Updates from EngenuitySC.
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April 30, 2019

Talent is the top driver for economic development decisions

It’s no secret that availability of talent is a huge driver for companies looking to grow. A quick look at Amazon’s HQ2 search - and their selection of some of the nation’s fastest-growing tech talent pools - highlights that. Each year, Area Development magazine polls CEOs and corporate site selectors on a variety of economic development topics. Over the past decade, a clear upward trend has identified skilled labor as the number-one consideration when companies look to establish a new location.

What does that mean for Columbia? First, it is critical to retain the talent we already produce from the University of South Carolina, Midlands Technical College and many other regional higher education institutions. These students are a ready-made pool of applicants for entry-level positions, but companies must be intentional about building relationships that bridge the gap from school to job. The second key element is attracting talent. Building a strong brand as a place where people want to live, learn, work and play is essential to attracting talent. We need to encourage residents to be ambassadors for the Columbia region on a day-to-day basis, whether while working or playing. 

Ultimately, if Columbia is to reach its potential as one of the most economically competitive metros in the Southeast, our collective efforts must focus on attracting, retaining and building the next generation of diverse leaders who can shape our region.

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Dress to Impress program wraps up largest year yet

Columbia High School students, pictured with their teachers Robert Craft and Kreshella Goodman, demonstrate business-appropriate attire on April 9. Columbia High School was one of nine Richland One schools, programs and centers to participate in Dress to Impress this year.

From etiquette dinners to interview workshops, shopping trips to fashion shows - the success of EngenuitySC and Richland One’s largest-ever Dress to Impress program relied on the enthusiastic participation of students, volunteers, sponsors, faculty and staff across and beyond nine high schools and high school programs. EngenuitySC is grateful for the support of those who made this program possible, including the faculty at all participating schools; our more than 100 volunteer shopping mentors and mentor sponsors Aflac, Colonial Life, Dominion Energy and First Community Bank; business etiquette instructors Mark Anthony and Georgia Doran at the University of South Carolina; fashion showcase emcees Darci Strickland and Leland Pinder; DJ Prince Ice and photographer Crush Rush; and the staff at participating vendors including Macy’s, Paul Mitchell The School, Seawell’s and 1801 Grille.

Dress to Impress is a soft skills program designed to help high school students attain and retain their first job. Students learn interviewing skills as well as dress code, dining and personal grooming etiquette, all of which they share with their classmates during a culminating fashion and gameshow event.

The Dress to Impress showcases attracted a lot of attention, including that of local media. Check out a few of the news clips below.

WLTX, March 12th
ABC Columbia, March 14th
WIS, March 28th

Save the date: Midlands Gives is May 7

EngenuitySC is once again participating in the Central Carolina Community Foundation’s Midlands Gives event on May 7. Whether you’ve been a supporter of EngenuitySC from the beginning or you’ve recently learned about our mission, we ask for your support on this annual day of giving. You can donate directly to the organization or to one of our team member’s Champion Pages (sometimes, there are even fun surprises from certain team members for their contributors!). As the day draws closer, we’ll share more information about when and how to give, so keep an eye on our social media. We want to break our record and with your help, that can happen!

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Schedule your Competitiveness Report presentation today

If your organization is a Platinum, Gold or Silver level Competitiveness Week supporter, don’t forget to schedule your Competitiveness Report presentation on this year’s report findings. We’re also available for presentations to community organizations. If you’re interested, please contact Will Schenk to schedule.

Schedule Now

Knight Foundation accepting applications for Emerging City Champions Fellowship

The Emerging City Champions Fellowship is currently accepting applications from young civic innovators ages 19-35 in the 26 communities where Knight invests (including Columbia), who have ideas to strengthen urban mobility, improve public spaces and enhance civic engagement in their cities. The fellowship closes for applications on May 12, 2019. You can find the application here.

Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., EngenuitySC is a nonprofit focused on long-term competitiveness and prosperity in the Midlands. EngenuitySC specializes in managing collaborations between business, government, education and community leaders. For more information, visit www.engenuitysc.com.

Copyright © 2019 EngenuitySC, All rights reserved.

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