October 21, 2020
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Enterprise Florida, the Department of Economic Opportunity and Workforce Florida participate in effort to expand economic growth in rural communities
OKEECHOBEE, FL (July 11, 2013) – Today, Governor Rick Scott led Florida’s first-ever rural economic development “boot camp” in Okeechobee. The first-time workshop was held to build on existing economic development efforts of rural communities around the state. Secretary of Commerce and President & CEO of Enterprise Florida Gray Swoope, and Jesse Panuccio, Executive Director of the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), also presented at the event.
Governor Scott said, “Florida’s rural areas are one of the reasons why we live in the greatest state in the nation. In a little over two years, Florida has created more than 330,000 private-sector jobs and our unemployment rate continues to drop. Many of Florida’s rural counties have seen their unemployment rate drop as much as 4.5 percentage points in the last 30 months. The steps we are taking to create jobs are working all across the Sunshine State.”
A 2012 study commissioned by the state examined the economic development efforts in four designated rural regions of Florida. The boot camp speaks to some of the outcomes of that study, as well as offers sessions designed to capitalize on the resources unique to rural areas.
Workshops offered at the boot camp, held at Indian River State College, were designed to address the opportunities outlined in the study. Topics included:
· State & Federal Programs that Support Rural Economic Development
· Identifying and Promoting your Community’s Unique Assets
· Compelling Communications – Telling Your Authentic Story!
· Workforce – Presenting Your Community’s most Valuable Asset as a Benefit to Employers
· Leadership Tools for Maximum Effectiveness in Economic Development
· Highly Effective Site Visits – How to build a team!
· Rural Tourism – Communicating What Makes Your Community a Great Place to Visit!
“Florida’s rural regions offer unique and attractive assets that many businesses look for when considering moving or expanding in a state,” said Secretary of Commerce and President & CEO of Enterprise Florida Gray Swoope. “These regions highlight the state’s advantages in specialized workforces, and logistics and infrastructure support, including Florida’s vast multi-modal transportation network. Our rural regions can be incredibly competitive thanks to these assets.”
Funded by the legislature and administered through Enterprise Florida, the Florida Rural Economic Development Study was developed with the involvement of nearly 500 participants that included targeted interviews with numerous individuals directly involved with rural development in Florida; input sessions conducted in each of the three designated rural regions; and online surveys targeted to business/industry, economic development professionals and elected officials in the regions.
“This boot camp provides an outstanding opportunity to explore strategies for enhancing collaboration with rural partners to support job creation and retention,” Workforce Florida President/CEO Chris Hart IV. “Workforce Florida and our regional workforce partners are committed to doing all we can to ensure Florida’s rural regions can develop and maintain a competitive workforce to drive economic growth and sustainability in their communities.”
“By participating in the Rural Economic Development Boot Camp, each community represented is making an investment in their future economic stability and the enhancement of their strengths as a place where businesses can thrive in Florida,” said Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Jesse Panuccio. “DEO endeavors to promote collaboration at the local level between business and economic leaders, community organizations, and planners by building relationships through programs focused on rural communities.”
Portions of the boot camp will be shown on the Florida Channel.
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Enterprise Florida, Inc. is a partnership between Florida’s business and government leaders and is the principal economic development organization for the state of Florida. Enterprise Florida’s mission is to facilitate job growth for Florida’s businesses and citizens leading to a vibrant statewide economy. In pursuit of its mission, Enterprise Florida works closely with a statewide network of economic development partners and is funded both by the State of Florida and by private-sector businesses.