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July 30, 2014   
Posted: October 26, 2004
CCU sociology professor shares research on Grand Strands commuter workforce

  Susan Webb  
The Bus from Hell Hole Swamp: Commuting to Work in Myrtle Beach, a talk by Coastal Carolina University sociology professor Susan Webb about her research on Grand Strand hotel/motel workers, will be presented on Tuesday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. in Coastals Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts, room 253.

Webb, who has been researching the subject for nearly a decade, has traced the social and economic circumstances that force workers, mostly women, from depressed rural counties to organize bus transportation to Myrtle Beach for the housekeeping jobs offered by the coasts hospitality industry.

Hell Hole Swamp is not only a real place that sends workers to the Grand Strand but also a metaphor for the rural inland counties of South Carolina, says Webb.

According to Webb, many laborers in the strands housekeeping workforce commute from a nine-county radius, some traveling as far as 125 miles one way each day. Her research incorporates observational, survey and demographic data on the workforce and the counties where the workers live, as well as the history of commuting systems.

Its a little known fact, for instance, says Webb, that both the Williamsburg County Transportation Authority and the Coastal Rapid Public Transit Authority in Horry County were founded in the 1970s largely through the efforts of black ministers who were determined to help members of their communities get to and from work.

Webb joined the Coastal faculty in 1984. She earned a Ph.D. in sociology from North Carolina State University in 1985.

This public discussion is one of a series of 50 such events planned during 2004-2005 by Coastals College of Natural and Applied Sciences to commemorate Coastals 50th anniversary. For more information, call 349-2202. �Hell Hole Swamp is not only a real place that sends workers to the Grand Strand but also a metaphor for the rural inland counties of South Carolina,� says Webb. According to Webb, many laborers in the strand�s housekeeping workforce commute from a nine-county radius, some traveling as far as 125 miles one way each day. Her research incorporates observational, survey and demographic data on the workforce and the counties where the workers live, as well as the history of commuting systems. �It�s a little known fact, for instance,� says Webb, �that both the Williamsburg County Transportation Authority and the Coastal Rapid Public Transit Authority in Horry County were founded in the 1970s largely through the efforts of black ministers who were determined to help members of their communities get to and from work.� Webb joined the Coastal faculty in 1984. She earned a Ph.D. in sociology from North Carolina State University in 1985. This public discussion is one of a series of 50 such events planned during 2004-2005 by Coastal�s College of Natural and Applied Sciences to commemorate Coastal�s 50th anniversary. For more information, call 349-2202.

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