The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce (CMCC) and Charleston Regional Development Alliance (CRDA) will share the initial findings today of “One Region,” a strategic planning initiative designed to create a multi-year economic development, global competitiveness strategy for Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties.
Launched late last year, the strategic planning process has taken six months to complete and will result in three in-depth reports: A Competitive Assessment, evaluating the region’s current competitive strengths and areas in need of improvement; Identification of Target Industry Clusters and Competencies, which will be the target audiences of economic development activities and community enhancements over the next five years; and a Strategic Action Plan, providing a vision, goals and guidelines for addressing critical community challenges, advancing target clusters and competencies, and coordinating activities to accomplish the goals One Region sets out to achieve.
“One Region strategy is important for both external and internal audiences,” Bryan Derreberry, president and CEO of CMCC, told Palmetto Business. “Twenty-first century businesses are evaluating metro areas based on their ability to support a globally competitive, knowledge/information-based economy. The strategy and the detailed plan to follow will demonstrate Greater Charleston’s capacity to present a regional environment that fosters speed to market, collaborative multi-sector relationships, innovation capacity, a high productivity workforce and international trade linkages.”
In addition, the strategy will be a direct force for private, public, civic and elected leaders in providing a set of assets and resources that address the competitive needs and interests of current and future employees, and their skilled workforces, Derreberry said.
“This plan’s value-based design will serve multiple constituencies, starting with the traditional economic development core of businesses and their required talent,” he said. “A unique and defining quality of the plan is that its breadth and scope go beyond the traditional starting and stopping place – job creation.”
Avalanche Consulting and McCallum Sweeney Consulting, the team that facilitated the Opportunity Next 2010 strategy, also are facilitating the One Region strategic planning process.
“We are excited and pleased that the plan will serve the whole region and increase the wealth and well-being of all low country residents,” Derreberry said. “Every facet of work and living in Greater Charleston is addressed by the plan from income equality with competitive major metros to housing attainability to infrastructure sufficiency and safety to education to talent attraction and assimilation. As we establish the region’s future road map, One Region will define the ‘signposts’ along the way.”
Derreberry said that at its core, One Region Strategy aims to make the Charleston region a “smarter community,” which places it in a better position for future success.
“The strategy has allowed us to evaluate the assets, resources, institutions, and collaborative working relationships we have to see how we can maximize these economic ‘ingredients’ in continuing to assure our support of the businesses already in our high impact economic clusters, and to attract more businesses to these areas of strength,” Derreberry said.