October 30, 2014

Economic Development

Development Opportunities

Charlotte Crane | 10/1/2010
James Hizer
James Hizer recently took over as CEO of the Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. [Photo: Katie King/Pensacola News Journal]

James Hizer recently took over as CEO of the Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, the county's lead economic development agency. Previously, as CEO for six years for the Bowling Green (Ky.) Area Chamber of Commerce, he led a regional effort that created more than 4,000 jobs. His plans and thoughts on Pensacola:

» Strategy: "We will be exploring funding alternatives and will implement a revised strategic plan for the Pensacola metro area — the last strategy was completed five years ago and clearly needs to be updated. I'm also looking forward to building a more metropolitan economic development effort, working with Santa Rosa County's Team Santa Rosa."

» Opportunities: "We need to fine-tune our plans and do some work in creating inventory — our Escambia County inventory of sites and buildings is a little light. We need to work with existing businesses to do everything we can to help them expand; 80%-plus of our new jobs going forward will be related to those existing industries."

» Clusters: "We have a couple of significant industry clusters already, aerospace and renewable energy, that are good fits for Pensacola and will continue to be important targets. Back-office operations are another important cluster."

» Lifestyle: "More than ever, success in attracting business and increasing job growth is all about having an attractive place to live because those who have skills can live anywhere. The quality of life in the Pensacola metro area is extremely high. So I'm an optimist."

» Changes: "I think the greatest change the business community and elected leadership will see is in aggressiveness. At the moment, the worldwide site-selection community knows very little about the Pensacola Bay area. We need to change that."

Tags: Northwest

Digital Access

DIRECT DIGITAL ACCESS
Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single ditgital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.

ACCESS THIS ISSUE »

Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Colleges Are Tracking When Students Work Out at Rec Centers
Colleges Are Tracking When Students Work Out at Rec Centers

Officials on college campuses are turning to usage data and student feedback to shape fitness programs, hoping it will entice more students to develop healthy habits. 

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Do you give - or get - an annual performance review?

  • Yes - and I hate it
  • Yes - and it's OK - there's some value in the exercise
  • Yes - and I find it very valuable
  • No (thank goodness)

See Results

Ballot Box
Subscribe