20 September Harris excited to be in Clay September 20, 2018 By Laura Pavlus General economic development, President, Clay County Economic Development Corporation 0 Clay Today - September 19, 2018 - by Joshua Torres - read full article here FLEMING ISLAND – Everyone who has lived in Florida knows that there are essentially only two seasons, hot and two weeks of cold. But for JJ Harris that is perfectly OK with him because he finally gets to be in the sun. In March 2018, the Clay County Economic Development Corporation and its board of directors announced Harris had accepted the offer to become the organization’s new president and executive director after a nationwide search. Harris, who was raised in Bedford, Indiana, sees a lot of the same things in Clay County as his hometown. “It reminds me of my southern Indiana roots,” said Harris. Harris studied at Indiana Wesleyan University and received a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s in management. Harris served in the Army from 1985 until 1995 where he rose to first lieutenant. He re-enlisted in 2007 before retiring in 2017 as a major. Harris said the opportunity present in Clay County is one that makes him excited to get to work and work with residents. He said that the people he has meant are outgoing and friendly and have been eager to show him what the community is all about. “I’m very very excited for the opportunities here and I’m looking forward to working with the communities,” said Harris. Before coming to Clay County, Harris served as executive director of Bedford Urban Enterprises Association, which he held from 1995 until 2007. He also held the role of chief executive officer and president of Laramie Chamber Business Alliance in Laramie, Wyoming and was president and chief executive officer of Laramie Economic Development Corporation. Harris said he sees a lot of opportunity within Clay County and believes the county will begin to see growth. One of the biggest projects that he is working on is the First Coast Expressway, the multi-lane, limited access toll road that will cross parts of Duval, Clay and St. Johns counties when completed. Part of this is already finished and the tolls are expected to begin being collected this fall. He also said that he is working with Florida Power & Light on an 850-acre solar power project in Green Cove Springs to help create green energy for the community. Harris believes Clay County is a community that is willing to invest in itself and has leadership that wants to provide a livable community. He also sees Clay as being a hot real estate location. With the changes he does expect pushback, but Harris asks the community to be patient until the proposals have been shown. He asks that the community to be open-minded while the business is being done before making judgments. “Listen to the facts about those industries that are coming here,” said Harris. Harris is looking forward to working with the community that he sees as being aggressive and people that are willing to put forward the effort to help the community grow. Harris said the FPL project should start in June 2019. Meanwhile, the segment of the First Coast Expressway from Blanding Boulevard to Green Cove Springs is always scheduled to get under construction next year as well. Related 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. Clay County is Excited to Join the Co-Working Movement and Here's Why..... The stated #1 priority of the Clay County Board of County Commissioners is economic development and their actions speak even louder than their words. One of the many strategic moves Clay is making towards this mission is with the addition of a co-working entrepreneurial center in Green Cove Springs. Co-working spaces are gaining popularity nationally and here's why...... Clay Commission Discussing Rebranding County Image The Clay County Commission this month is expected to consider recommendations to showcase the county’s natural, historic and recreational resources as well as its communities to best attract tourism, new businesses and residents. Clay EDC Board of Directors Support One-Cent Sales Tax At the June 14, 2016 Board of County Commissioners meeting, Clay EDC President, Bill Garrison, read a resolution by the Clay EDC Board of Directors announcing their support of the one-cent sales tax extension. Clay Officials Tackle Tallahassee Government officials from each major community joined members of the Clay County Chamber and County Commission to advocate for local needs to state lawmakers and inform those from outside Clay County what the area has to offer. Clay County Schools One Point Away from "A" District Letter Grade The Clay County School District was one point away from being named an “A” District in recent scores released last week by the Florida Department of Education for the 2016-2017 school year. Showing 0 Comment Comments are closed.