Charleston Metro Chamber launches People First: Shaping the Legacy for 2040

April 17, 2024

The Charleston Metro Chamber is proud to announce the launch of People First: Shaping the Legacy for 2040.

Inspired by a love for our unique region and a hopeful vision for generations to come, the Chamber is looking forward and thinking big. Through the People First movement, the Chamber will develop long-range economic mobility and quality of life solutions to ensure a vibrant region with a healthy and prosperous workforce paired with unmatched livability.

People First is a collaborative, community-focused and data-led movement developed through visioning sessions with community leaders with the aim of generating viable outcomes to ensure everyone in our region has the opportunity to thrive.

“The Charleston community is an amazing place to live, but we can’t take that for granted. In order for future generations, our kids and grandchildren, to have the ability to live here, for businesses to continue to thrive and for people to enjoy a high quality of life, we have several key areas that we need to actively work to improve,” said Matt Brewer, Chairman of the Charleston Metro Board and President and CEO of Choate Construction. “People First addresses issues that impact nearly every person and every business in our region, including workforce and livability challenges that must be addressed in order for our community to continue to prosper.”

Driving workforce and livability solutions, People First will focus on partnerships that put people first, metric-based outcomes and critical policy change to shape the future. The movement will take intentional action around four critical pillars:

  1. Attainable Housing: Lowcountry residents can afford to buy or rent a home and have money left to save, enjoy vacations and put their kids through school.
  2. Future-Ready Education: Every student in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester Counties receives a high-quality education that prepares them for success in our region’s workforce. Students graduate with a plan for their future and a path to positively contribute.
  3. Multi-Faceted Regional Transit System: The region features a reliable, accessible and streamlined regional transit system. Cars are not required for people to have active economic, social, civic and cultural lives in the region.
  4. Affordable, High-Quality Childcare: Parents don’t have to choose between participating in the economy and providing childcare. Young families rate high-quality childcare services at reasonable costs as a top attractor to the region.

“Our region is at a unique moment. We have the opportunity to envision what we want our future to be and actively work to drive solutions so that our community and all of our citizens can thrive,” said Bryan Derreberry, President and CEO of the Charleston Metro Chamber. “Attainable housing, future-ready education, multi-faceted transit and quality childcare are critical workforce and livability ingredients. We must come together and look to the future to ensure generations to come can continue to work and live here.”

Alongside the People First pillars, the Chamber will continue efforts to cultivate regional leaders, advocate for a healthy business climate, create economic mobility opportunities, support our region’s military and build talent pipelines for high-demand sectors.

“We are so grateful to our board leadership and the 55 community leaders who came together to envision our future. Now is the time to address these issues, to collaboratively work together to shape the legacy for 2040. For tomorrow’s outcomes depend on our actions today,” said Bryan.

The Chamber invites the community to learn more and join them in shaping our community’s legacy at For partnership opportunities, contact


About the Charleston Metro Chamber

With approximately 1,600 member organizations representing 160,000 professionals, the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce serves as the collective voice of the business community and a catalyst for regional economic advancement and member success through DE&I, Talent, Government Relations and Leadership Development. Visit