VisionGreenwood’s Lakelands Emerging Technology Council to Host the World’s First Artificial Intelligence High School Art Competition

VisionGreenwood’s Lakelands Emerging Technology Council to Host the World’s First Artificial Intelligence High School Art Competition

Greenwood, S.C. – (October 28, 2022) – VisionGreenwood, an established community partner dedicated to making Greenwood the best place in which to live, work and raise a family, has partnered with The Arts Center of Greenwood to present the world’s first Artificial Intelligence (AI) High School Art Competition. The Lakelands Emerging Technology Council (LETC), a technology savvy group of local leaders brought together by VisionGreenwood earlier this year, has been instrumental in bringing this one-of-a-kind opportunity to Greenwood County’s youth.

The competition’s entries are original works of art created by students who utilized the Midjourney artificial intelligence art-generation technology platform. Themed “Imagine Greenwood,” the competition was open to all high school students across Greenwood County’s three school districts as well as private schools.

“There is no question that technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics are now impacting every facet of our lives. What makes AI art so fascinating is that it is created by one’s own imagination and by using very descriptive text prompts to direct the AI to create the artwork,” said Kay Self, Executive Director of VisionGreenwood. “I am looking forward to seeing how our local students utilized AI art-generation technology, fueled by their imaginations, to envision the future of Greenwood.”

John R. McElligott, CEO of York Exponential, a robotics and artificial intelligence company, and a member of the Lakelands Emerging Technology Council, has firsthand experience with this specific type of AI technology. In fact, he recently used it to illustrate a children’s book that garnered national attention.

In a recent interview with the Index-Journal, McElligott noted that new ways to use artificial intelligence and robotics will emerge as the technology advances – especially as these fields move toward computer science capabilities that allow people to communicate with AI in the same way they would talk to someone versus complex computer coding.

“You don’t have to be a coder or Ph.D. to leverage this technology,” McElligott told the Index-Journal. “The fact that Greenwood students will be among the first in the nation to do this is a really big deal. You can communicate with this AI on a laptop, or even a smartphone.”

Jennifer Smith, Gallery & Marketing Director for The Arts Center of Greenwood noted, “We are thrilled to partner with VisionGreenwood on this cutting-edge project encouraging students to embrace the potential of new technologies, explore diverse opportunities for creativity and play an active role in expanding the sphere of visual language.”

The AI-generated artwork created by Greenwood-area high schoolers will be on display at The Arts Center of Greenwood during an open-to-the-public exhibition and reception from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday evening, November 3. Following a brief educational presentation by John McElligott at 6:45 p.m., first-, second- and third-place winners, along with a People’s Choice award, will be revealed. Cash prizes totaling $550 will be presented to the winners. The AI-generated printed artwork will remain on display for public viewing and school tours between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Friday, November 4.

Beginning Sunday night, October 30, and each evening leading up to Thursday night’s reception, images of the entries will be digitally projected in Uptown Greenwood, giving the community a sneak preview of these uniquely created pieces of art.

“This AI Art Competition has given our students a way to learn about new technologies while engaging in a once-in-a lifetime experience. I am extremely proud of how quickly Greenwood’s students adopted this emerging technology. It’s so exciting to watch these young people make history by literally paving the way for other students across the country,” said VisionGreenwood’s Self. “Based on the interest and enthusiasm this inaugural competition has sparked locally, there’s definitely potential for this to become a broader initiative – possibly a statewide or regional competition.”

About The Lakelands Emerging Technology Council
With a focus on emerging technology and innovation, VisionGreenwood established the Lakelands Emerging Technology Council (LETC) to bring opportunities to the Lakelands region. Recognizing the relevance and pace of evolving technology, the Lakelands Emerging Technology Council (LETC) helps connect, advance, and advocate for technology advancements in the Lakelands region.

