Support Us Button Widget

The Intercommunity Leadership Visit

Greenville skyline

Photo by: @chris_leyland_photography

As Spartanburg and Greenville continue to grow rapidly, what will the future look like for the two cities? More importantly, how can we combine forces to positively impact the future of both cities?

Raleigh + Durham, part of the “The Triangle,” which includes the areas anchored by N.C. State, Duke + UNC Chapel Hill, have a long history of working together to “build one of the most economically vibrant metros in the nation.”

To learn from them, The Greenville and Spartanburg Area Chambers of Commerce have organized an Intercommunity Leadership Visit next week. This visit is presented by Upstate real estate developers Hughes Development Corporation + Johnson Development Associates and is open to all Chamber investors interested in learning how other areas are addressing challenges and opportunities in economic and community development.

Trip Agenda:

Plus, Meetings with elected officials, corporate, community and higher education leaders in Raleigh-Durham to share ideas and inspiration.

Who’s going: 100+ Upstate leaders (including architects and developers, academic leadership, small business owners, major employers, non-profit organizations, + more). Community leaders were asked to participate, and the individuals or their companies funded their ability to attend.

Some names you might recognize? David Edwards, President/CEO Greenville/Spartanburg Airport | Nancy Whitworth, Economic Development Director, City of Greenville, Deputy City Manager | Dean Hybl, Director, Ten at the Top | Nancy Halverson, President/CEO, The Children’s Museum of the Upstate | John Moore, CEO, NEXT | Jennifer Harrill, Vice President, United Way of Greenville County | And of course, Mayor Knox White + other reps from the city. (Plus, leaders from virtually every sector of our community.)

Trip Focus: Learning how Raleigh and Durham have partnered to create an economic powerhouse. Understanding how factors of regional economic success in the area like collaboration; strategic development and infrastructure; innovation and entrepreneurship; and workforce talent can apply to Greenville and Spartanburg to advance our area.

Why Raleigh-Durham? The region has seen tremendous growth over the last decade and even more so in the last year. Raleigh-Durham had $3.2 billion in new capital investments and announced 30,000+ new jobs in 2016. #Goals.

The two cities have teamed up on multiple projects over the years – most notably, the Research Triangle Regional Partnership and the Research Triangle Park, which leverages the universities in the region. 50+ tech companies, community organizations + startups have offices in the space, and there are five drop-in, free, flex rooms for public use.

Like Greenville and Spartanburg, Raleigh and Durham worked together to develop an international airport, mixed-use spaces + parks, community events, and music festivals.

For those who want to get involved or keep up with what’s going on (but aren’t attending), check #GSP2RDU on social media. Ask questions about the event here.

So what happens after the Intercommunity Leadership Visit?

We asked Hank Hyatt, VP of Economic Competitiveness at the Greenville Chamber. Here’s what he said:

As GVLToday can attest, there is a lot happening in both Greenville and Spartanburg right now. From affordable housing and transportation to developing new zoning districts to enhance economic development opportunities, it’s difficult to keep up with everything.

So, the first thing we want to do through the visit is to help inform those conversations about important issues that are already taking place in Greenville.

By hearing from leaders in Raleigh and Durham about the challenges and opportunities they have faced, we may be in a better position to address our own challenges and opportunities. What is very unique about this year’s visit is that the Greenville and Spartanburg Chambers are co-leading this effort.

Our focus is on regional collaboration and the trip tagline is Going Far Together. If we can continue to strengthen ties between our communities and across the region, who knows how far we can go?

There will be other follow-activities moving into 2018 but a formal plan has not yet been developed. Once we have had some time to digest our learnings from this visit, we will then be in a better position to communicate our plan moving forward.

There’s no argument that Greenville is growing quickly. Spartanburg is growing almost as fast – don’t believe us? Read this.

We’re excited to see what happens next.

– Jordan