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Industrial Park - A Teenage Perspective

July 24, 2018
By Elise Osteen

Industrial Park - A Teenage Perspective
Mount Franklin Nutritionals

Today was the day to explore the production side of Sumter County. And where better to do that then my favorite place to visit, the industrial park. I’m kidding, but in all seriousness, it really proved to be an extremely helpful learning experience. After spending all Tuesday morning finishing Mondays blog (oops,) I went to another one of my favorite local places to eat, Baker’s Sweets, with my friend Sarah. Unfortunately, most of our conversations that took place at lunch are confidential, like most topics within a high school friendship are, but to sum it up, it was an eventful lunch with good food and good company.

After lunch, I drove on down to the industrial park and, honestly, I don’t really know what I was expecting to see, but the amount of large buildings in one area is a little spooky to me. Nonetheless, I was able to talk to someone at three out of the five places in Live Oak Industrial Park that I visited (not bad if I do say so,) with the first one being Eaton Corporation. Eaton provides electrical services and switchboards for various customers across the globe. I spoke to the first HR Manager and face painter I’ve ever met, Detra Mardis. She loves the people she works with, but also loves going home to her twins and her husband. And, even though she lives in Columbia, she really enjoys Sumter and it’s nice atmosphere. The region she lives in is satisfying, but like most of us, would much rather live on a tropical island. I second that.

Next, I visited Mount Franklin Foods. I met with Jonathan Sterling, who when asked what his job was at the plant, responded “everything,” but later informed me that he’s the Plant Quality Development Manager. They produce nutraceuticals (which I’ll admit I had to ask how to spell,) to provide for major brands and retail. Even though he’s only lived in Sumter for two years, he seems to enjoy it. Other locations of Mount Franklin Foods include El Paso, Texas and somewhere in Mexico. Aside from all this, Jonathan also serves as the music director at Alice Drive Baptist Church. Thankfully, he is also a Gamecock fan and even has a rug in his office to prove it.

My last stop of the day has probably been my favorite thus far. I went to the International Paper Company and talked to the Plant Clerk, Adrian. This company has locations across the globe, Including India, which just so happens to be where Adrian has decided she does not want want to live because of the snakes that come out of those baskets on the streets like you see in the movies. Industrial Paper Company has been working on expanding its boundaries for exciting and new projects for the company. She was kind enough to show me around the office space and even show me behind the scenes of how the paper is cut and shipped off. Pretty neat stuff. I learned today that this site specifically cuts the paper into sheets and also that hippos cause the most deaths in Africa. I’m not really sure how we got on that last topic, but it seemed blog-worthy, so I had to write it down. About halfway through my hour-long talk with Adrian, I decided to just put down my notebook and listen. She is definitely one of the most entertaining people I have met here in Sumter, and I am convinced she is me in the form of a 55-year-old woman. We both agreed that the world is an incredible place that should definitely be explored during everyone’s life time if given the chance, even though Sumter is an exciting place to live, and that the value of differences are very important. There’s a vast majority of cultures all around us, and learning about them, she said, is very beneficial. Even though she claims she is now a POT (pretty old thing) instead of a PYT (pretty young thing,) Adrian is without a doubt one of the most interesting people I’ve gotten to talk to so far. Scratch that. One of the most interesting people I have EVER talked to. Might I add, she’s lived in Hawaii, Illinois (but hated it,) and grew up in Jersey. Adrian is a gem of Sumter, and I will for sure come back to visit.

 


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Industrial Park - A Teenage Perspective
Mount Franklin Nutritionals