Around the world, forward-looking enterprises are planning for a post-pandemic future. Communities that continued to invest in their infrastructure, workforce, and quality of life assets will be positioned to land those prospects as they decide the time is right to expand.
The five South Carolina counties, comprising the corridor from Charlotte, N.C. to Columbia, S.C., is just such a community where strategic planning and partnerships will build on a long successful run of attracting corporate expansions and relocations.
Serving as the economic development organization for these counties, (Richland, Fairfield, Chester, Lancaster, and York), the South Carolina I-77 Alliance does not manage projects, therefore, 100% of its efforts are focused on filling the project pipeline and supporting the counties’ efforts to create sustainable economic growth.
Where We Are, Who We Are, What We Do
Anywhere in the I-77 corridor, employers can tap into a massive regional civilian labor force of more than 1.2 million people, buoyed by growing metro areas to the region’s North and South. This workforce is living and working in a region boasting robust educational opportunities – particularly technical and workforce readiness education – and an attractive quality of life for those who prefer urban, suburban, or rural living.
Connecting this region to the world is an unparalleled transportation network, featuring easy access to major airports (Charlotte Douglas International is one of the world’s busiest and Columbia Metropolitan is a major cargo hub for UPS and FedEx) and deep-sea shipping (Charleston Port), with multiple interstates and rail lines.
While major South Carolina manufacturers such as Boeing and BMW created the opportunity for an array of suppliers to set up shop in the corridor, there’s also been organic economic expansion in other sectors. Industries thriving across the region now include precision manufacturing, advanced materials, life sciences such as medical equipment and pharmaceutical production, and corporate, finance, and professional services.
The I-77 Alliance Data Center and Site Search Tools
As data analysis drives location decisions, the Alliance has invested in online data solutions for its website and those of the five counties. This presents a unique opportunity for site selection professionals to gather industry, workforce, or property information for multiple communities through a common, unified experience.
While the I-77 Alliance Data Center provides access to current industry and economic data, the Recruit site search tool uses geographic information system (GIS) mapping technology from Esri to guide users to ideal properties while providing cutting-edge workforce and demographic analysis on thousands of data points. Invaluable tools not only for site selection, but also for local workforce development efforts, entrepreneurship and small business, and higher education.
Preparing Now for New Opportunities
At a time when preliminary site visits may be limited and trade shows are canceled, the region’s collaborative economic development ecosystem continues to operate at full speed. As activity climbs back to pre-pandemic levels, our partners are prepared to have prospects see with their own eyes why so many companies are expanding and relocating here.