Accelerate 2030

Funding our region's solutions

Thriving communities require strong leaders who are willing to meet the challenges and opportunities of shaping its future. The Chamber embraces the responsibility for leading our community into our future.

Accelerate 2030 will fund our commitment to drive solutions for our region through Talent, Government Relations and Leadership. The work we do together through Accelerate 2030 will shape the next decade and beyond.

See How:
Talent Video
Government Relations Video

Learn more about how you can be part of accelerating our region

Eight Years of

Accelerated Success

Almost a decade ago, the Chamber’s Board of Directors recognized the need for added capacity to meet the challenges of transformative economic growth reshaping the Charleston region. Their response was Accelerate Greater Charleston, which launched in 2012.

Fueled by 228 investors over the first two campaign cycles, Accelerate Greater Charleston has focused on tackling our region’s biggest challenges: bridging the talent demand gap and proactively advocating for a healthy business climate.

Thank you to all of our Accelerate Greater Charleston 2 Investors

TALENT ACHIEVEMENTS

Career Academies
60 Career Academies
22 High Schools
125 Business Partners
5 Industry Sectors

TEALS Computer Science
380 Programmer Volunteer Hours per Month
$740K Annual Value Provided to Charleston Region Schools
1,000+ Students in Work-Based Learning Opportunities
250 Students Taught Annually

Youth Apprenticeships
232 Youth Apprentices to Date
125 Host Companies Registered
17 Career Pathways

AGC Scholarships
$400K Funding Awarded
2,495 Credits Earned
72% Credits Attempted and Completed
46% First in Family to Attend College

GOVERNMENT RELATIONS ACHIEVEMENTS

State

  • $640 million new dollars generated annually through the Roads Bill to improve transportation network
  • Automatic Stay and Nuisance Lawsuit reforms protect manufacturers and help move major infrastructure investments forward faster
  • High Impact Incentives help attract and retain more high value STEM jobs
  • During the 2018 Legislative Session, Chamber Lobbyist George Ramsey was in Columbia 53 days and had 68 meetings with legislators and staff.

 

Regional

  • Launched Investment Opportunity Study
  • Successfully opposed blanket moratoriums and other land use restrictions that would further strain attainable housing
  • More than $700 million in new transportation projects in the region since 2006 funded through successfully supported local option sales taxes
  • Reached 1,500+ business influencers and engaged 35,000 community members on social media with the Attainable Housing Campaign
  • Prioritized the region’s top infrastructure projects and lobbied for their inclusion in the region’s long-range transportation plan
  • Every month, local government liaisons Erica Wright and Ian Scott represent business interests at more than an dozen city and county council and other civic meetings.

Three platforms Accelerate Prosperity

To respond to our region’s challenges and opportunities, Accelerate 2030 will focus on three primary platforms: Talent, Government Relations and Leadership.

Meet the Cabinet

Advancing the region’s emerging workforce to bridge the talent gap

Talent

The tri-county will add 35,000 new jobs over the next five years; we must make sure local graduates have the skills necessary to fill high-demand positions. Accelerate 2030 funds the staff and resources to advance our efforts in bridging the gap between our education systems and employers.

Activate
Goal: Increase the percentage of students graduating college and career-ready from 46% to 60%

Advance
Goal: Increase the percentage of degreed adults in the region from 43% to 60%

Align
Goal: Track and analyze the skills and interests of 10,000 high school students to identify where gaps exist with forecasted employer demand

Advocating for regional mobility, livability and a stronger business climate

Government Relations

Thriving communities don’t just happen. They are the result of strong vision, smart planning and collaboration. The Chamber’s Government Relations team advocates on behalf of employers to drive solutions to the region’s most critical challenges. Accelerate 2030 gives the Chamber capacity to engage with government officials at the regional, state and federal levels on a daily basis. Our proactive approach positions the business community’s voice at the front lines of decision-making.

Mobility
Goal: Complete priority infrastructure projects to move people and goods quickly, safely and efficiently

Livability
Goal: Better align housing and land use policies to improve quality of life for all residents

Business Climate
Goal: Reform the legal, regulatory and tax systems to strengthen our competitive advantage

Empowering, engaging and developing leaders to drive solutions

Leadership

The Chamber has a powerful leadership portfolio that develops, engages and empowers our region’s current and future leaders to drive solutions for our future… but we have room to grow. Through Accelerate 2030, we will expand our portfolio with enhanced programs targeted for leaders at every career stage. We will cement the Chamber as the region’s thought leader and the go-to source for business leadership development.

Empower
Goal: With our partners, be a catalyst for a community where diverse perspectives are valued, encourages and essential for the future

Engage
Goal: Activate the next generation of leaders who more accurately represent our community and are prepared to integrate their voices into civic, political and economic positions

Develop
Goal: Enhance our region’s leadership capabilities by training and cultivating 1,000 emerging leaders annually

In Their Words

As the Charleston area's greatest advocate for a prosperous business climate, the Chamber remains the constant voice driving solutions to our region's critical issues.

Len Hutchison, Former Chamber Chairman

In Their Words

Local talent development is essential for our community to achieve continued prosperity. The Chamber is enhancing pathways that connect students to jobs in our region.

Anita Zucker, The InterTech Group, Inc.

Messages from the Chairs

Accelerate 2030's government relations platform is strategically focused on advocating for the policy chances necessary to strengthen the business environment.

Michael Wilson, Ingevity

Messages from the Chairs

We must enhance the talent initiatives with Accelerate 2030 to connect education and business leaders with research and effective programs to produce a competitive workforce.

Lorraine Lutton, Roper St. Francis Healthcare

Messages from the Chairs

Accelerate 2030's leadership platform is about investing in our region's, and your company's, most important asset - human potential.

Tony Boor, Blackbaud

Did You Know?

Accelerate provides the funding for Key Chamber staff –
including our Talent Advancement, Government Relations and Leadership Programs teams.

Talent Advancement Team

Senior Vice President of Talent Advancement
Tina Wirth
843.805.3043
Associate Vice President of Career Preparedness Programs
Suzi Raiford
843.805.3032
Director of the Center for Business Research
Jacki Renegar
843.805.3034
Associate Vice President of Talent Pipeline Strategies
Robin Willis
843.805.3031

Government Relations Team

Senior Vice President of Government Relations
Ian Scott
843.805.3089
Director of Public Policy Analysis
Scott Barhight
843.805.3059
Senior Director of Legislative Government Relations
George Ramsey
843.805.3116
Senior Director of Regional Government Relations
Erica Wright
843.805.3002

Leadership Programs Team

Chief Development Officer
Adrian Cain
843.805.3062
Leadership Programs Director
Katie Istnick
843.805.3028
Vice President of Local Area Programs
Sean Tracey
843.805.3096

Learn More About Accelerate 2030