November 20, 2018
By Sam Skardon
Exactly one year ago I was hired to be the Project Director for the One Region Global Competitiveness Strategy.
It’s a big and bold strategy for the three-county Charleston Region. It deals with strengthening our economy, our education systems, equity, housing affordability, preserving our region’s unique character, and improving our connectivity. These elements create long-term success and define the most competitive markets for talent, entrepreneurs, and businesses.
One Region is about building bridges across the region to make the existing efforts of countless individuals and organizations more effective and successful. We make connections across the region, build coalitions, and unite stakeholders behind this strategic roadmap.
Together, we can be greater than the sum of our parts. If our 27 cities, 3 counties, 4 school districts, and thousands of employers and community groups are working to advance a shared vision, we will see successes on a scale none could have achieved on their own.
Over the past year, One Region has convened the staff of municipalities to share knowledge and build relationships between our many cities and towns. We have organized diverse coalitions to cosign grant applications in support of a planned Bus Rapid Transit system. We organized the region to speak with a unified voice about getting more affordable housing tax credits awarded in our area. And my personal favorite, we worked with Charleston International Airport to display multilingual welcome signage in the terminal.
We didn’t do any of this on our own. In each case, we brought people together, collaborated, and used the existing assets of our region to do something new and exciting that helps realize the vision of One Region and ultimately improves our metro’s global competitiveness. That’s the model for One Region.
If you’d like to stay informed or get involved, One Region offers updates via a website and monthly email. Please feel free to reach out with any thoughts or questions, and I look forward to another exciting year of progress in our region.
Email: [email protected]