OneSpartanburg, a five-year community- and economic-development strategy, recently released its year three scorecard.
Launched in 2013, this plan consists of eight objectives, 42 strategic recommendations and 173 tactical recommendations over four key drivers: talent, economy, image and place.
In reflection of year three, OneSpartanburg showed that the See Yourself in Spartanburg website went live and promotes the city as a place to live and work by showcasing Spartanburg’s opportunities and assets. In addition, the Talent Toolkit was created and utilized by human-resource professionals across the county to help employers attract, retain and develop a diverse and talented workforce. Since 2008, as part of the Spartanburg Academic Movement’s 40/30 Challenge, the percentage of residents 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree has risen to 23.8% from 19.2%. This program’s goal is to increase the number of bachelor’s degree-holding residents to 40% by 2030.
As part of its economy driver, OneSpartaburg also revealed that 13 companies have opened or expanded office operations, which created 64 new jobs with an average salary of $68,000 per year. The Spartanburg, Greenville and Anderson chambers partnered to help increase the capacity of local minority-owned business by offering the Minority Business Accelerator. In addition to working to expand economic opportunities, Spartanburg landed in eighth place on Area Development’s Leading Metro Report, and ranked No. 4 in economic strength and No. 2 in midterm-five year growth.
OneSpartanburg also presented a study for potential uses of the historic Carolina Theatre inside the Montgomery Building. The study found that the space could be used as a 900-1,200-seat multipurpose theater, which could be rented to community organizations. To take steps toward beautification and modernization along the West Main Street corridor leading into downtown Spartanburg, $300,000 was secured from The Group of 100. This project is expected to cost $2.2 million and could include landscaping and street improvements, as well as bicycle-lane additions.
To aid in beautification and cleanup projects, Keep OneSpartanburg Beautiful awarded $14,565 in its first six community-impact grants to the city of Woodruff, the S.C. School for the Deaf and the Blind, the Hampton Heights Neighborhood Association, the Country Club Springs Community and the Forest Park Neighborhood Association.
As an effort to continue to improve Spartanburg’s community pride, OneSpartanburg announced the creation of InTheBurg, a partnership with Gannett and the Spartanburg Herald-Journal to feature ways for residents to become involved with the community and learn about Spartanburg County through activity and involvement. OneSpartanburg also partnered with the Spartanburg chamber to hire Nika White Consulting to create a diversity and economic inclusion plan to ensure opportunities for success and relevant networks are accessible to a diverse group of people. The Spartanburg chamber also launched a new leadership program, Surge. This program brought together 12 community leaders to examine economics, education, equity, health and civil discourse before picking a specific area to tackle together.