Tampa Bay Needs More Jobs, Diversity Of Industry

The Tampa Bay Partnership recently released findings from its 10th Regional Economic Scorecard, and Tampa Bay's overall score rose by one point. However, the scorecard also revealed a dip in jobs and industries needed to keep the region globally competitive.

The scorecard compares Tampa Bay's offerings and growth against comparable cities such as Dallas, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Atlanta and Jacksonville in six categories: employment and workforce, income and productivity, housing, innovation, education and transportation. While scores for transportation and housing went up, innovation and education remained unchanged, and employment and workforce declined.

When asked what was being done to improve the job situation, the Partnership pointed to its Blueprint for Regional Economic Development to provide the answers.

"The Blueprint is an effort to 'connect the dots' of local, regional and statewide strategies that our communities have done or are doing to identify and grow future industries and jobs," says Partnership President & CEO Stuart Rogel.

Vincent Dolan, Progress Energy's president and CEO and a chair of the Blueprint effort, says leaders need to pool together and make jobs and industry development a priority.

"We can no longer afford to recruit business in a fragmented fashion but must work together to pool resources and work jointly to identify and target the industries and workforce of the future," says Dolan.

The Partnership says studies are under way to identify areas where the region can create, attract and retain higher skilled, trained and innovative workers in the future.

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Sources: Stuart Rogel, Tampa Bay Partnership; Vincent Dolan, Progress Energy

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