Sunday, June 7, 2009

Business, community leader input sought for update of Florida’s strategic economic development plan

Regional meetings to gather feedback for state’s economic development Roadmap

ORLANDO, FL (May 20, 2009) - Enterprise Florida is calling on Florida’s business, education, government and economic development leaders to provide input into an update of the state’s strategic plan for economic growth.

Enterprise Florida’s board is charged with developing the plan and submitting it to the governor and legislative leaders. Every three years, the Roadmap to Florida’s Future -- the state’s blueprint for economic development -- is updated following competitiveness analysis and feedback from a broad base of community representatives. This approach enables the consideration of new ideas and strategies emerging from the “grassroots.” The final plan details Florida’s priorities for furthering its economic expansion and diversification.

Half-day workshops in eight Florida regions serve as the venue for discussion, viewpoints and recommendations.

“Perspectives from a wide range of industries and service areas can be fuel for sparking further growth and diversification of our economy,” explained former Florida House Speaker Allan Bense, who serves as vice chairman of Enterprise Florida’s board of directors. “This valuable feedback will help us focus on the most important needs and set the right goals for making Florida more competitive and economically, much healthier.”

The workshops will enable high-level Florida officials to work with regional business and community leaders to determine economic priorities. Topics will run the gamut: from retaining, creating and attracting high-wage jobs to cultivating a talented and highly skilled future workforce; from upgrading infrastructure to increasing Florida’s global competitiveness.

Enterprise Florida is partnering with regional and local economic development organizations to present the workshops. “It’s important that we have involvement from all business and community sectors,” said John Adams Jr., Enterprise Florida’s president & CEO. “This is a grassroots effort, so, we want to hear the voices and opinions of everyone, whether they’re leaders in the arts, transportation officials or workforce providers, as well as from those who work in economic development."

The priorities in the current Roadmap reflect input from more than 1,000 participants in the last series of workshop, held in summer 2006. Attendees were an eclectic cross-section of stakeholders in Florida’s future – from educational organizations to chambers of commerce.

Beyond the regional workshops, other opportunities are available for public contributions to the Roadmap’s development. An Enterprise Florida microsite --
– will allow for feedback through several interactive features including a Roadmap survey and discussion board. Additionally, the site provides the current Roadmap, related progress reports and “save the date” announcements for each regional forum, and more.

Stuart Doyle
(407) 956-5689

Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) is a partnership between Florida's business and government leaders and is the principal economic development organization for the state of Florida. Headquartered in Orlando, EFI’s mission is to diversify Florida’s economy and create better-paying jobs for its citizens by supporting, attracting and helping to create businesses in innovative, high-growth industries. In pursuit of its mission, EFI works closely with a statewide network of economic development partners and is funded both by the State of Florida and by private-sector businesses.


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