BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCBD) – It’s hard to believe, but Google is already celebrating 10-years in the Lowcountry.
The internet and tech-giant held a special celebration at their plant in Berkeley County on Friday and talked about their $2.2 to $2.4 billion impact on the community.
“I grew up in a small town called Pringletown, South Carolina—it’s actually a part of Ridgeville, it’s one strip of Highway 27,” said Candace Pringle, an associate program manager at Google.
During Friday’s celebration, officials talked about how the company has helped many of the kids in rural Berkeley County, kids, who like Candace, might have had to move away after school in the past.
“Google has changed my life because it gave me the opportunity to move back to South Carolina,” she said. “I lived in Ohio for about three years – I wanted to get back around family and just be able to have the comfort of my family, as well as a great place to work. It’s a win-win situation for people that want to have the opportunity to have both.”
It took a while for her to get the job after she applied at Google.
“Took a year before I heard anything back,” she said. “When I heard back it was an email which I thought was spam.”
On Friday, she sat on stage with South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster as confetti popped into the air, celebrating 10 years of Google in Berkeley County.
“I’m so honored to be able to do that, being a native of South Carolina,” she said.
Since opening in 2009, Google has awarded more than $2.5 million to schools and non-profits in the country.
The company is the largest taxpayer in Berkeley County, paying about $4.2 million to the county per year.
Supervisor Johnny Cribb put that into perspective, saying tax money from Google covers the costs of about 70 employees at the sheriff’s office.
Of course, to people like Candace, Google means even more, personally.
“Being able to just come full circle and being able to work in a great place in the community, which does so much for the community,” she said.
Google officials say they are working on three buildings in the county right now. But they say there’s additional work needed after that.