Why Florida Needs Economic Development

Everyday, economic developers living in your community work tirelessly to create jobs and boost the economy. But what does it really mean to “do” economic development? We invite you to learn more about economic development by joining us on Facebook and Twitter and in the information below:

5 Reasons We Do Economic Development

1. We focus on economic development in order to create high-wage primary jobs, expand the tax base, diversify the economy and better control our destiny. Having a strong economic development program is about empowering people and communities. It is about the process of individuals gaining the ability to provide for themselves through high wage jobs and careers that allows them to contribute as productive citizens in their communities. Tweet This!

2. Without an effective economic development program, our state and many of our communities may grow but not always in the way they desire. By targeting high-wage, value added jobs, for which we ferociously compete with other states, we increase the wealth and prosperity of the people of Florida. Diversification from traditional industries balances our economy and makes us less vulnerable to fluctuations in the global economy. Tweet This!

3. By encouraging more capital investment by targeted companies, we expand the tax base thereby providing more dollars to local and state governments to deliver high quality services and infrastructure that further accelerate primary permanent job creation and strengthens our communities and the state. Tweet This!

4. Our world economy is rapidly changing. We must stay on the leading edge of innovation to secure our share of prosperity for our citizens. That requires a combined sustained effort including state and local communities with business and government all working together to help create, attract and grow innovative globally competitive companies that rely on a similarly highly skilled and productive workforce. Tweet This!

5. The continued effort to diversify our economy is critical for our future. At this very moment other states are competing to take existing high wage jobs out of Florida. In response, we must aggressively protect and grow existing Florida businesses while competing successfully against other markets for much needed new job creation. We need to continue and enhance what we are doing well to foster more business growth in Florida. Tweet This!

Let us know on Twitter @FloridaEDC any questions you have about our day to day activities. The more we share and work together the more we can accomplish! Don’t forget, there are valuable resources on our website to guide you through this Legislative Session.

Myths and Facts of Economic Development in Florida

Many of you are aware that Integrity Florida released a report titled Enterprise Florida: Economic Development or Corporate WelfareThis report directly targets the economic development tools and professionalism of everyone working in economic development, with a specific emphasis on Enterprise Florida.

FEDC is diligently working together with the tremendous team of Enterprise Florida and Governor Scott’s Office to do our part in setting the record straight and supporting the work that FEDC members do each and every day.

Gray Swoope, CEO of Enterprise Florida released a letter directly to Integrity Florida alongside Enterprise Florida’s Board Member’s letter to the Florida’s Legislative Leaders setting the record straight. Enterprise Florida also released a letter of correction of the Integrity Florida report outlining the success Enterprise Florida has experienced. Enterprise Florida requested that Integrity Florida and the media publicly post and distribute this correction in the same manner in which they publicized the initial report.

FEDC also released an Op-Ed piece authored by the FEDC Board and appropriately submitted under the byline of our President & CEO, Amy Evancho, to media outlets across our state. Key points highlighted include:

  • Our profession and the competitiveness of Florida are under attack.
  • Across the state of Florida, more than 400 economic, workforce and community developers are going to work every day with one goal — help make their community a better place to live, both now and for years to come.
  • In reality, economic development is the engine that allows people to choose Florida as their home and bring families and businesses to our state to thrive and prosper.
  • It is a hallmark of our profession to bring leaders from government, business and education together in a way that allows for single-minded effectiveness in seeking the best for a community.

Our Commitment to Professionalism

Across the state of Florida, more than 400 economic, workforce and community developers are going to work every day with one goal — help make their community a better place to live, both now and for years to come.

Florida’s economic development professionals live in all 67 counties and hold positions with our 24 workforce boards, our 28 community and state colleges and Florida’s 12 state universities. They work with our utilities, ports, airports and industrial authorities. They work for local governments, private companies and non-profit agencies.

They come from a variety of professional backgrounds, including business, engineering, real estate and technology, and they are highly educated and professionals in their own right.

In other words, they are part of the communities in which they live. They are the boots on the ground that are closest to the needs of the businesses where their neighbors work — or maybe even own.

Florida’s economic development professionals are the ones trained and experienced to nurture these businesses on a daily basis and keep them strong by providing information to stay competitive in a global marketplace and to plan for a growth trajectory that creates jobs and provides workers valuable training that increases their earning potential.

They are connected to regional and state organizations with big-picture views that give a heads up when a potential local, state or national barrier is on the horizon — or when a potential opportunity is on the way. Keeping up with new laws, growth trends and funding sources is all part of their daily responsibilities. The economic development toolkit from which they operate contains programs and tools that reflect the vision of each individual community — how they want to grow and what industries they want to attract, grow and retain.

An important part of that process is identifying targeted industry sectors by mapping a community’s assets such as its talent pipeline, research-and-development centers, transportation infrastructure and centers of employment. These sectors often reflect higher wage industries on growth trajectories that will produce jobs and long-term investment for the region. Read More

The Purpose of the Florida Economic Development Council

The Florida Economic Development Council is the professional association of economic, workforce and community developers who work in Florida’s 67 counties, over 400 cities, 24 workforce regions, 28 colleges, 12 universities, as well as utilities, ports, airports and industrial authorities. FEDC’s members are among the highest credentialed professionals in the industry – many with advanced degrees in finance, business, IT, engineering, planning and real estate.

The staff, board members and committee members of the Florida Economic Development Council are dedicated to providing leadership and vision to advance economic development professionals and economic development throughout the state of Florida as a whole.