Generalist Practice PB7: Greenville-Spartanburg, SC

As evidenced in the text, what are three ways that the leadership of Greenville-Spartanburg, SC “re-invent[ed] their future” through global partnership?

Global partnership is a tricky subject. I don’t know many people who wouldn’t push for a strong local economy but NOT at the expense of the local product. However, if Greenville had pushed for this it could have spelled certain death for this community. Globalization was imminent, so Greenville embraced it and have had this aura of inclusion and globalization since the 50s. Here is what the leadership did:

  1. Milliken and Tukey, local business leaders, both worked to transform the Upstate South Carolina area to make it appealing to foreign business investors. They did this by exploiting the pro-business attitude of the area and pushing its well-known worker training programs.
  2. They went overseas to encourage foreign investors to come to Greenville-Spartanburg and put down roots, thus making a personal investment in the area and bringing their businesses with them.
  3. They pushed for business incentives and legal amendments to further encourage foreign businesses to plant themselves in the market in Upstate.

Thinking of a community with which you are familiar (feel free to use OKC or Pittsburgh from the text), how did that community diversify and restructure their future? Give 2 concrete examples.

  1. This process began over 60 years ago for this community, and it took the insight of two skilled businesspeople to clear the way for the globalization that has happened in Upstate. Now the area is filled with international restaurants, stores, multicultural events, and schools.
  2. Because of the push for business incentives and amendments as well as the strong worker training programs, international businesses are still flocking to the area. The workforce is skilled and flexible, the geographic location is ideal, and the area has spent 60 years cultivating an inclusive and culturally sensitive environment in which these businesses and people thrive.

Although I did not grow up in the OKC metro area, I can still see the results of global inclusivity that has happened in the area. I do recall visiting OKC as a teen and seeing how little there was here. Now the area is booming with shops, restaurants, night life, businesses, and cultural centers like the Civic Center. OKC has a strong sense of historic preservation as well, as there are memorials and museums all up and down the I-35 corridor and into the small communities. I am amazed at the volume of festivals scattered throughout the state and the amount of participants that are drawn to them each year. Oklahoma City’s globalization and preservation efforts have benefitted, not only OKC metro, but I believe the state as a whole.

Morse, S. (2014). Smart communities: How citizens and local leaders can use strategic thinking to build a brighter future (2nd edition). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.