Sandra Journigan of the Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce, left, and Trina Taylor of Vulcan Materials Company welcome guests to Vulcan for the first EGCC luncheon since February of 2020.

SKIPPERS — In late February of 2020, members of the Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce met at Bon Secours SVMC for the monthly EGCC Luncheon to learn the importance of the local count by the U.S. Census Bureau. The March luncheon was canceled at the last minute as COVID-19 devastatingly showed its presence.

On Wednesday, Chamber members gathered for a luncheon for the first time in nearly two years. Vulcan Materials Company of Skippers hosted the event, and people came in droves to learn about the company and its meaning to the community.

Vulcan Mideast Division Community and Government Relations Manager Denise Hallett reached out to EGCC Executive Director Nancy Rose about hosting a Chamber event at the Skippers quarry.

“We’ve been talking about opening our doors to the community to show them what we’ve been doing for the past 30 years,” Hallett said. “The Chamber of Commerce here in Emporia-Greensville is very responsive. Nancy called right back. You can’t take a quarry into an office. You have to see it on the ground.”

And underground. After eating a lunch provided by Fo Sho, Vulcan visitors gathered to tour the mining facility. They came away impressed. Plant Manager Andy Welton explained the company’s mission.

“We mine rock,” he said. “We make the construction aggregates used in infrastructure building roads, houses, concrete, asphalt — it all starts here.”

Vulcan Materials Company is vital to the Emporia-Greensville economy. Its average annual investment operational and capital expenses are nearly $11 million. Greensville County businesses and organizations receive about $1 million of that money, as well as another $326,000 in property taxes to assist in funding education and services.

Emporia-Greensville benefits from the product produced by the Skippers site. The connection with the CSX Railroad allows shipping of the rock to the coastal areas that do not have the stone needed to build infrastructure.

The rock mined from the quarry constitutes approximately 94% of the aggregate in asphalt pavement and 80% of aggregate in concrete. How much rock is needed for a one-lane mile of a four-lane interstate highway? The answer is 38,000 tons. Vulcan Materials Company is mining a significant amount of rock.

Welton said the company is committed to Greensville County and its citizens. It is also committed to Vulcan employees.

“I say it’s the Vulcan family,” Welton said. “We have 40 employees, and we spend a lot of our time here —probably more than we spend at home. We’re committed to doing the right thing, the right way at the right time. The reason is our employees. They are our neighbors, our community, and our environment. That’s the big reason why we’re here, and we’re doing it.”

On Wednesday, EGCC members took advantage of the opportunity to gather for a Chamber luncheon for the first time in nearly two years. They also got a chance to discover a company that plays a vital role in the Emporia-Greensville economy.