Members of the LETC include:

• Brandon Smith, Mayor of Greenwood and Chairman, VisionGreenwood
• Kay Self, Executive Director, VisionGreenwood
• Charles Angel, President, Due West Robotics & Software Developer for Greenwood Genetic Center
• Les Brown, M.Ed., Director of Information Technology, Self Regional Healthcare
• Dennis Fassuliotis, South Carolina Blockchain, Inc.
• Abdallah Haddad, Chief Information & Technology Officer, Lander University
• John R. McElligott, CEO, York Exponential
• Matt Wiggins, Dean – Workforce Innovation Division, Piedmont Technical College

About Vision Greenwood
VisionGreenwood is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with deep roots in the Greenwood community. Throughout the past 20 years, VisionGreenwood (formerly known as the Foundation for a Greater Greenwood County, Inc.) has invested over $2.9 million into the community by supporting collaborative community development initiatives that provide economic prosperity and enhance the growth and success of Greenwood. The Foundation was originally created to support the former Greenwood Partnership Alliance's charitable operations with a focus on community and workforce development. The Foundation became a stand-alone organization in 2020 and was rebranded as VisionGreenwood in 2021. By intent and design, VisionGreenwood continues to be a community partner that is focused on Greenwood's future, economic growth and development, and quality of life. Learn more at www.visiongreenwood.org.

VisionGreenwood Establishes Lakelands Emerging Technology Council to Help Region Prepare for the Future

VisionGreenwood Establishes Lakelands Emerging Technology Council to Help Region Prepare for the Future

Greenwood, S.C. -  VisionGreenwood, an established community partner dedicated to making Greenwood the best place in which to live, work and raise a family, announces the establishment of the Lakelands Emerging Technology Council (LETC). Comprised of a technology savvy group of local leaders, the LETC will provide guidance and expertise for addressing the emerging, evolving, and exponential technologies that will bring opportunities to the Lakelands region.

The mission of the LETC is to drive technological initiatives that will allow the Lakelands region to thrive in an uncertain and rapidly changing future. Additionally, the LETC believes that every industry must embrace new and emerging technologies to support a prosperous Lakelands community. The LETC unites the region's leaders and empowers businesses, stakeholders, entrepreneurs and community members to achieve the future vision and strategic goals of the region.

"Recognizing that technology is ever-changing, the newly established Lakelands Emerging Technology Council will help connect, advise and advocate for technological advancements in the Lakelands region. This will be especially beneficial to our rural communities as we lay the framework for future success,” said Kay Self, Executive Director for VisionGreenwood.

The Lakelands Emerging Technology Council, which has already met twice, will continue to collaborate on a regular basis. LETC members include:

• Brandon Smith, Mayor of Greenwood and Chairman, VisionGreenwood
• Kay Self, Executive Director, VisionGreenwood
• Charles Angel, President, Due West Robotics & Software Developer for Greenwood Genetic Center
• Les Brown, M.Ed., Director of Information Technology, Self Regional Healthcare
• Dennis Fassuliotis, South Carolina Blockchain, Inc.
• Abdallah Haddad, Chief Information & Technology Officer, Lander University
• John R. McElligott, CEO, York Exponential
• Matt Wiggins, Dean – Workforce Innovation Division, Piedmont Technical College

About Vision Greenwood
VisionGreenwood is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with deep roots in the Greenwood community. Throughout the past 20 years, VisionGreenwood (formerly known as the Foundation for a Greater Greenwood County, Inc.) has invested over $2.9 million into the community by supporting collaborative community development initiatives that provide economic prosperity and enhance the growth and success of Greenwood. The Foundation was originally created to support the former Greenwood Partnership Alliance's charitable operations with a focus on community and workforce development. The Foundation became a stand-alone organization in 2020 and was rebranded as VisionGreenwood in 2021. By intent and design, VisionGreenwood continues to be a community partner that is focused on Greenwood's future, economic growth and development, and quality of life. Learn more at www.visiongreenwood.org.

Photo caption:
Front Row (L to R): Dennis Fassuliotis, Kay Self, Les Brown, John McElligott, and Abdallah Haddad.
Back Row: Brandon Smith, Charles Angel and Matt Wiggins.

VisionGreenwood Announces Digital Economy Ecosystem Program Designed to Foster Economic Growth in Rural Areas of Greenwood County

VisionGreenwood Announces Digital Economy Ecosystem Program Designed to Foster Economic Growth in Rural Areas of Greenwood County

Greenwood, S.C. - VisionGreenwood, an established community partner dedicated to making Greenwood the best place in which to live, work and raise a family, is partnering with the South Carolina Office of Rural Health (SCORH) and the South Carolina Rural Innovation Network (SCRIN) to bring a government grant-funded Digital Economy Ecosystem (DEE) program to Greenwood County. VisionGreenwood will serve as the local organization assisting the SCRIN with the coordination of the DEE certification program that will help position Greenwood for future digital economic development opportunities.

