COLUMBIA –South Carolinians now can get an inside look at the state’s economic development process.

Through a monthly blog series, the South Carolina Economic Developers’ Association will educate the public on a range of topics related to attracting and retaining top business and workforce prospects.

“The business of economic development is critical and relevant to every South Carolinian,” SCEDA President Mark Warner said. “We believe our neighbors should be informed and educated about our industry. This blog series will accomplish that, and further explain the economic development process and its role in our state’s overall prosperity.”

Each blog post will touch on a range of topics related to economic development in South Carolina. Current and former SCEDA board members, who have experience across the economic development industry, will provide firsthand knowledge of business recruitment, retention and expansion.

The series will be freely accessible to the public on SCEDA’s blog site, www.scedablog.wordpress.com. It began Jan. 23.

Since 1965, the S.C. Economic Developers’ Association has served as the Voice of Economic Development in the Palmetto State. A professional trade association of more than 800 members, with representation from all 46 counties, SCEDA includes local and regional economic developers, as well as officials from municipal, county and state government agencies, construction and engineering firms, utility companies, attorneys, consultants, financial institutions, and higher education.

A.M. Best recognizes BlueCross

COLUMBIA -- A sustained multiyear track record of extraordinary accomplishment is notable in any business, but now BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is in even more select company as it has been awarded its 17th consecutive A+ rating from A.M. Best Co.

That global organization annually reviews and ranks 3,500 companies in 90 countries, and describes itself as the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source.

As part of its rating procedure A.M. Best evaluates both financial and non-financial business risk. The agency noted the insurer’s strong business profile and brand recognition, together with its broad suite of products, dynamic multiple channel distribution platform and extensive claims-handling technology. BCBSSC’s status as the only health insurer competing in all customer segments in the state together with its role as the only health insurer available on the federal exchange in all counties in South Carolina since 2016 were also seen as favorable.

Moreover, it acknowledged investments in BCBSSC’s care management initiatives designed to improve care and reduce costs. Those initiatives include value-based payment programs for providers, disease management programs, which include case management and condition-specific education and coaching programs, 24/7 telemedicine service, wellness programs and more.

State Fair honored for marketing

COLUMBIA -- The South Carolina State Fair has been named a multiple award winner for its 2018 promotional campaign by the International Association of Fairs and Expositions.

The fair received four first-place awards in the IAFE’s Hall of Honor Communications competition, including the overall Judges Creative Award for its roving ticket booth, FRED. These first also included the fair’s website, best marketing campaign and miscellaneous marketing/promotional display (for FRED) among fairs in the same attendance category.

The awards were presented during the final general session of the 128th annual IAFE convention this past November in San Antonio, Texas.

“We are delighted to be recognized among other fairs in our industry,” said State Fair general manager, Nancy Smith. “This is a reflection of all the great things there are to promote in South Carolina, and we share this recognition with the entire state.”

The IAFE is a voluntary, nonprofit corporation, serving state, provincial, regional, and county agricultural fairs, shows, exhibitions, and expositions. It represents more than 1,100 fairs worldwide and more than 900 members from related fields.

The 150th South Carolina State Fair will run Oct. 9-20 in Columbia, and the fair will have a variety of special initiatives and programming leading up to this year’s special anniversary event.

MUSC honored for diversity

CHARLESTON – The Medical University of South Carolina has been ranked No. 13 out of 500 organizations on the Forbes 2019 list of America’s Best Employers for Diversity. In addition, MUSC ranked No. 3 among the 30 institutions listed in the education category.

In collaboration with Statista, Forbes surveyed 50,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 1,000 people within their U.S. operations. The goal was to have employees evaluate their employers on issues of diversity in the workplace. The four criteria of the rankings were direct recommendations, indirect recommendations, diversity among top executives and board members, and diversity KPIs (key performance indicators). Diversity KPIs include topics such as the existence of a department or position responsible for diversity and proactive communication related to a diverse company culture.

“There are three reasons why embracing diversity and inclusion is of pivotal importance,” said MUSC President David J. Cole, M.D., FACS. “First, it is who we should be as an institution. It has to be part of our vision and self-definition. Second, it is how we build upon who we are and what we can achieve together. Third, it affects the bottom line. It is about being our most productive and effective. People who feel valued are empowered to contribute and to be at their best,” Cole said.

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