Tampa’s back on top for job creation – but there’s more work to do

August 22, 2017

by Craig J. Richard, CEcD, FM

Last week’s jobs report delivered great news for our region: the Tampa area produced the highest number of private sector jobs in Florida over the past year. We led the state in job growth in professional and business services – producing more than 17,000 new jobs from July 2016 to July 2017 in this important sector.

For job seekers, our market offers a wealth of opportunity. We continue to rank first in Florida in job demand, with more than 43,500 job openings available here. Many of them are in high-wage, high-skill positions in STEM occupations – the kind of jobs that will keep Tampa Bay competitive in the global marketplace and make us a talent magnet.

This report reflects very well on our community’s tireless efforts to recruit new target industry companies and support the expansion and retention of local businesses. Our efforts are producing results.

But this is no time to rest on our laurels.

Our continued growth and competitiveness depends upon our ability to get the word out to young people across America as well as our local college student population that Tampa is the place for them to build their future.

That’s why we’ve been working closely with our millennial advisory group, StandUp Tampa, to discover how best to communicate what Tampa has to offer for their peer CEOs and professionals. Building upon the perception research we commissioned in 2016, known as the Millennial Matter project, the StandUp Tampa team began developing the architecture and messaging for a new talent attraction web site earlier this year.

Around the same time, Hillsborough County Assistant County Administrator for Economic Prosperity Ron Barton noted that our talent attraction initiative goals dovetailed with those of the county’s Tourist Development Council and Visit Tampa Bay. These organizations had the goal of increasing corporate and group business and building awareness of our market as a business destination in order to grow our permanent local economy.

So why not combine our forces to achieve our mutual goals?

Why not indeed! What a brilliant idea.

We’ve been collaborating on this project ever since, and we’re finally ready to show you what we’ve done.

On September 8, the Tampa Hillsborough EDC and Visit Tampa Bay will host a web site and campaign reveal for our joint talent attraction initiative, called Make it Tampa Bay. I am tremendously excited about this initiative and the promise it holds for our region, having been involved in other successful talent attraction initiatives in markets like Atlanta.

Please mark your calendar and join us for this exciting rollout:

Friday, September 8
Visit Tampa Bay Visitor Center
One Tampa City Center, 201 N. Franklin Street
First Floor
Tampa, FL
(Parking available in adjacent Ft. Brooke Parking Garage)

We’ve got less than six weeks left until the end of our fiscal year, and we’re going to finish strong with record job creation and capital investment.

The talent attraction piece, however, is the key to our economic momentum. We’ve got our eyes on that prize now, and that’s where they’ll stay.