For the third consecutive year, the SCORH has received a Rural Business Development Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to expand South Carolina's DEE program. The DEE program was launched in 2020 with USDA funding to establish digital economy ecosystems in Williamsburg and Barnwell counties. Orangeburg County was added to the project in 2021. This year's grant of $155,447 will bring the program to both Greenwood and Newberry counties.

"With five locations across the state, we have successfully established a DEE network across South Carolina," said Paola Gutierrez, the lead strategist who spearheads the project for the SCORH, along with Kim Bowman, founder and CEO of the SCRIN.

"VisionGreenwood is excited to be part of a proven program that will generate tangible results for the Greenwood community based on the program's success in the three other South Carolina counties," said Kay Self, Executive Director for VisionGreenwood. 

Self further went on to explain, "For those unfamiliar with the term DEE, a digital economy ecosystem features technical education, job training, and community planning to foster technology-based entrepreneurship and remote work opportunities in rural communities. A successful digital economy ecosystem increases digital literacy, creates quality jobs, and builds wealth in the local community."

Over the next several months, community stakeholders will work with SCRIN to develop a rural innovation roadmap that reflects the communities' assets, competitive advantages, and goals for a digital economy. The roadmap may include education, job training, and leadership training in partnership with local libraries, public school systems, technical colleges, and four-year universities.

"In implementing the DEE program, we rely on state and non-profit partners who offer their expertise as we work together to move the needle forward on digital literacy in South Carolina," said SCORH’s Gutierrez.

SCRIN's Kim Bowman elaborated, saying, "A DEE is an interconnected system of people, programs, and structures working together to make it possible for technology-based entrepreneurs, businesses, and workers to thrive," Bowman said. "Every community kickstarts DEE revitalization from a different starting point, but we've seen how the process can encourage community buy-in, attract investors, and build momentum for a new way of life."

When asked about the overall timeline for implementing the program in Greenwood, VisionGreenwood's Self noted, “The DEE project is beginning this month with the first of three Broadband Champion Training sessions starting on September 20.  By the end of June 2023, Greenwood County will have completed its customized roadmap and become a certified community – one of just five in the state.”

 DEE Program Results in South Carolina To-Date

SCORH and SCRIN report that Orangeburg County has completed its roadmap development process and will move into the implementation phase in the coming year. In Barnwell and Williamsburg counties, the DEE project has resulted in new co-working spaces, summer tech institutes for middle and high school students, a program for schools to showcase STEM programs to the business and manufacturing communities, a downtown farmer's market, new courses in drone technology and website design at Williamsburg Technical College and expanded telehealth availability.

 

 About Vision Greenwood

VisionGreenwood is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with deep roots in the Greenwood community. Throughout the past 20 years, VisionGreenwood (formerly known as the Foundation for a Greater Greenwood County, Inc.) has invested over $2.9 million into the community by supporting collaborative community development initiatives that provide economic prosperity and enhance the growth and success of Greenwood. The Foundation was originally created to support the former Greenwood Partnership Alliance's charitable operations with a focus on community and workforce development. The Foundation became a stand-alone organization in 2020 and was rebranded as VisionGreenwood in 2021. By intent and design, VisionGreenwood continues to be a community partner that is focused on Greenwood's future, its economic growth and development, and its quality of life. Learn more at www.visiongreenwood.org.

 

About the South Carolina Office of Rural Health

The South Carolina Office of Rural Health (SCORH) is a non-profit organization with a mission to close the gap in health status and life expectancy between rural and urban communities in the Palmetto State. SCORH has been promoting investment, opportunity and health within rural communities since 1991. With 27 percent of our state's residents living in rural areas, SCORH believes in preserving the unique character of rural communities without compromising their opportunities and access to critical services.

