One Spartanburg Public Launch

OneSpartanburg is the culmination of a nine-month, six-phase research and strategic planning process aimed at identifying how to raise levels of prosperity and improve quality of life for all Spartanburg County residents.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

by Meagan Rethmeier, Executive Vice President One Spartanburg

Spartanburg, SC – On behalf of a 52-member steering committee and the thousands of community members who contributed to the planning process, the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce announces the launch of the county’s five-year community and economic development strategy called OneSpartanburg.  OneSpartanburg is the culmination of a nine-month, six-phase research and strategic planning process aimed at identifying how to raise levels of prosperity and improve quality of life for all Spartanburg County residents.
 
A new entity was launched.  This entity, OneSpartanburg, in conjunction with dozens of community partners and hundreds of volunteers, will drive the five-year process of implementation.
 
Facilitated by Market Street Services, an Atlanta-based consulting company, the process to develop the strategy began in January of 2016.  The foundation of the OneSpartanburg plan is based on community feedback and comprehensive data and research.  In particular, Spartanburg’s effort to collect community input included an online survey which yielded 3,180 responses – one of the highest totals in any community that has undergone this process.
 
The result of the OneSpartanburg strategic planning process was the identification of eight “stories”, or opportunities that Spartanburg County must address through strategic action in order to elevate the entire the community.  The eight stories are as follows:
 
Low Educational Attainment and Signs of a Growing Gap
Spartanburg County’s Economy: A Competitive Edge in Manufacturing and Transportation Bolsters Prosperity
Uneven Prosperity and Rapid Growth in Childhood Poverty Threaten Long-Term Outcomes
Homegrown Talent: Raising Standards and Retaining the Best and Brightest
A Significant Need for Young Talent in a Challenging Regional Environment
Quality of Life and Place Enhancements are Vital to Better Talent Attraction and Retention
Entrepreneurship: Unrealized Potential
Community Cohesion and Identity: From a Mill Village History to #OneSpartanburg
 
In order to address each of these eight stories, an action-oriented implementation plan was created.  The five-year implementation plan contains numerous programs and initiatives, measurable objectives, timelines and recommended staffing and funding. A budget of $5.1 million was established for this historic five-year effort. In two and a half months, $3.3 million has been secured.  On January 24, a public campaign was launched to close the balance.
 
The OneSpartanburg budget will fund seven new positions, programs, and innovative approaches to the identified issues.  Education, economic development and marketing professionals will all join the OneSpartanburg team and each will work to address the issues identified in the strategy.
 
The EVP of OneSpartanburg, Meagan Rethmeier, was named at the launch.  Rethmeier is a native of Spartanburg, a graduate of Wake Forest University, and has a background in project management working for the BB&T corporate headquarters. “I am excited about this opportunity to work on behalf of this unprecedented effort called OneSpartanburg. Our community has a real opportunity to create positive change and improve the quality of life for all Spartanburg County residents through this plan.”
 
Additionally, the creation of a downtown economic development entity was also announced.  The Downtown Development Partnership will work with partners to incite new investment and stoke new job creation in the downtown area.  The search for an Executive Vice President of the Downtown Development Partnership is underway.
 
One of the critical components of this project will be the need for accurate data and performance metrics to assess the plan’s progress and influence long-term results. OneSpartanburg is excited to announce a strategic partnership with the Spartanburg Community Indicators Project, a leader in measuring and reporting community data. Over the past 30 years, the Spartanburg Community Indicators Project has presented data about the local community in order to foster dialogue and positive change in Spartanburg County. This partnership will elevate the community outreach and engagement of the Spartanburg Community Indicators Project and provide reliable performance measurements to evaluate the progress of the OneSpartanburg Implementation Plan.
 
For more detailed information on the strategic planning process, to donate to OneSpartanburg, or to sign-up as a volunteer, please visit onespartanburg.com.
 
 
Contact:
 
Allen Smith                                                                  Meagan Rethmeier
(864) 594-5010                                                           (864) 594-5040
asmith@spartanburgchamber.com                        mrethmeier@spartanburgchamber.com     
 

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