A Lexington County town will soon see technological changes thanks to a new program.
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Irmo was recently accepted into the National League of Cities’ City Inclusive Entrepreneurship initiative, which will help the town identify issues and connect it with companies that can help solve them. Implementation of the program is set to begin within six months.
According to Mia Wilkins, the town's director of economic development and communications, and Town Council Member Erik Sickinger, Irmo is behind when it comes to technology, and the program will help make it more efficient.
“It is important because software, at the end of the day, can make our lives easier and save frustration – resident frustration, and staff frustration and time,” Sickinger said. “Well that's the world because our job as a government is to deliver services, regardless of anyone's background, or how well they know somebody, we just need to do the job for everyone. And this will help us do that.”
After Irmo figures out the issues they want to focus on, the City Inclusive Entrepreneurship team along with CivStart, a nonprofit innovation hub, will begin locating and recruiting tech start-ups who can help solve the targeted issues.
Irmo is the first municipality in Lexington County to participate in the program, but others in South Carolina have, including Rock Hill, Holly Hill and Charleston.
The latest cohort to begin with the initiative also includes Peoria, Ill., Grand Rapids, Mich., Las Vegas, Nev., and Raleigh, N.C.
Unlike many other municipalities, Irmo doesn’t have property taxes and other common revenue and has to find other solutions to keep up when it comes to things like technology, which made the City Inclusive Entrepreneurship attractive.
“It's a great opportunity for Irmo to get more technology, more advanced in technology,” Wilkins said. “Because right now, we're a little behind the times, and it’s just a great way for us to come up to speed and help our businesses grow and help our departments grow.”
The town reached out to staff and employees to see how they would like to see the new program benefit the town, with Wilkins telling the Chronicle about the top three:
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