Talent, housing and lifestyle are tops for CEOs considering Tampa

May 22, 2019

It comes as no surprise that the availability and skills of the local talent pool would top the list of criteria CEOs are using for relocation and expansion considerations. But in the CEO Perception Study that the EDC commissioned earlier this spring, several other factors increased significantly in terms of their importance in the site selection process from the last time we checked in with those CEOs in 2014.


The availability of affordable employee housing options shot up 29% from just five years ago. Tampa fared well in that category, with half of the CEOs polled viewing our market’s lower cost of living and home prices as a distinct advantage. Other perceptions of Tampa that gained as positives included the ability to attract qualified employees (up 10% since 2014) and quality of life (up 15%). We’ve also made great strides in improving perceptions of Tampa as a headquarters destination. In 2014, 70% of CEOs considered Tampa as a destination for a corporate headquarters, compared to 91% in our most recent survey. You can read more about the study and its results in this article published last week in the Tampa Bay Business Journal.


Talent will move to center stage in the EDC’s next strategic plan. We are currently in the process of developing our new plan for FY2020-2022 and have engaged dozens of our Investors over the past two months in roundtables and individual interviews. I couldn’t be more pleased with the high participation rate and energy level of our Investors. Their insightful contributions are going to help us to create a high-impact road map for Tampa and Hillsborough County’s future. Our consulting team from TIP Strategies will present the final plan in August, so we’ll be ready to move on its directives beginning October 1.


Building across-the-board prosperity for everyone in Tampa Bay is going to take some creative thinking and persistent effort. I’m very excited about an initiative that John Flanagan, CareerSource Tampa Bay’s (CSTB’s) new CEO, is launching to give young people aged 16-21 an opportunity to learn and engage with local employers about career opportunities in area companies and industries. If you’re looking to hire some young people and give them work experience this summer, I encourage you to explore CareerSource Tampa Bay’s (CSTB’s) Summer Job Connection. This program will provide career education and work experience for as many as 650 young Hillsborough County residents from June 10 – July 19. CSTB is asking local employers to give the program participants some first-hand knowledge of what they do every day and offer ideas for the career pathways to pursue to get jobs in their industry. And here’s the best part: CSTB will be the employer of record and assume all payroll and liability coverage for the young participants.


To learn more about this great opportunity, please connect with Jody Toner, Director of Policy, Performance, and MIS at 813-930-7409 or tonerj@careersourcetampabay.com.


Have a great Memorial Day holiday.