530ed1b616d54.preview-620 South Carolina State University and the Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce are pledging to continue their partnerships supporting local businesses and the community.

The Chamber’s goal is to get the business community involved with education so students, “understand why they are learning and what they are learning,” Chamber of Commerce President Dede Cook said during a Community and Business Luncheon held on campus Wednesday.

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“We are trying to stop the brain drain,” she said. “We want these students who are being educated in our schools to recognize the growth and strengths of our community so they want to be employed here.”

The gathering brought together university, business and government leaders on the week of President Thomas Elzey’s inauguration as the 11th president of S.C. State. The inauguration will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center.

Elzey said he wants to grow the university and expand the outreach of its small business development center.