(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – EngenuitySC, a nonprofit that works to make the Columbia, South Carolina, region a standout choice for top talent and competitive companies, has announced the schedule for its third annual Midlands Regional Competitiveness Week, Jan. 24 through 31, 2020. Presented by BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, the week will include events that focus on the ideas, initiatives and people impacting long-term competitiveness and economic growth across the Midlands. Find full details at www.competitivenessweek.com.
The Report: How Does the Columbia, S.C., Region Measure Up?
The hallmark event of Competitiveness Week is EngenuitySC’s 2019-20 Midlands Regional Competitiveness Report launch event. The report is an annual benchmarking tool providing regional leaders in government, business, education and more with data and analysis on the economic competitiveness of the Midlands in relation to other regions in the Southeast.
The unveiling of the 2019-2020 report results will be held Monday, Jan. 27 from 4:15 to 7 p.m. at the new Central Energy event venue in the BullStreet District in downtown Columbia, S.C. Registration is required. Interested parties may register to attend free of charge here: https://mrcr2020.eventbrite.com.
Members of the EngenuitySC team and board will be joined by leaders from local municipalities, members of the Midlands Business Leadership Group (MBLG: a coalition of more than 50 CEOs and executives from the region’s largest employers), private sector leaders, nonprofit leaders and individuals who are interested in learning more about the region’s economic competitiveness.
EngenuitySC Vision Award Winner: Dr. Harris Pastides
At the event, Steve Benjamin, founding co-chair of EngenuitySC and Mayor of Columbia, will award the annual EngenuitySC Vision Award to Dr. Harris Pastides, immediate past president of the University of South Carolina and longtime board member and founding co-chair of EngenuitySC.
Keynote and Report Results
A keynote address on the efficiency and impact of cooperation and collaboration will be delivered by Jay Byers, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. (Des Moines is a nationally recognized exemplar for successful regional economic development through a collaborative approach.) In addition, Dr. Joseph Von Nessen, research economist in the Division of Research at the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business, will announce the results of the 2019-20 report.
Scott Graves, an EngenuitySC board member and president of the Private Business Division at BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, notes the value of solid data and its role in continuing the region’s upward mobility.
“On behalf of EngenuitySC, we are eager to once again announce the results of the Midlands Regional Competitiveness Report,” says Graves. “Understanding the data and how it informs our region’s next steps is critical for continued economic growth. We know that the communities within the Midlands offer a great quality of life — and the word is getting out! However, the data also tells us that opportunities exist to positively shape our future and increase the visibility of our region. This year’s report lays out five specific opportunities — one related to each of the five pillars of economic competitiveness — that could make a huge difference on Columbia’s ability to compete, and help solidify its reputation as a desirable place to live, work and raise a family.”
View prior years’ reports and find the 2019-20 report after its Jan. 27, 2020 release here: https://www.engenuitysc.com/competitiveness-report/.
An Engaging Week of Public Events
A variety of public events during Midlands Regional Competitiveness Week will include the Cayce Stroll on State, the UofSC McNair Entrepreneurship Showcase featuring keynote speaker Steve Forbes, and a live jazz supper club experience hosted by artist entrepreneur Mark Rapp and the Cola Jazz Little Big Band.
An additional five events are open to those who register in advance, including an event at the Lexington Chamber discussing Lexington County’s rapid development, a women in technology luncheon hosted by global tech giant Capgemini, Central Carolina Community Foundation’s “Table Talk” event, a social media workshop in partnership with Experience Columbia SC (Columbia’s regional destination marketing organization), and the aforementioned launch of the sixth annual Midlands Regional Competitiveness Report.
“Our 2020 Competitiveness Week lineup includes a diverse array of entrepreneurs, businesses, nonprofit organizations and educational institutions — a perfect reflection of everything it takes to make the Columbia region a place businesses, individuals and families want to call home,” says Meghan Hickman, executive director of EngenuitySC. “We are honored to draw attention to so many exciting individual and collaborative efforts.”
What is EngenuitySC?
Governed by the highest-ranking regional leaders in education, government and business, EngenuitySC is a nonprofit that works to make the Columbia, S.C., region a standout choice for top talent and competitive companies. Structured as a neutral and independent project management team, EngenuitySC is known for achieving progress through partnerships using a unique, highly effective process. The board is steered by founding co-chairs Steve Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia and Bob Caslen, president of the University of South Carolina, under the leadership of current board chair Lee Bussell of Chernoff Newman. Find out more about EngenuitySC at www.engenuitysc.com.