The Charleston Digital Corridor is Growing!
The Charleston Digital Corridor's (CDC) Annual Report for 2020 and Annual Wage and Job Growth Survey, both released in February, reveal that Charleston's local tech hub is growing and contributing to the local economy across several measures: raising capital, hiring, wages, and facility space. Included in this sector are tech and tech-related companies in aerospace, biomedical, creative, defense, software, tech products and tech services. Some of the CDC's initiatives include the CharlestonWorks.com web directory that features these companies, the Charleston Free WiFi Initiative that has thus far brought free and fast WiFi service to 12 area parks, development of the Charleston Technology Center scheduled to open this month, and the CDC Diversity Initiative coming later this year. These efforts and results have not gone unnoticed: CompTIA's Cyberstates 2020 research report found that our tech industry ranked second after manufacturing for regional job growth and ranked fourth after government, manufacturing, and professional services in terms of regional economic impact in 2019, directly contributing nearly 8% to our regional economy. Read More Here and Here.
CARTA is on the Move!
The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) is making improvements to its service delivery. Three initiatives worthy of note are its expanding fleet of electric buses, a new transit center, and its new OnDemand pilot program. CARTA's Fleet Modernization project is aiming to replace all of the diesel buses used for its fixed route service with zero-emission battery electric buses. Three electric buses are currently operating, two more were received late last month and another seven are scheduled to arrive by July, with an anticipated fleet size of 100 once completed. To ensure that the fleet operates efficiently, CARTA is in the process of developing a master plan. A new transit center, expected to be called the Shipwatch Square Transit Center, will be a new super stop at the corner of Rivers Avenue and McMillan Avenue. It has a target opening of 2023. CARTA's On-Demand Pilot Program launched in February in partnership with Uber and UZURV. It provides enrolled senior citizens aged 55+ and Tel-A-Ride customers living on the Peninsula with scheduled door-to-door assistance and access to doctor appointments, pharmacies and grocery stores for a flat fee of $4 each way. CARTA will subsidize the difference in fares. Read More Here and Here.
Omatic Sotfware Expands Operations in Charleston
Omatic Software, a company that was founded in 202 to provide data health integration solutions for nonprofits is expansing its hub for research and development at their Mt. Pleasant location in Portside Ferry Wharf. The $450,000 investment will create about 100 new jobs in the next five years. Read More Here.
Mysteries Remain with Time Capsule Found under Calhoun Monument
A more than century-old stone vault, being referred to as a time capsule, was found buried in the foundation of the John C. Calhoun monument in Marion Square as it was being dismantled in January. After a month of speculation about its contents, the capsule was unsealed on February 25th by archaeologists hired by the City, revealing an engraving in the lid commemorating its installation in the 1850s, a small cannonball believed to date from the Revolutionary War era and three small tin containers which have not yet been opened. Clues from old newspaper clippings suggest that the tin boxes may contain mementos to Calhoun, including a banner from his funeral procession, a copy of his last speech and a lock of his hair. Their condition is also unknown given evidence of water having made its way inside the capsule that may have also penetrated the tin boxes. John C. Calhoun served as a U.S. Vice President and U.S. Senator in the 19th Century, and was a strong supporter of American slavery. His statue that stood atop the monument was removed in June 2020 as part of a nationwide reckoning on racism in this country. Read More Here.