Gainesville is getting serious about stepping onto the global stage, and we’re seeing traction. The latest evidence of this comes from the economic development arm of the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce, the Council for Economic Outreach. The CEO has just unveiled its robust five year goal for Gainesville and greater Alachua County, which wowed those who remember the previous five year goals that were meek in comparison.
A major component of the plan is to attract, retain or expand 50 companies, creating 3,500 new jobs averaging $53,000 per year in salary. Target companies include those in the advanced logistics, advanced materials, agricultural life sciences, human sciences and software/information technology industries. These are the target industries because of the current local presence, high wages and high potential for growth.
Projects such as Innovation Square, Progress Park and Innovation Hub at UF are examples of the way Gainesville is trying to erect the framework to lure these industries. Additionally, the CEO is aiming to invest $1 billion in regional projects and infrastructure, improving not only Gainesville but the surrounding towns. Investment targets include the Power District, Progress Park, Plum Creek and the Cade Museum. The plan has been described as “bold, but achievable,” and many local leaders are excited about the opportunity. Real progress is never achieved without bold goals, and Gainesville may be just so bold as to put themselves on the global map!