COR (Columbia Opportunity Resource) continues to boost local pride and talent retention through its innovative program. Crash Course Columbia has held 10 tours with more than 150 participants of diverse professions, ages, and backgrounds. This year’s tour schedule returns March 7-8, with fall dates to be announced. The program is designed to give anyone from life-long locals to young professionals the opportunity to gain an appreciation for the latest and greatest Columbia has to offer. Tickets start at $125 and are available for purchase online at ourcor.org/engage/crash-course-columbia/tickets/.
“Crash Course Columbia is a unique program for both local businesses and residents to invest in our city,” says Columbia City Councilman Peter M. Brown, chair of the Economic Development and Infrastructure Committee. “It’s fun, it’s exciting, and it’s full of opportunities for any Columbia resident. COR helps connect citizens with the development and organizations that are making change in the community. When businesses in our area invest in programs like this, real change happens. Columbia is on the verge of something special, and groups like COR will be at the forefront of that change and growth.”
In just 10 hours at Crash Course Columbia, participants can explore three entertainment districts, network with more than 10 community leaders, uncover five tourism hotspots, meet five nonprofits, dine at four local restaurants, and become a local champion.
Survey results from prior tours show that after going through Crash Course Columbia, 100% of attendees feel more excited to live in the Columbia region, and 100% of attendees are inspired to share more things to do with their friends and family.
Preview of the 2024 Itinerary
As the greater Columbia region continues to grow, so does the Crash Course Columbia itinerary, evolving each year to incorporate new developments, attractions, and local businesses. This year’s tour includes a day-and-a-half full of education, networking, signature dishes of Columbia, and more.
On Thursday evening, participants will enjoy bites and sips on the patio of Smoked, followed by a tour of the Main Street District on the way to Boyd Plaza, where participants will experience First Thursday on Main. First Thursday is just a taste of the booming arts and culture scene downtown, and a festive kickoff for Crash Course Columbia.
Friday morning will begin in Cayce, where participants will start at Piecewise Coffee for breakfast and caffeine, followed by a visit to Riverbanks Zoo, a trip to the river at Candi Lane, then to Five Points for lunch at Publico and an interactive activity. The day will wrap up with an early happy hour at Steel Hands Brewing.
“Going through Crash Course Columbia changed my perspective of the region and was a major contribution in my decision to continue to live in Columbia,” says Kaih Taylor, manager of third party risk management at AgFirst and COR talent retention action team chair. “Now, as a COR board member, it’s full circle to lead this program. With the new itinerary and pricing structure, I am excited to help expand Crash Course to more participants. It is set to be our best year yet!”
Tickets on sale, discount for COR members
COR is able to provide updated pricing and an impressive itinerary thanks to its partnerships with local businesses. Tickets are $125 for COR members (which includes the 50% discount that COR members receive on all COR events), $200 for nonprofit partners, and $250 for individuals. All food, drink, experiences, and transportation are included, as well as a complimentary one-year COR membership, valued at $75. Tickets are on sale now and open to the public.
Packages are also available for businesses that plan to send several team members through Crash Course Columbia. Programs like this could not be possible without the support of COR’s strategic partners, Experience Columbia SC and Richland County Economic Development. COR is proud to have more than 15 partners since the talent retention initiative’s launch including AgFirst Farm Credit Bank, BlueCross Blue Shield of South Carolina, Capgemini and Nephron Pharmaceuticals.
“The partnerships COR fosters with local businesses are the reason we can help individuals — whether new to Columbia or long-term residents — feel confident and excited about living in our vibrant city,” says Emily White, communications strategist at Flock and Rally and COR board co-chair.
COR has worked to build partnerships with both public and private entities across the region to ensure the sustainability of its initiatives and impact. Becoming a corporate partner with COR is a great way for businesses to be connected to the community and ensure employees are thriving both in and outside of the workplace. To become a partner and further invest in Columbia, visit ourcor.org/partners-sponsors/ as COR gladly accepts new sponsors.
Student-focused initiative returns— Capture Columbia dates released
Capture Columbia is for all college-age students living in the greater Columbia region over the summer. Dates for this student-focused program have been released for Summer 2024. The program consists of events for five Wednesdays, 6-8 p.m. —June 12, June 19, June 26, July 10, and July 17. Each Wednesday focuses on a different district in Columbia, featuring delightful bites and inspiring speakers. Capture Columbia allows students to further build their network, expand their social circles, and ignite a passion for the area. Applications and more information can be found online at bit.ly/CaptureColaStudentReg. Community members who are interested in attending to network with students can register online at bit.ly/CaptureColaCommReg.
Connect with Crash Course Columbia
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LinkedIn: Columbia Opportunity Resource
Columbia Opportunity Resource helps professionals get plugged in to the community, connecting them to opportunities, experiences, and diverse networks. Through programs like Table for Six and Crash Course Columbia, COR fosters local pride and boosts talent retention in the greater Columbia, S.C. region. COR is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.