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GamecockEngineer

Columbia Talent Magnet: A Road Map to a Talent-Powered Economy

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"Columbia Talent Magnet - A Road Map to a Talent-Powered Economy - Attracting the Best and Brightest to Columbia" was issued yesterday. The report, along with the press release, can be found at http://www.columbiatalent.com/.

This is the first time I think I've heard of this project. The report doesn't present a specific plan to attract and retain talented young professionals in Columbia; it appears to be more of an effort to get the current professional community engaged in developing a plan.

I find it interesting that residence have such varying views of the city. What do y'all think? What type of city is Columbia now, and how does the region "sell" itself?

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I think this subject deserves its own thread.

I know the study was referenced somewhere on here some time ago. It's good to know that the city is trying to come up with a comprehensive plan here, but honestly I think it's pretty simple: you've gotta have the jobs. And they have to be knowledge-based jobs that pay well. Everything else will come naturally after that. Just look at Raleigh and Austin as examples. Most people who took the survey knew it too. In response to the question, "In your opinion, which of the following issues MOST prevents Columbia from reaching its full potential?," 36.4% of respondents said it was the lack of high-paying, high-skill jobs. That answer received the most responses of any of the other options.

In response to the question, "If you were to leave Columbia, where would you move?," out of 179 respondents, 35 said Charlotte, 27 said Charleston, and 26 said Greenville. Surprisingly, only 8 said Atlanta. About 10 said DC (or that they had already moved there).

In terms of areas of improvement, the two things that seemed to come up over and over again were homelessness and leadership from city government.

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It is surprising that only 8 said Atlanta. IF I were to leave Columbia it would probably only be for New York or Boston, but you guys aren't getting rid of me that easily.

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Gallup surveyed 400 Columbia-area residents earlier this year about their perceptions of the community and what they considered important to make them feel more attached. According to the survey, the things that attach residents to the area are colleges, parks, affordable housing, quality health care, night life, and openness of its people. But the region needs to improve perceptions of how it treats recent college grads and gays, according to the study funded by the Knight Foundation.

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I found it interesting that one of the things that are important to Columbians that they rated highly about the city was aesthetics: parks, trails and physical setting.

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I'm surprised that the comments section accompanying this article isn't quite as negative overall as some have been in the past.

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I think Gallup has a better reputation for statistically valid surveys than most firms. People by and large like Columbia. Its a great city.

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A related article in The State recently that talks about how to prevent the statewide flight of college grads to other cities/states. The title says "SC" but it's more Columbia-focused: http://www.thestate.com/2012/09/03/2423540/sc-faces-tough-challenge-to-keep.html

The bottom line is that locally, only so much can be done when you're working with state leadership with no vision and misplaced priorities.

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