In June 2016, CRDA and the Charleston Metro Chamber launched One Region, a global competitiveness strategy for our three-county region. While the CRDA has been strategically-driven since its founding in 1995, previous five-year strategies focused on economic and business development tactics and priorities. One Region refocused us and the Charleston community on a broader set of issues impacting our market’s global competitiveness.
My colleague, Jenna Edwards recently wrote about the Global Fluency component of One Region. Global demand to be in the U.S., especially for advanced industries increasingly driving Charleston’s economy, is stronger than anywhere else in the developed world. Globally competitive cities and regions attract the world’s best companies, talent, and entrepreneurs. These cities are poised to disproportionately grow their jobs, wages, talent, investment, and wealth. And that includes Charleston.
Charleston is competitive for jobs, investment, companies, talent, and entrepreneurs in aerospace, automotive, life sciences, IT, advanced logistics, chemicals, and advanced materials. CRDA’s team targets global companies in these high-impact sectors and the companies respond.
We host over 100 company visits annually; the vast majority in the growing clusters identified above. Just in the past few days, CRDA hosted companies from the UK, Germany, India, and Israel. Concurrently, we responded to three RFIs, placing Charleston in competition for projects in manufacturing, IT, and distribution.
These companies will locate around our three-county region, providing shorter commuting options and higher wages for many Charleston-area residents. Our universities, technical college, high schools, and training programs are producing workers who can compete for these new jobs along with the 34 residents per day arriving in our region in search of new opportunities.
These new jobs in competitive industries are raising wages in the region, allowing multiple families to improve their standards of living. Charleston is a “hot” market. While we work together to sustain our economic momentum, we would be wise to remember that hot streaks don’t last forever, so let’s enjoy this one while it lasts.