South Carolina’s Airports Recognized for Diversity & Inclusion

South Carolina's Airports Recognized for Diversity & Inclusion

The South Carolina Airports Coalition, which includes Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP), Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE), Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR) and Charleston International Airport (CHS), is scheduled to receive the Outstanding Business Award as a part of the 2016 Upstate Diversity Leadership Awards hosted by the Greenville Chamber of Commerce and the Riley Institute at Furman, in partnership with Upstate Chambers. The event takes place on Tuesday, May 17th at the TD Convention Center in Greenville.

The Outstanding Business Award is given to a business that exhibits leadership in promoting diversity and inclusion internally and serves as an example for others to follow. These 4 airports, GSP, CAE, MYR and CHS joined together to create the Coalition, a “first” in the nation program to help small, minority, women owned businesses understand how to do with their airports. The program, called Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Fly-Ins conducted by each of the airports, invites businesses from across the state to learn about required state and federal certifications, vendor list selections and provides an opportunity to network with airport representatives responsible for buying various goods and services.

Each airport hosts a DBE-Fly-In and is responsible for putting together a specific agenda which includes a presentation by each airport. There have been 3 Fly-Ins so far and collectively, more than 300 businesses have attended. The final Fly-In for the year is scheduled to take place at Myrtle Beach International Airport in June.

Columbia Metropolitan Airport Director, Dan Mann, says that the South Carolina Airports Coalition DBE-Fly-In Program exemplifies the commitment to inclusion that airports across the state have made to their communities. He says it also serves as a great example of partnership and collaboration involving the 4 largest airports in South Carolina.

"This is the kind of program that can be duplicated by commercial airports around the country and result in having a major impact on how small, minority and women owned businesses succeed by doing business with airports,” says Mann.