Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Report says young workers flocking to Spartanburg

By Adam Orr
Staff Writer

Two years into a five-year mission and Spartanburg leaders are already touting the payoffs of the OneSpartanburg plan and promising plenty more to come.

Chief among them? Millennials — which includes workers between 25-34-years-old — are flocking to Spartanburg, according to the group, surging by nearly 18 percent over the past five years.

That’s good enough to rank 8th nationally among small metro areas, according to OneSpartanburg.

It’s a data point Allen Smith was keen to highlight Tuesday, as the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce president and CEO detailed OneSpartanburg’s second year scorecard at the University of South Carolina Upstate’s Sansbury Campus Life Center.

“In just two short years we’ve made tremendous progress on all fronts,” Smith said Tuesday. “The issues identified in this plan, if addressed, will position Spartanburg for economic prosperity and I think you’re already seeing that.”

To read the full article click here or email Alexia Eanes.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Ames: Strong community keeps, attracts new businesses

By Brendan Ames

Generally speaking, communities that are thriving are intentional, collaborative and well-resourced.

The Forward Greater Cheyenne initiative is the cornerstone to ensure the future success of our community. Business Retention, Expansion and Attraction (“BRE”) is one of eight key initiatives identified by Forward Greater Cheyenne aimed to be a driving force of that future success.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush … or so the saying goes. How does this relate to BRE? Various studies have illustrated that the expansion of existing businesses within a community represents between 60 percent and 90 percent of a region’s job creation. The future success of our community is directly related to ensuring we champion the businesses that already call the greater Cheyenne area home.

Our community is very engaged and supportive when it comes to creating a network of people that we can connect with. Businesses trust the strong ecosystem currently in place and rely on each other in our community to be successful.

To read the full article click here or email Alexia Eanes.

Report: SVHEC has $66.1M impact on statewide economy

Special to Work It, SoVa

SOUTH BOSTON — The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center had an economic impact of $66.1 million on the statewide economy in fiscal year 2018.

Of that increased economic activity, $57.9 million of it occurred in the Southern Virginia region. These findings are from a newly released report examining the economic impact of the SVHEC on the local and statewide economy.

“We’ve always believed the SVHEC was having a significant economic impact on Southern Virginia, and now we have the data to support that belief,” said Betty Adams, SVHEC executive director. “We pride ourselves on being good stewards of the dollars invested in the SVHEC, and this report shows that the citizens of the commonwealth — especially Southern Virginians — are getting an excellent return on their investment,” she continued.

To read the full article click here or email Alexia Eanes.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Weinstein: Enhancing city’s economic future

By Sam Weinstein

Small businesses are the foundation of our national and regional economies and, in fact, make up about 60 percent of Wyoming’s private sector workforce.

Recognizing this, the Forward Greater Cheyenne initiative sought to assist this effort on a local level with the Cheyenne Center for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship (C2E2). The C2E2 will be the catalyst for small-business growth in our community.

The initial research phase, completed by Market Street Services, revealed that Cheyenne’s entrepreneurial support system is underdeveloped. The Cheyenne community has a breadth of knowledge, support and data available to assist entrepreneurs in starting a business, and for small business owners to attain growth. However, this information lacks cohesion, and the goal of our board is to bring all the information to one location – virtual at first, then a physical brick-and-mortar spot in years to come.

Our aggressive four-part strategy, specified by the Forward Greater Cheyenne plan, includes the following pieces:

To read the full article click here or email Alexia Eanes.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Withers: Wyomingites need more opportunities for degrees

By Kim Withers

Editor's Note

The following is the second in a series of eight guest op-eds from leaders of the Forward Greater Cheyenne initiative…

Successful communities do two very important things.

First, they create a quality of life and sense of place where people want to live. Second, they develop those individuals into a quality workforce and engaged citizenry.

These two goals are at the core of the recently released Forward Greater Cheyenne plan and its eight strategies. I have the pleasure of serving as the strategy coordinator for the plan’s third category, titled LCCC Expansion: Applied Baccalaureate Degrees.

When it comes to workforce here in Laramie County, we have incredible strengths, but also some frightening facts. The community has a strong, middle-skills educated workforce. Not surprising, with LCCC in our backyard. Cheyenne ranks 14th out of 382 metropolitan statistical areas in regard to the percent of the adult population with an associate degree.

However, Cheyenne slides to the bottom, ranking 236th out of 382 for bachelor’s degree attainment. And it’s getting worse. The percentage of our adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher actually declined between 2011 and 2016 in Laramie.

To read the full article click here or email Alexia Eanes.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Chen: Get ready to see downtown transformation

By JJ Chen

Editor's Note:The following is the first in a series of eight guest op-eds from leaders of the Forward Greater Cheyenne initiative.

It is an honor to coordinate the acceleration and revitalization of downtown Cheyenne. I am on a quest to promote downtown as an incrementally more amazing place.

Cheyenne’s history is enviable, and our glory days of the past shine a bright path for our future, as well. Downtown Cheyenne is the historic core – and therefore heart – of the City of Cheyenne.

As the heart of the city, downtown Cheyenne’s purpose is to inspire and keep all of Cheyenne alive! It does this by instilling faith, hope and trust, not only in its permanent citizens, but also its many visitors.

We are at the crossroads of deciding what future we want for ourselves. Some desire preserving the feel of a quiet small town, while others foresee the inevitability of measured and tempered growth.

To read the full article click here or email Alexia Eanes.

Forward Greater Cheyenne launches community improvement plan

By Chrissy Suttles, Wyoming Tribune Eagle

CHEYENNE – A new association re-imagines Cheyenne as a competitive hub for young professionals – home to a thriving downtown district and new educational opportunities.

Members of Forward Greater Cheyenne, a partnership among local economic development organizations and government officials, revealed plans to meet these goals Thursday.

Priorities include downtown revitalization, Greenway development and Laramie County Community College expansion.

As proposed, many of the projects would rely on city, county or LCCC funds for completion.
Forward Greater Cheyenne was established last year to enhance Laramie County’s Front Range influence. The group hired Atlanta-based Market Street Services to develop community assessments, economic profiles and realistic implementation strategies.

Now, a board of directors, alongside eight community strategy coordinators, will oversee the project’s implementation. 

To read the full article click here or email Alexia Eanes.