Commission, Inc. began as a Neighborhood Youth Corps Program, under the sponsorship of the Charleston County Economic Opportunity Commission; which, at the time was directed by James Clyburn who is now a U.S. Congressman. The Corporation’s Charter Date is March 11, 1966; hence, the Agency has been operating within the State of South Carolina since 1966.
Through cooperation, we have all learned effective and successful ways to achieve common goals. However, progress has not been easy. There have been many disappointments, crises, funding cutbacks and a lot of opposition; yet when it was necessary to do so, we were able to close ranks and work together for the realization of many successful accomplishments.
Over the past Thirty-three years, the Beaufort Economic Opportunity Commission in Beaufort has brought over 30 million dollars into the local area. This money was, primarily, for the purpose of implementing innovative and creative approaches to fighting the war on poverty. But, it cannot go unnoticed as to how the granted funds helped to stimulate the local economy of Beaufort and Jasper Counties.
Our most successful efforts have been in the provision of improved human services, including Employment and Job Training Assistance, Housing Assistance, Transportation Assistance, Pre-School Educational and Nutritional Programs, Emergency and Energy Assistance, Community Organization and Issues Awareness, and Career Enhancement Assistance. Perhaps, even more important are our less tangible accomplishments; such as, continuing to serve as an advocate for the socio-economically disadvantaged of our area.
Our agency was the springboard for and instrumental in founding, the Beaufort-Jasper Comprehensive Health Service Program, Beaufort and Jasper County Family Planning Program, Summer Feeding Programs and the County’s Nutrition Programs for the Elderly in rural areas.
Executive Director – Leroy H. Gilliard
Beaufort-Jasper Economic Opportunity Commission Executive Director Leroy H. Gilliard was born and reared in Georgetown, SC. After graduating from high school he spent 22 years in the U.S. Navy before retiring from service. Mr. Gilliard began his journey in Community Action as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Beaufort-Jasper Economic Opportunity Commission (EOC) in 1978. He then became the Executive Director of Beaufort-Jasper EOC in 1981 and continues to serve as an advocate for the socially and economically challenged. During his tenure with the agency, Mr. Gilliard has partnered with local and national organizations in an effort to continue providing our clients with a vehicle for the achievement and maintenance of family stability and economic self-sufficiency.