Targeted Industries

In 2017, the Office of Economic Vitality commissioned a Targeted Industry Study, which included an Economic Retrospective and an Incubator and Accelerator Study. Together, the three reports provide information, analysis and strategic recommendations that support economic growth initiatives, including the marketing efforts. Key stakeholders, such as local officials, business owners and operators, non-profit, education and training leaders, scientists, researchers, and entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial support program leadership, were included to ensure a broad perspective was obtained and subsequently utilized to inform each report.

The Target Industry Study identified four industry sectors that contribute to private sector job growth, wealth creation, and a diversification of the economy. These industries have a strong potential for growth and interconnect with each other, which maximizes resources and enhances opportunities for innovation and sustainable economic vitality.

Applied Science & Innovation: This sector is comprised of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematical-intensive industries, sometimes known as “STEM”. In Tallahassee-Leon County, where scientific innovation resources are particularly strong, this sector demonstrates the connection between innovation and the transformation of ideas into products. Scientific research and innovation is a long-term element of the Tallahassee-Leon County region, and unique assets such as the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and the multiple research institutes at Innovation Park, Florida State University (FSU), and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) have a large role in the region’s identity and aspirations.

Manufacturing & Transportation/Logistics: The essential role of manufacturing, the production of goods for sale, in this high-profile sector is supported by an active transportation/logistics sector to move supplies in and products out. This high wage growth area with an average wage of more than $66,000 in the Tallahassee-Leon County MSA is highly reliant on workforce pipeline and existing education and training resources that are supported by institutions including Tallahassee Community College (TCC) and Lively Technical Center makes the region highly attractive to employers. The Transportation/Logistics assets in Tallahassee-Leon County include the Tallahassee International Airport, the I-10 Corridor and The Port of Port St. Joe.

Professional Services & Information Tech:  This industry represents those involved in the development, manufacturing, and usage of IT, and communications-related products and services, as well as other activities such as consulting, legal, marketing, engineering, and research and development. This is especially critical for Tallahassee-Leon County, and contributes approximately $1.3 billion and pays the fourth-highest average wages in the MSA. The region also has significant research and development activities and is critical to regional economies as it typically contains occupations requiring high education levels.

Health Care: This sector represents industries that provide health care and social assistance for individuals. Industries in this sector cooperate in the process to serve patients through health care providers, technology and research. Health Care is a critical component of all communities, whether they physically host facilities and schools, or simply need access to quality care and education. Health Care also provides good jobs and wages. For Tallahassee-Leon County, the sector has special significance because of its location as a regional hub and its key assets for patient care and education. The Tallahassee MSA job growth in this sector exceeded expectations based on national trends and the major patient care institutions include Tallahassee Memorial Hospital with a Level II Trauma Center and Capital Regional Medical Center.

These four target industry sectors have been identified based on their ability to advance the private sector, diversify the regional economy, and remain resilient in the face of economic downturns or government policy changes while maintaining its competitive edge through accessing the unique research and development resources in Florida’s Capital for Business.

View the full Targeted Industry Study here.

1 VisionFirst Advisors, Tallahassee-Leon County Economic Development Strategic Plan, October 2016, p. 31.