An Emerging Economic Development Landscape
Going back to the theme of economic development, Tampasphere noted the recent article about economic development officials leaving Tampa and Hillsborough County. Tampasphere does not have much of an opinion about this except to hope that the people who replace these gentlemen are competent and understand how to work together with the other organizations in the area to promote the area as a whole in a globalized, interconnected, knowledge-based economy. Tampasphere also hopes they understand that a recruiting success not immediately in their geographic area of responsibility (say in the Gateway region, rather than Westshore) is also a success for them.
This leads us to something that really caught our eye in that article. The article reported that a proposal to revive and expand the Industrial Development Authority to help draw business to Tampa/Hillsborough County (probably to do something along the lines of this) had concerned some at the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, because there was a worry that they would “left without a strong role” in bringing new business to the area. There is no real elaboration about the nature of this concern, and Tampasphere does not really understand why that would be.
Thankfully, according to this report, the chairperson of the EDC’s executive committee says that there is no problem. (also see) Tampasphere is glad to hear that because the point of all these organizations is to bring business to and develop business in the area. Clearly, the two organizations – one public and one public/private – should coordinate their resources, maximize their assets, and become a more formidable force for recruiting business to the area than either could by itself. Before realizing the stated goal of having the entire region to work together to develop the economy, organizations in each county must develop a system of working together. There is much work that needs to be done and a role for everyone.