The Talent Development and Attraction Committee has met twice since the initial kick-off meeting and has established a meeting schedule for the remainder of the planning period.
To date, several committee members have visited the Spark Center in Spartanburg and determined that a tour with the whole committee was merited. A tour has been arranged for Wednesday April 25, 2018 with transportation and lunch provided. We believe the trip will offer insight into a unique business model that can benefit our economic development efforts and other committee members are invited to join us.
The Spark Center is a unique partnership between Spartanburg Community College, Spartanburg County Council and the Area Chamber of Commerce to develop economic growth in Spartanburg County. The Spark Center business model is built around four core business services:
Soft Landings Program
Workforce Employment Services
Small Business Incubator
In researching talent development efforts in other cities and towns our business model is emerging as a unique program. While other efforts emphasize workforce development and have been launched within the past year, the Rock Hill Talent Pipeline Program history dates back to the spring of 2014. Rock Hill is ahead of the curve in identifying talent development as a community need in attracting new technology-based business to the area. Our program emphasis is to build a Knowledge Worker Talent Pipeline Program by connecting local business needs with talented students at Winthrop, Clinton College and York Technical College. There are a number of programs in the city and county that emphasize student High School graduation rates and vocational training, but no other program has the higher education focus that the Talent Pipeline Program has established.
Another unique feature of our program is the cost sharing between businesses in the program and RHEDC. We have enabled start up and small businesses the ability to afford employing accomplished students for up to six months to design and build marketing and social media campaigns, graphic design, web development, and IT functions.
We are currently narrowing our research to cities with similar demographics and are making contact with their staff counterparts to exchange ideas and information to start the process of building a peer network. A list of areas to consider visiting will be presented at our next committee meeting.