College of Charleston establishes Office of Economic Development

College of Charleston
November 14, 2011

The College of Charleston has established a new Office of Economic Development, college officials announced today.

The goal of the new office will be to promote economic development in the Lowcountry and throughout South Carolina. The College of Charleston will provide academic and service activities in support of business and industrial growth.

The Office of Economic Development will foster cooperation and collaboration between the College, state and federal government agencies, and businesses of all sizes. The College will serve both new business ventures and the established business community.

“In the past, the College has often responded in a piecemeal fashion to the requests and needs of the business community,” said George Benson, President of the College of Charleston. “With the new office, we will respond quickly and strategically to new opportunities for job creation and economic growth.”

Examples of economic development services that could be coordinated or offered by the College of Charleston include executive education, workforce training programs, and facilitating collaboration between business leaders, entrepreneurs, faculty experts, and consultants.

“We market the three-county Charleston region as a globally competitive location for business and talent,” said David Ginn, president and CEO of the Charleston Regional Development Alliance. “The College of Charleston equips the brightest minds with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in the 21st Century global workplace and to build successful careers in Charleston.

“As such, the College is an essential contributor to the economic health and well-being of our region. We expect this new economic development program will provide vital support and resources, as we work together to drive economic prosperity throughout the Charleston region,” he added.

The College of Charleston already has a close connection with the CRDA and its economic development mission. Benson serves on the CRDA’s Economic Leadership Council. Steve Osborne, the College’s Executive Vice President for Business Affairs, is a member of the CRDA Board of Directors.

“The CRDA values its relationship with the College of Charleston,” said Ginn. “The Office of Economic Development will be an important step towards building a globally competitive economy for the Charleston region.”

The Office of Economic Development will be led by Robert Marlowe, a businessman who has worked in governmental affairs at the College of Charleston. Marlowe will become Senior Vice President for Economic Development and Government Relations.

“I commend the College of Charleston for this new commitment to our state’s economic development,” said Bobby Hitt, Secretary of Commerce for South Carolina. “Bobby Marlowe will do a great job as the leader for this program.”

“Our strategic plan calls for the College of Charleston to do more for our community and our economy,” said Benson. “In addition to supplying highly educated and highly skilled college graduates, in the future we will significantly expand the advice, consulting, and training we provide directly to the business community.”

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