PSJ selected for state pilot program

Published: Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 09:41 AM.

“Obviously the port is a big player in any economic development we can get going, but this award is to the city and is broader in approach," Gibson said.

The two comp plan efforts has, in effect, allowed the DEO, the agency created after Gov. Rick Scott moved to consolidate the state’s economic development efforts, allowed the DEO to “get to know” the community, the first step in the application process for the Competitive Florida Program.

The program emphasizes that “Communities that take action to build and enhance the local economy while staying true to what makes them unique have a competitive advantage,” according to a release from the DEO.

The pilot project, which is open-ended at this time, will create a network among the four communities, facilitated by staff at the DEO, which is providing funding for the program, to examine assets, goals and strategies to produce economic development.

Meetings with local city and economic development officials will begin as soon as next week, Gibson said.

According to the DEO, the communities will work with the DEO to identify assets – from individuals to organizations to infrastructure to history to natural resources – and hone a strategy for creating economic growth mining and leveraging those assets.

“Our goal is to help create an opportunity economy in Florida, in which every community can offers jobs for the next generation,” said Jesse Panuccio, Executive Director of DEO. “Competitive Florida will help rural communities map their strengths and identify what makes them distinctive.”

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