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Looking Back, Looking Ahead in the Corridor

Here at the South Carolina I-77 Alliance we’re looking for another productive, even exciting, year showing prospective new employers why the four counties from Charlotte to Columbia are great places to invest and grow.

First, let’s look back just for a moment. The past year was our third year in operation, one where we traveled a lot, met with a lot of targeted prospects, and graduated from a startup to a more sophisticated, streamlined operation, well established and recognized.

Importantly, we also gained significant traction in providing hard numbers around the opportunities here.

Exhibit A is our new Regional Workforce Study, an 84-page report that drills deep into demographics such as workforce age, education, skill levels, commuter patterns, and employment levels and sectors.

The study shows how we’re really two labor sheds here, each with about 1.2 million people that are overall younger and more educated than the national averages. The two labor sheds are intricately linked, and we’re dedicated to helping their economic developers deepen that collaboration.

The workforce study itself is a powerful complement to the I-77 Alliance Data Center and other features of our expanded web presence, including updated availability of sites prime for development in Richland, Fairfield, Chester and York counties.

Our annual summit also keeps growing, in 2017 attracting nearly 140 attendees at our Richburg headquarters to hear from Sen. Lindsay Graham and Gov. Henry McMaster and about the dynamic, diverse growth occurring in the corridor.

That diversity shows in the announcements themselves. The S.C. Department of Commerce made 14 of them in the corridor in 2017, accounting for $525.4 million in pledged capital investment and at least 3,268 new jobs. Behind those numbers: these 14 announcements were in 10 different manufacturing verticals as well as in IT/software, distribution, research and development, and even a corporate headquarters.

We know the corridor’s success is dependent on the national and international economy. But we also know that opportunities not pursued will be opportunities missed, and that such diversity will help the corridor and its people weather the invariable ups and downs.

As for the year ahead, we’ll further refine our marketing and lead generation activities, especially in digital channels, while we continue to identify and pursue face-to-face meetings with new prospects to share with public and private developers who do the work of sealing the deals.

We’ll also deepen our collaboration with other organizations like us around the state and with consultants and other experts around the region.

We want to hear from you. Our CEO Rich Fletcher is at rich.fletcher@i77alliance.com or (803) 789-3530. Chris Finn, director of research and marketing, is at chris.finn@i77alliance.com or (803) 789-3467.

Our Twitter handle is @scI77alliance. Here we are on Facebook. We’re on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/south-carolina-i-77-alliance/.

Next Up: In February, be on the lookout for our regional impact analysis on these dynamic, diverse corporate announcements. We’ll see you then.

Dig Deeper into the Numbers. Visit the Economic Data Center