Attracting and cultivating a diverse, educated workforce is one of the seven focus areas of Columbia’s 2036 Vision Statement and something in which Mayor Benjamin is particularly invested. Not only does it benefit Columbia to attract talent, but it’s also very important to retain that talent. From the bright individuals emerging from Columbia’s universities and colleges to the citizens in our city who represent more than 200 countries, Mayor Benjamin truly believes Columbia can become the most talented, educated and entrepreneurial city in America.
 
Today, Columbia has the largest GDP of any city in South Carolina, the lowest unemployment rate and a steady stream of talent flowing. Mayor Benjamin strives to cultivate a highly-skilled workforce, keep the city safe and make Columbia a desirable place to work, play and pray.
 
Mayor Benjamin has taken a hands-on approach at fostering the talent pipeline in our city. He teaches “Columbia, South Carolina: Building a Great City,” at the University of South Carolina Honors College, works with the Columbia Youth Commission, hosts the Mayor’s Fellow program each semester and holds a Summer Work Experience Program for teenagers. The goal of these programs is to ensure that the next generation is not only prepared for the workforce, but also desirable to future employers.