21 April Economic Development Plan Gets More Ironing Out April 21, 2016 By Laura Pavlus General, News clay county, florida, economic development, strategic plan, Bill Garrison, Clay County Economic Development Corporation 0 Article by Jesse Hollett, Clay Today, 4.20.16 green cove springs – an alphabet soup of company acronyms comprised the audience last wednesday for the clay county economic development corporation’s meeting to allocate specific roles needed to execute its newly-unveiled five-year strategic plan. by the end of the meeting, many of them had homework to do. Read FUll Article here THE EDC’S FIVE-YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN SEEKS TO DRIVE HIGHER WAGE JOBS INTO CLAY COUNTY, A COUNTY IN WHICH 60 PERCENT OF ITS RESIDENTS DRIVE TO SURROUNDING COUNTIES EVERY MORNING FOR WORK. THE EDC IDENTIFIED FIVE TARGETED STRATEGIES WITH THE HELP OF A SURVEY COMMISSIONED BY THE BALMORAL GROUP OF WINTER PARK, FLA. TO NOT ONLY ALLEVIATE SOME OF THIS TRAFFIC, BUT BUILD A LARGER BASE OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES HERE WITHIN CLAY COUNTY. AMONG THE STRATEGIES IDENTIFIED WAS TO CONTINUE TO CAPITALIZE ON THE CONSTRUCTION ASSOCIATED WITH THE FIRST COAST EXPRESSWAY, THE TOLL ROAD CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION FROM INTERSTATE 10 TO INTERSTATE 95 RUNNING THROUGH CLAY COUNTY. “[THE EXPRESSWAY] A $1.5 BILLION INVESTMENT,” SAID BILL GARRISON, PRESIDENT OF THE EDC. “YOU DO THAT PROPORTIONALLY, AND THAT PORTION THAT’S IN CLAY COUNTY IS ABOUT $900 MILLION. TO PUT THAT INTO PERSPECTIVE CLAY COUNTY WOULD HAVE TO SPEND THREE YEARS OF ITS BUDGET SOLELY ON IT. THERE’S NO WAY YOU COULD DO THAT, BUT HERE IT IS, HERE’S THE OPPORTUNITY, YOU BETTER DO SOMETHING GOOD WITH IT.” ALSO PART OF THE DISCUSSION WAS THE CREATION OF A CO-WORK SPACE, WHICH WILL PROVIDE AN ENVIRONMENT FOR BUSINESS-MINDED MILLENNIALS COMPLETE WITH OFFICE CHAIRS, CONNECTION TO THE INTERNET AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, A COFFEE POT. THE EDC IS WORKING WITH CLAY HIGH GRADUATE PAIGE BLACK, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF A CO-WORK SPACE ALREADY OPERATIONAL IN JACKSONVILLE APPROPRIATELY NAMED “COWORK JAX.” WHAT EXCITED ATTENDEES WAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO CREATE A BRAND FOR CLAY COUNTY, A TOPIC DISCUSSED AT LENGTH. “I COULD SEE US IN THE FUTURE HAVING SOMETHING THAT SAYS ‘WELCOME TO GREEN COVE SPRINGS’ THEN CLAY COUNTY BEHIND THAT,” SAID VAN ROYAL, MAYOR OF GREEN COVE SPRINGS, AND EDC BOARD MEMBER. “WE’RE ALL FROM CLAY COUNTY WE’RE ALL A PART OF IT. KIND OF LIKE THE STORY OF WHOVILLE, WHERE WE ALL SHOUT AT THE SAME TIME WITH THE SAME VOICE. THERE’S A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF IDENTITY WE NEED TO HAVE, AND I THINK THAT NEEDS TO BE BROUGHT FORTH EVEN MORE.” THE WAY TO GO ABOUT THAT, GARRISON SAID, IS TO HIRE A CONSULTANT TO AID IN THE BRANDING PROCESS, WHICH COULD INCLUDE EVERYTHING FROM SIGNAGE TO CREATING LOCALIZED IDENTITIES FOR AREAS SUCH AS COLLEGE DRIVE. MANY ATTENDEES AGREED SAYING SUCH A PROGRAM WOULD BE AN APPROPRIATE FIRST STEP THAT WOULD SHOW THE COMMUNITY MORE IMMEDIATE RESULTS OF THEIR ENDEAVORS. BEFORE THAT CAN HAPPEN HOWEVER, THE COUNTY NEEDS TO GATHER THE FUNDING NECESSARY TO HIRE SUCH A CONSULTANT. TO DO THAT THE COUNTY WILL PURSUE A STATE GRANT, SEND OUT A REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS, AND CHOOSE A CONSULTANT BASED ON THE PROPOSALS RECEIVED. “THE THIRD STRATEGY IS THE TARGET