Broadband Pilot Program for Rural Greenwood Could Serve as Model for Other Communities Across the State

Broadband Pilot Program for Rural Greenwood Could Serve as Model for Other Communities Across the State

VisionGreenwood Signs Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the South Carolina Broadband Office, a division of the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS)

Greenwood, S.C. - VisionGreenwood, an established community partner dedicated to making Greenwood the best place in which to live, work and raise a family, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the state agency housing the Office of Broadband Coordinator (SC Broadband Office) to establish a pilot program that will pave the way for bringing high-speed internet to underserved areas of Greenwood County. VisionGreenwood is responsible for providing marketing and coordination for the crowdsourcing system campaign in Greenwood and for facilitating the pilot program.

The pilot program, which launched on December 15, 2021, will establish the viability of developing an analysis to aid in determining the best technology to provide affordable internet service in certain areas of Greenwood County that do not have access to broadband internet services exceeding 25 Mbps upload and 3 Mbps download speeds. The program will utilize crowdsource mapping methodology and analysis provided by GEO Partners, LLC, a consulting group which maps areas by telephonic, cable and broadband companies.

“The past two years have only highlighted the need for fast and affordable broadband to rural communities. The purpose of this new pilot program is to combine the technologies and best practices of the SC Broadband Office and information provided by VisionGreenwood to create a broadband platform that results in enhanced analytics and analytical processes to support potential future grant applications. The program will also allow us to keep an eye on the future,” said Kay Self, Executive Director for VisionGreenwood.

“Technologies like Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR), robotics, and artificial intelligence have grown exponentially over the past two years. As our society moves into Web 3.0 and these technologies merge to form the Metaverse, it is critical that Greenwood has access to the fastest speeds if we are going to thrive as a community in the economy of the very near future. Through our partnership with the South Carolina Broadband Office, what we are doing here in Greenwood is going to serve as a model for other rural communities across the state. Knowing that Greenwood will be the blueprint for the betterment of others makes this initiative extra exciting,” said Self.

The SC Broadband Office, which serves as the central broadband planning body for the state to encourage the continued development of access to broadband, will hold monthly status meetings with the project delivery team to discuss work performed, issues encountered, and work planned for the coming year. “We are excited to work with VisionGreenwood and GEO Partners to encourage rapid broadband deployment in Greenwood County. Internet service is as essential as any other utility service such as water and power; quality internet service is a necessity for education, health care, and for those who work from home,” said Nanette S. Edwards, Executive Director, South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff. “Under the leadership of Senator Garrett – and with the support of Kay Self and VisionGreenwood – Greenwood County is well positioned for universal broadband service.”

Early in 2021, VisionGreenwood established a dedicated Broadband Task Force to identify and seek solutions to Greenwood County’s 10 targeted areas of need. Real-time internet speed data is already being gathered from Greenwood residents through a speed test tool accessible from the VisionGreenwood website. The goal is to gather data in all areas of Greenwood County to pinpoint areas of the Greenwood community that are most in need of reliable, affordable access to broadband service.

“The Greenwood County legislative delegation would like to thank Greenwood County Council Chairman Chuck Moates for continuing to support the Greenwood broadband initiative headed by Kay Self and VisionGreenwood in our united quest for countywide broadband internet coverage,” said South Carolina Senator Billy Garrett, who serves as Chairman of the Greenwood Broadband Task Force as well as the Greenwood County legislative delegation. “As promised, VisionGreenwood will be providing Greenwood County Council with six alternative methods to provide high-quality broadband coverage for the entirety of Greenwood County.” Senator Garrett elaborated, saying “Through the cooperative efforts of VisionGreenwood, GEO Partners, Nanette Edwards of South Carolina ORS, and Greenwood County Council, we will be well on our way to find and implement – with federal, state, local, and private dollars – a high-quality broadband system, both fixed and wireless, throughout Greenwood County. I hope our children will never again be without high-quality broadband coverage for use in school. This will be the future of Greenwood County.”

“This local pilot program has so much potential to positively impact not only the Greenwood area, but also other parts of South Carolina,” said Paul Deming, CEO of Minnesota-based GEO Partners, LLC, which focuses on enabling cost-effective planning and deployment of broadband. “We are steadily making a difference in other regions too. GEO Partners is currently working with Minnesota, Washington, Maine, Kentucky, Nebraska, Nevada, Florida and Wisconsin, as well as the nationally designated Delta Regional Authority that covers parts of eight states along the Mississippi River.”

