Tri-County STEMersion Receives 2023 Excellence in Economic Development Silver Award from the International Economic Development Council

(September 26, 2023)

Tri-County STEMersion received a 2023 Excellence in Economic Development Silver Award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The award was bestowed specifically for the organization’s work in the Regionalism & Cross-Border Collaboration category that impacted population between 200,000 – 500,000 residents. Tri-County STEMersion, which includes Berkeley County Economic Development, Charleston County Economic Development, and Dorchester County Economic Development, were acknowledged, and honored at the IEDC 2023 Annual Conference during the inaugural recognition night event in Dallas, TX, September 19.


Tri-County STEMersion is a unique hands-on institute for middle and high school instructors in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester Counties in South Carolina that centers on building collaboration with existing industries to launch STEM into local schools.


“Tri-County STEMersion has raised the bar for excellence in economic development with its Tri-County STEMersion project/program. This award is a testament to Charleston County Economic Development’s dedication to its residents and serves as a great example of how economic development can help transform a community for the better,” said Nathan Ohle, IEDC President and CEO. “It is IEDC’s honor and privilege to present Charleston County Economic Development with this award and recognize its leadership and innovation in the field of economic development!”


Every year IEDC looks specifically for economic development organizations, government entities, initiatives, and programs that have demonstrated consistent, exemplary performance in the economic development profession, leading the execution of projects that have a significant impact on revitalizing communities, and playing a major role in shaping and improving the practice of economic development.


“We are super excited and honored to be part of such an amazing program and initiative. The lessons and experiences gained by our counselors and educators will have an immediate impact on our future workforce. STEMersion is a vital and valuable piece of the solution to developing the pipeline of workers needed for the industries of Berkeley County and the Tri-County Region at large. We look forward to expanding STEMersion’s reach and influence to maximize the impact it has to better prepare our educators, counselors, students, and community for greater success.” – Corey McClary, Workforce Development Manager at Berkeley County Economic Development


“This recognition is a testament to the power of collaboration and unity as a Tri-County, empowering our regional future leaders to cross boundaries. The program’s influence on the children of our region ripples out into our communities, carving a path toward a brighter, more STEM-driven future.” – Ashley Richardson, Senior Director of Strategy and Communications at Charleston County Economic Development


“Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties are united in the effort to bridge education and the workforce of tomorrow.  Through the STEMersion program, educators get to experience STEM needs directly via the industry floor and then build tools to help guide students into the vast fields of local opportunity.  Having the right allies behind the scenes has enabled STEMersion to grow both in quantity of participants and quality of experience.  To make the greatest impact in our community it’s key that the counties continue to collaborate united as one region.” – Michelle McDonald, Deputy Director at Dorchester County Economic Development


About Tri-County STEMersion

Tri-County STEMersion is a collaborative effort by Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties, to bridge education and existing industry by developing coursework related to the needs of the local workforce. The immersive hands-on institute is a week-long summer program which introduces real-world workplace demands to area educators through a variety of site visits, activities, and discussions. Designed to reinforce the necessary math, science, and soft skills needed to succeed in local industry professions, STEMersion exists to influence the workforce pipeline of tomorrow. For more information on the STEMersion institute visit


About the International Economic Development Council

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 4,300 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities by creating, retaining, and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth, and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, IEDC’s members engage in the full range of economic development practices. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in various settings, including local, state, provincial, and federal governments, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities, and a variety of other institutions. When we succeed, our members create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities, and improve the quality of life in their regions. Learn more at