Charleston Regional Development Alliance Receives Two Excellence in Economic Development Awards from the International Economic Development Council

September 20, 2017

North Charleston, SC (Sept. 19, 2017) – The Charleston Regional Development Alliance has won two high-level awards from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) in the category of communities with a population greater than 500,000:

  • a Gold Excellence in Economic Development Award for its Opportunity Next: Building a Globally Competitive Economy for Charleston, a project in the category of Multi Year Economic Development, and
  • a Silver Excellence in Economic Development Award for its CRDA redesigned 2016 website, a project in the category of General Purpose Website.

The 2017 IEDC Awards was the most competitive year in the award’s history with 625 entries for 24 categories. Both honors were presented at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 19, during the IEDC Annual Conference, which was held Sept. 17 – 20, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The

“On behalf of the IEDC board of directors and Excellence in Economic Development Awards Advisory Committee, congratulations to the Charleston Regional Development Alliance. Not only did they work to provide a necessary service to their community; but also, their participation in the awards program sheds light on their stellar projects which other communities can now use as a benchmark,” said Michael Langley, FM, CEO of GREATER MSP, Minneapolis–St. Paul, MN, and 2017 IEDC Board Chair.

The Charleston Regional Development Alliance is a public/private, non-profit economic development organization supported and led by the region’s most influential business leaders, three county governments, five largest municipalities, and top academic institutions. The CRDA serves as a catalyst for long-term, sustainable economic growth in the Charleston metro area.

“The awards process is a thorough, non-biased and multi-layered process. These are extraordinary accomplishments for all winners, and an overall great effort by all participants. We look forward to next year’s awards competition,” Langley said.

About Opportunity Next: Building a Globally Competitive Economy for Charleston
Opportunity Next was a collaborative effort to supercharge the region’s economy, strengthen employment, and position Charleston for sustained success in a global economy. It balanced new business recruitment, local business retention/expansion, and entrepreneurial support. And it leveraged limited resources by aligning for the first time the region’s community development, workforce development, and economic development initiatives on shared targets.

This multi-year economic development program was planned and implemented from 2010-2016. The planning process began in July 2010 when CRDA engaged Avalanche Consulting and McCallum Sweeney Consulting to facilitate the creation of the community’s most comprehensive economic development initiative. The nine-month planning process included an in-depth competitive assessment of strengths and challenges, target audiences for future economic and workforce development initiatives, a Talent Gap Analysis study, detailed action plans for growing target industry clusters, and an organizational program of work aligning the efforts of regional stakeholders.

About CRDA Redesigned 2016 Website
CRDA’s website communicates the 3-county Charleston region’s brand, assets, professionalism, and vital information. The site was previously redesigned in 2006, and despite yearly tweaks and graphic updates, by 2015 the platform was dated. The goal was to develop an easily navigable, world-class site on par with the best global brands that differentiates Charleston. Designed with key audiences in mind, the site provides a user-friendly experience with easy-to-access data on the region’s high impact clusters, workforce and labor stats, taxes and incentives, entrepreneurial resources, infrastructure, and lifestyle.

The CRDA website turns economic data and stats into interactive storytelling by combining the use of vibrant imagery, dynamic videos, custom-made infographics and easy-to-navigate data pages.

About the International Economic Development Council
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 5,000 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities, by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, IEDC’s members are engaged in the full range of economic development experience. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in a wide variety of settings including local, state, provincial and federal governments, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities and a variety of other institutions. Among many activities which benefit the economy, IEDC’s members create high-quality jobs and develop vibrant communities.


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