About Vision Greenwood
VisionGreenwood is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with deep roots in the Greenwood community. Throughout the past 20 years, VisionGreenwood (formerly known as the Foundation for a Greater Greenwood County, Inc.) has invested over $2.9 million into the community by supporting collaborative community development initiatives that provide economic prosperity and enhance the growth and success of Greenwood. The Foundation was originally created to support the former Greenwood Partnership Alliance’s charitable operations with a focus on community and workforce development. The Foundation became a stand-alone organization in 2020 and was rebranded as VisionGreenwood in 2021. By intent and design, VisionGreenwood continues to be a community partner that is focused on Greenwood’s future, its economic growth and development, and its quality of life. Learn more at www.visiongreenwood.org.

VisionGreenwood Partners with SC Codes to Bring Free Computer Coding Courses to Greenwood this Fall

VisionGreenwood Partners with SC Codes to Bring Free Computer Coding Courses to Greenwood this Fall

Greenwood, S.C. - VisionGreenwood, an established community partner dedicated to making Greenwood the best place in which to live, work and raise a family, is pleased to announce an educational initiative designed to help “Level Up” Greenwood when it comes to technology education, specifically as it relates to careers in programming.

“We have partnered with SC Codes to offer FREE in-person coding classes to Greenwood area residents interested in exploring a career in programming – whether they are brand new to code or looking to enhance their technical skills. As SC Codes’ on-the-ground partner in Greenwood, we are excited to join select other communities in the state in providing access to this career advancement platform,” said Kay Self, Executive Director for VisionGreenwood.

An information session is scheduled for Wednesday, September 8th at 5:30 p.m. at the Greenwood County Library for anyone who wants to learn more about this free six-week cohort through SC Codes.“Learning to code can create endless opportunities for folks in South Carolina. However, it’s often very difficult to know where to begin or who to turn to for help as a new learner,” said Kaity Miller, program director for SC Codes. “Our goal is to lower those barriers of entry by providing access to free courses and industry professionals in Greenwood who can share their experience, answer technical questions, and provide career guidance.”

Area residents who enroll in the SC Codes course will get help from professional programmers as they learn the basics of front-end engineering. Starting with an introduction to HTML, they will discover how to build beautiful web pages from scratch, and even add interactive elements to make sites come alive in a web browser.

“There will be opportunities for mentorship and other career resources for those who sign up, and a Certificate will be presented at the end of the course. We encourage people to bring a laptop computer to the upcoming information session, although it’s not required,” Self added.

SC Codes is a collaboration powered by the S.C. Department of Commerce’s Office of Innovation and Build Carolina. SC Codes not only provides free access to technology education, but it also connects, trains and empowers programmers across our state. “Our state’s economy depends on technology. Those who enroll in SC Codes will be exposed to the wide array of job opportunities in software development available right here in the Upstate and other parts of South Carolina,” said Self.

SC CODES INFORMATION SESSION
When: Wednesday, September 8 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Where: American Veterans Auditorium at Greenwood County Library | 600 Main Street South
Who: Anyone interested in a career in programming. All experience levels are welcome.
Learn More and Register https://www.sccodes.org/event/greenwood-information-session/

About Vision Greenwood
VisionGreenwood is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with deep roots in the Greenwood community. Throughout the past 20 years, VisionGreenwood (formerly known as the Foundation for a Greater Greenwood County, Inc.) has invested over $2.9 million into the community by supporting collaborative community development initiatives that provide economic prosperity and enhance the growth and success of Greenwood. The Foundation was originally created to support the former Greenwood Partnership Alliance’s charitable operations with a focus on community and workforce development. The Foundation became a stand-alone organization in 2020 and was rebranded as VisionGreenwood in 2021. By intent and design, VisionGreenwood continues to be a community partner that is focused on Greenwood’s future, its economic growth and development, and its quality of life. Learn more at www.visiongreenwood.org.

