In order to “better promote the area as a business generator [and] an ideal location to start and grow a business,”1 OEV must have a clear, data-supported understanding of the existing economic environment so that it can develop a targeted industry approach that will:
- Identify industries and clusters most likely to find the region competitive and attractive – and communicate to those industries that they are welcomed and valued;
- Promote industries with the greatest likelihood of responding to OEV’s marketing and industry recruitment activities; and
- Support business formation and recruitment objectives by directing resources and energy where they will be most effective.
In 2017, the Office of Economic Vitality commissioned a Targeted Industry Study, which included an Economic Retrospective and an Incubator and Accelerator Study. Key stakeholders, such as elected officials, business owners and operators, non-profit, education and training leaders, scientists and researchers, and entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial support program leadership, were included to ensure a broad perspective was obtained and subsequently utilized to inform each report. Together, the three reports provide information, analysis and strategic recommendations that support economic growth initiatives, including the marketing efforts.
The Target Industry Study identified four industry sectors that will 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. The sectors are:
- APPLIED SCIENCE AND INNOVATION to maximize the world-class resources at Innovation Park, the two research universities, Florida State University, and Florida A&M University.
- MANUFACTURING AND TRANSPORTATION/LOGISTICS to capture the economic benefits of innovation by making the products in Tallahassee-Leon County.
- PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY to nurture a growing information and communications technology cluster and ensure that businesses have access to superior legal, accounting, and other business services.
- HEALTHCARE to leverage Tallahassee-Leon County’s leadership as a regional hub to provide a sound career ladder of good jobs, and to integrate breakthroughs in research and development with the provision of continuously improving patient care.
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.