The statewide celebration, taking place February 11-15, aims to highlight economic developers’ contributions to job growth, investment and workforce development

Jasper, FL – The Hamilton County Development Authority (HCDA) is participating in the inaugural Florida Economic Development Week, taking place February 11-15. The campaign, hosted by the Florida Economic Development Council (FEDC), highlights the significant contributions that economic development programs and professionals have on Florida communities and families.

“Every day our community is changing,” said Susan Ramsey, Executive Director of the HCDA. “Economic development programs and initiatives work to ensure that change is positive. Our goal is to leverage our assets to increase job opportunities for our citizens, grow our businesses small and large and improve Hamilton County’s quality of place.”

In 1960 the HCDA was formed to assist the county’s existing businesses grow while attracting new investments and industry to the community, and those efforts have grown and continued today.

Learn about the Top 5 ways the HCDA and economic development are contributing to the community’s economy.

  1. Job Creation & Capital Investment: HCDA top goal is to bring new jobs to the community. In 2018, Cultiva Farms USA announced the completion of its new cold storage facility, part of a $10 million project to build a leafy salad crop farm on a 460-acre ranch at Timber Lake in Jennings – the project has created 34 jobs so far.
  2. Talent Development: Together, the HCDA and Hamilton County Schools created the Economic Development and Education Task Force. The goal of the task force is to identify challenges and opportunities to improve educational outcomes and increase the county’s economic vitality.
  3. Small Business Assistance: Last week, the HCDA announced an additional $25,000 in funding for the Commercial Beautification Micro-Grant Program aimed at improving the visual appearance of businesses in Hamilton County – helping existing small businesses.
  4. Increase Competitiveness: Each day, communities are competing for job creation projects. The HCDA is working with Duke Energy in their Site Readiness Program. The program is intended to identify, assess, improve, and increase awareness of industrial sites in the Duke Energy service territory. The HCDA and Duke have identified 470 acres in Jennings as a site for manufacturing.
  5. Improve Quality of Place: Florida’s economy is built on its natural assets and tourism. Partnering with VISIT FLORIDA, the HCDA participates on the Culture, Nature, Heritage and Rural Committee. The purpose of the committee is to develop and promote the growing segments of nature-based tourism, cultural heritage tourism and rural heritage tourism, to increase Florida visitors and promote extended stays for greater economic benefit and quality of life for all areas of the state.

“Economic development in all its various disciplines is vital to Florida’s competitiveness and prosperity,” said Crystal Stiles, director of economic development for Florida Power & Light and chair of the FEDC. “Our goal for Economic Development Week is to raise Floridians’ awareness of the role economic developers play in helping local businesses to grow, bringing high-wage jobs and capital investment to communities across the state, and connecting industry and higher education to make sure that our workforce has the skills today’s employers require.”

The HCDA and FEDC, along with its 150-member organizations, representing close to 500 practitioners, will celebrate Florida Economic Development Week with proclamations, events, seminars, and social media campaigns. Follow the HCDA on LinkedIn and look for the hashtag #FLEconDevWeek19 to keep up with the latest news and campaigns from around the state.