COLUMBIA, SC – Columbia Opportunity Resource (COR) continues to build local champions through talent retention initiatives, could you be next? Crash Course Columbia, a day-and-a-half immersive experience driving passion for the region, returns with spring tours April 28-29 and May 19-20. The initiative was founded in 2020 and has held six tours since the pandemic with a wide range of participants. Whether new to Columbia or a life-long resident, all who have participated in Crash Course Columbia have walked away with a reenergized enthusiasm for the greater Columbia, S.C. region.
What to expect on Crash Course Columbia
This season of tours kickoff Thursday evening in Five Points with cocktails at the Graduate Hotel followed by dinner at Saluda’s. Friday morning starts with coffee and breakfast from one of Columbia’s oldest treasures, Drake’s Duck-In, a guided walk down Main Street with Historic Columbia and a visit to the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden where attendees will get a one of a kind experience with the animals. The adventure continues through the afternoon with lunch at WeCo’s newest addition, D’s Wings, and a stroll on the Cayce Riverwalk with Palmetto Outdoors. After working up a thirst for local refreshments, the tour will receive a private tasting at Steel Hands Brewing with head brewer and a professional development session. The day concludes with an art crawl through The Vista and happy hour overlooking downtown Columbia’s sunset at The Capital City Club. Transportation and all expenses are included throughout the tour. Each year, Crash Course will return with a new itinerary to highlight new developments and local gems.
“It’s exciting to see Crash Course Columbia participants learn something new about our region, whether they’ve been here for a week or their entire life,” says Ashley Elsey, co-founder of Crash Course Columbia, COR Chairperson. “I am pleased to share that all who have participated have walked away with a re-energized optimism for our region’s growth.”
Tickets on sale for spring tours — April 28-29 and May 19-20
Tickets are on sale now and open to the public. Tickets are $500 per attendee and include the cost of all food and drink, experiences, and transportation. Currently, COR is offering a discount to existing members of any local networking organization to come through Crash Course Columbia for $399. All participants who go through Crash Course Columbia receive a complimentary one-year COR membership (a $75 value).
Packages are available for businesses that plan to send multiple team members through Crash Course Columbia. Since the program’s inception, 15 corporate partners have participated, including Ag First, Capgemini, Chernoff Newman, and Nephron Pharmaceuticals.
“We are thankful for our corporate partners who have committed to sending staff through the program,” says Kelsey Carmichael, co-founder of Crash Course Columbia, COR Vice Chair of Strategic Initiatives. “We hope to see more companies incorporate Crash Course Columbia into their onboarding process or as incentives for employees.
COR recently had the opportunity to showcase its Talent Retention programs to Columbia Mayor, Daniel Rickenmann, and city council members. “Retaining talent is a vital component to the advancement of our region. COR is committed to making a positive impact in talent retention through programs like Crash Course Columbia,” says Dr. Aditi Bussells, Columbia City Council. “I encourage locals to participate in the program and walk away as local champions who are connected to the fabric of our region’s culture, take part in the forward-movement of the community and choose to stay in Columbia.”
Crash Course Columbia thanks its current program sponsors, Blue Bike SC and Fit Columbia, and all of the participating local partners that make each tour a unique insider experience. COR’s strategic partners — Experience Columbia SC and City of Columbia Economic Development — play a vital role in Crash Course Columbia.
Capture Columbia, a student-focused talent retention initiative, returns this summer
COR’s second talent retention initiative, Capture Columbia, will return this summer for its second year. Capture Columbia is a program for students participating in summer internships throughout the Midlands. The program consists of four events and graduation where participants will learn about the community through experiences, build their networks, and participate in community service efforts throughout the summer. Applications for the 2022 Capture Columbia class will be open on April 26th.