VisionGreenwood: Focused on Advancing Greenwood as a Community of Choice

VisionGreenwood: Focused on Advancing Greenwood as a Community of Choice

Greenwood, S.C. — The lack of reliable broadband service in parts of Greenwood became more apparent than ever this past year when schools and businesses quickly migrated to remote platforms with minimal time for in-depth planning, let alone infrastructure upgrades. Fortunately, help is on the horizon from VisionGreenwood, an established community partner dedicated to making Greenwood the best place in which to live, work and raise a family.

Kay Self, Executive Director for VisionGreenwood, explained that the recently launched “Closing the Gap” Speed Test, which was developed by the nonprofit through a public-private collaboration, will be used to collect real-time internet speed data from Greenwood residents over the next four to six weeks. With data in hand, VisionGreenwood will be able to apply for state and federal grants to help fund local internet infrastructure improvements.

“High-speed internet is no longer optional. It is critical for expanding educational and economic opportunities, especially for those in remote locations. By ensuring every Greenwood resident and business has access to broadband, we are positioning our community for success,” said Self.

Jim Pfeiffer, VisionGreenwood’s Board Chairman and Self Regional Healthcare President and CEO, noted “For more than a year now, we’ve seen first-hand just how important broadband internet is to our students, to remote work, and to telemedicine availability. In response, VisionGreenwood developed a Broadband Task Force to make sure Greenwood stays ahead of the curve in this area. The goal is to expand broadband internet connectivity throughout the entire county.”

Pfeiffer went on to say, “By mid-August, the Greenwood Broadband Task Force should have the necessary data to pinpoint areas that are in most need of reliable, affordable access to broadband service.”

While the name VisionGreenwood may be new to Greenwood County and the Upstate, the 501(c)(3) organization is simply reintroducing itself. In fact, the newly rebranded organization has a rich history in Greenwood. VisionGreenwood evolved from the Foundation for a Greater Greenwood County, Inc., which was created more than 20 years ago to support the former Greenwood Partnership Alliance’s charitable operations with a focus on community and workforce development. Since its inception, the non-profit has invested more than $2.9 million into the community by supporting initiatives that provide economic prosperity and enhance the growth and success of Greenwood.

“After thoughtful consideration, we decided to rebrand the foundation in 2021 to better reflect our purpose. Everything we do is grounded in our strategic long-term vision. By intent and design, VisionGreenwood continues to be a community partner that is focused on Greenwood’s future and its economic growth and development,” said Self. “We are now more determined than ever to see that Greenwood emerges as one of the top living and working communities in South Carolina.”

 

VisionGreenwood’s Core Areas of Focus

The stated mission of VisionGreenwood is “Providing leadership to enhance the quality of life in Greenwood through strategic long-term vision and collaborative community development initiatives.” To carry out its mission, VisionGreenwood’s Board has identified core areas of focus for development of the Greenwood community: Technology and Innovation, Education, City and Retail Development, Life Sciences and Biotechnology, and Medical Innovation District. Each area of focus has its own distinct initiatives.

In addition to the expansion of broadband coverage, another notable initiative launched this year is “The Brew,” described by Self as an “ecosystem” for locals to find resources and gain support for their businesses and trades. “The Brew is really where VisionGreenwood sees Greenwood’s collective creativity and its community collaborations collide,” said Self.

Part of a larger Upstate program developed to promote job growth through entrepreneurism, The Brew provides a venue for entrepreneurs, start-up businesses, and craftsmen to get community feedback about their business plans, challenges, and accomplishments. VisionGreenwood launched the Greenwood Chapter of “The Brew” in collaboration with Uptown Greenwood and the Greenwood Area Small Business Development Center.

“It takes a concerted effort to sustain new business ideas, so we explored effective programs in place throughout the state. We are pleased to be a part of the Regional Brew Program that successfully brings economic successes to communities in Anderson, Greenville, Greer and Spartanburg, and now Greenwood,” said Self.

Central to VisionGreenwood’s work is helping strategic partnerships continue to flourish. Perhaps Greenwood’s biggest claim to fame is its international reputation as a hub for innovation in the field of medical genetics.

“The Greenwood Genetic Center, together with the Clemson University Center for Human Genetics, is among the greatest strengths and most unique assets in our community. VisionGreenwood is proud to be associated with the ongoing development of the Greenwood Genetic Center Partnership Campus,” said Self, who serves on the Board of SCBIO, the statewide, not-for-profit, public/private life sciences industry association and economic development organization formed to actively promote, build, support, expand, and convene South Carolina's life sciences industry.