SECTOR STRATEGY THAT IS GOING TO IDENTIFY AN INDIVIDUAL BUSINESS THAT YOU WANT TO RECRUIT HERE,” GARRISON SAID. “SO WE EXAMINE THE HEALTHCARE SUPPLY CHAIN, BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR, SOMEONE WHO’S BUYING A LOT OF SOMETHING. MAYBE IT’S NOT SOMETHING THAT’S A BIG THING, MAYBE IT’S A NICHE COMPANY. IT’S ALL ABOUT BEING SPECIFIC, BEING DELIBERATE.” WITH THIS SPECIFIC APPROACH, THE EDC PLANS ON GETTING IN CONTACT WITH DISTRIBUTORS AND ADVANCED MANUFACTURING COMPANIES THAT PRODUCE HEALTHCARE PRODUCTS, WHICH CAN BE ANYTHING FROM SCALPELS TO TISSUES, AND ENCOURAGE THEM TO OPEN A FACTORY IN CLAY COUNTY TO OFFER MORE HIGH WAGE JOB OPPORTUNITIES. UNTIL THEN, RESIDENTS CAN EXPECT MORE PLANNING MEETINGS BETWEEN THE MANY ENTITIES INVOLVED IN THE STRATEGY. ALTHOUGH AN EXACT DATE HASN’T BEEN CHOSEN YET, THE EDC PLANS TO HOLD A STAKEHOLDER’S SUMMIT THIS SUMMER TO DISCUSS THE TOPICS FURTHER. “WE’VE GOT TO FLESH OUT THE SKELETON WE’VE MADE, SO THE FIRST THING YOU’RE GOING TO SEE IS MORE PLANNING,” SAID DIANE HUTCHINGS, CHAIRMAN OF THE CLAY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS. “YOU CAN’T GET TO EXECUTION WITHOUT GETTING TRADITIONAL PLANNING, AND THAT HAS TO COME FROM OWNERSHIP.” Related New 5-Year Economic Development Plan Unveiled A new five-year strategic plan charting Clay County’s economic development future recommends county officials maximize the First Coast Expressway construction, create an entrepreneurial ecosystem for area millennials and to brand Clay County with recognizable signage on its borders. Clay has stake in region’s new economic plan Officials at the JAXUSA Partnership Regional Economic Development Forum brought the public and private sector together to discuss how Duval County and its six surrounding counties can handle an incoming burst of economic growth. Clay County is a member of JAXUSA Partnership, the economic development arm of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce. Avalanche Consulting, an Austin, Texas-based economic growth consulting firm, prepared the report outlining a five-year plan on how to handle the growth. JJ Harris to Lead Clay Economic Development Effort A national talent search has ended with the Clay County Economic Development Corp. hiring a new executive director and president. The agency’s board of directors announced March 27 it has hired J.J. Harris as its new president and executive director. Cathy Chambers of our JAXUSA Regional Economic Development Partnership Honored with Prestigious Award Cathy Chambers, who serves as a board member for the Clay County Development Authority, received the award May 22 at the 2018 Florida Economic Development Council annual conference in Fort Myers. Clay County Economic Development Workshop Cathy Chambers, left, and Jerry Mallot from JAXUSA Partnership and Bill Garrison, far right, from Clay County Economic Development Corporation presented information to the Clay County Board of County Commissioners Tuesday during an economic development workshop in the BCC chambers. Officials Look to Spring Park Project as Key Piece in Economic Development GREEN COVE SPRINGS | The natural spring that is key to the city’s historic past could help lock in its future, say Green Cove Springs leaders and economic development officials projecting new business and industry could come into the community just as the mineral water now flows through Spring Park into the adjacent St. Johns River. Showing 0 Comment Comments are closed.