizations in a region that focus on a specific industry. Silicon Valley is an example for computers.

LEC provides leadership development and networking opportunities in the Carolinas nuclear industry. Class members dialogue with senior executives, tour facilities, talk with policymakers, media and business professionals as they meet in Columbia, Raleigh, Charlotte and Aiken. They debate critical issues about energy, environment, workforce and the economy. The class members also learn and practice communication skills.

The South Carolina Council on Competiveness, known as ‘New Carolina,’ began a process in 2003 to build clusters as a way to increase the income of citizens and strengthen the economic base. The Carolinas’ Nuclear Cluster works under that umbrella.

According to George Fletcher, executive director of New Carolina, “This nuclear leadership training forum gives the Carolinas an additional competitive edge in the industry. This helps a smart and cohesive industry increase its collaboration. As we export our nuclear energy skills and products multi-nationally, these industry professionals bring dollars back to the Carolinas economy.”

A 2009 research study showed that Carolinas nuclear generators and other key facilities produce a $2.2 annual payroll for the states. The industry has more than 37,000 employees in the two states.

The Carolinas supply 11.5% of the nation’s nuclear energy. The states are home to four publicly traded power generating firms and major energy engineering firms.  Currently, North Carolina has five nuclear reactors in operation, 32% of the state’s total electricity generation, and two potential new units in the application process. South Carolina has seven operating reactors, 52% of the state’s total electric generation, and four potential new units in the application process. 

Says Fletcher, “Headlines about energy supply, the economy and environmental cleanliness align in an energy imperative for us. The Carolina’s have a unique competitive advantage in an industry that is a carbonless path for base-load electric needs – nuclear energy.”

Well-developed industry clusters have an inherent upstream and downstream value chain.  Organizations within clusters come together to increase efficiency and innovation, boosting the overall economy in the region. They do this by supporting new business development, enhancing existing business, recruiting new companies to an area, and helping companies within the cluster identify workforce needs and marketing strategies.

The 2011 class for LEC is currently receiving nominees from the Carolinas’ Nuclear Cluster member organizations.

About New Carolina

South Carolina’s Council on Competitiveness (New Carolina) is a public-private partnership working to increase South Carolina’s economic competitiveness through a cluster development strategy. Its focus is to: 1) Strengthen core industries through clusters, 2) Foster innovation in business and education through initiatives, 3) Connect the dots across efforts. Building and supporting clusters was the top recommendation of Harvard Professor Michael Porter, who presented his analysis of South Carolina when he came to South Carolina in 2003. New Carolina is the go-to organization for cluster development, bringing leaders of companies within the same industry together to facilitate, define and implement industry-wide strategies. New Carolina works with 15 statewide and regional clusters including Advanced Security, Agribusiness, Automotive, Aviation/Aerospace, Life Sciences, Composite, Creative, Textiles, Transportation, Distribution and Logistics, Engineering, Insurance Technology, Recycling, Tourism and Nuclear. www.newcarolina.org

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