“Quality of life is the cornerstone of VisionGreenwood’s plan of work,” said Self. “We are committed to supporting the development of neighborhoods that provide entertainment, shopping, and dining, along with quality healthcare, world-class education, and employment – all necessary attributes for a thriving community.”

Pfeiffer added, “Above all, VisionGreenwood exists to make Greenwood a community of choice — one where people want to come and want to stay, whether young professionals or retirees.”

In June 2021, VisionGreenwood rolled out a refreshed website showcasing the many ways in which the organization is working to better the community. To learn more, visit www.VisionGreenwood.org and be sure to follow @VisionGreenwoodSC on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

 

About Vision Greenwood

VisionGreenwood is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with deep roots in the Greenwood community. Throughout the past 20 years, VisionGreenwood (formerly known as the Foundation for a Greater Greenwood County, Inc.) has invested over $2.9 million into the community by supporting collaborative community development initiatives that provide economic prosperity and enhance the growth and success of Greenwood. The Foundation was originally created to support the former Greenwood Partnership Alliance’s charitable operations with a focus on community and workforce development. The Foundation became a stand-alone organization in 2020 and was rebranded as VisionGreenwood in 2021. By intent and design, VisionGreenwood continues to be a community partner that is focused on Greenwood’s future, its economic growth and development, and its quality of life.

 

Greenwood Broadband Task Force

Formed by VisionGreenwood earlier this year, the Greenwood Broadband Task Force has a singular focus: bringing reliable broadband service to underserved residents, businesses, and organizations. The Task Force is chaired by South Carolina Senator Billy Garrett and includes 23 members representing Greenwood City and County government, Upper Savannah Council of Governments, state legislators, network and utility providers, higher educational institutions, healthcare entities, industry leaders, and school administrators.

 

More about VisionGreenwood’s “Closing the Gap” Speed Test

VisionGreenwood’s “Closing the Gap” Speed Test is a crowd-sourced internet speed test created by the consulting group GEO Partners, LLC, which maps areas by telephonic, cable and broadband companies. The “Closing the Gap” Speed Test became available on VisionGreenwood’s website, www.visiongreenwood.org, effective June 16, 2021. Because citizen participation is critical to the success of this initiative, VisionGreenwood encourages all Greenwood residents to test their broadband speed. The test takes less than one minute to complete, and no personal information will be collected.

Take the Broadband Speed Test >

VisionGreenwood announces broadband task force, speed test

VisionGreenwood announces broadband task force, speed test

“Closing the Gap Speed Test is key to helping us determine the best plan for building out the most extensive and economical broadband coverage for the underserved areas of the county,” Self said. “What makes this even more exciting is that the data collected over the next 4 to 6 weeks will allow VisionGreenwood to apply for state and federal grants to help fund our local internet infrastructure improvements.”

Take the Broadband Speed Test >

Read the full article at the Index Journal >

Millennial Recruitment

Millennial Recruitment

VisionGreenwood is working to improve its recruitment and retention of 20-39 year old professionals to help with future growth and economic vitality.

The Millennials are entering a stage of life when they are marrying, buying homes, and having children at the same time that the demands of work are increasing, while they are equipped (and sometimes expected) to work 24/7.  VisionGreenwood is focused on their needs helping to improve housing, schools, and crime.

Green Space & Trail Connections

Green Spaces & Trail Connections

New research strengthens the idea that green spaces boost longevity, and green space in a community enhances the well-being and public health of our residents.

Expanding Green Spaces

VisionGreenwood is partnering with the City of Greenwood to identify and expand  green spaces in Uptown Greenwood. According to Medical News today, studies show that  green spaces reduce stress and boost mental and physical health.

Green spaces are also associated with better air quality, reduced traffic noise, cooler temperatures, and greater diversity.

Property Option Agreements

Companies looking to relocate to an area have the #1 goal to maximize the return on their investment with the least risk.

Having properties with agreements in place that lock in price and specifications, reduces any conflicts with purchasing the property. VisionGreenwood continues to market the option agreements on many properties suitable for development in Greenwood. This marketing helps highlight the Greenwood community for future opportunities and growth.

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