October 24, 2014

community portrait

Jacksonville

More than just gathering data, we're capturing elements that make each community distinctive.

Quality of Life, continued

Annual Florida/Georgia football game
The annual Florida/Georgia game packs in the fans.

> Football:
The game is a local obsession — not only when the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars take to the field in the fall, but in college match-ups such as the Florida/Georgia game and the Toyota Gator Bowl.

> Volunteerism:
Jacksonville ranks second in Florida in volunteer rates, behind Tampa. Nationally, it’s ranked 45th among 50 large cities.

Average Volunteer Rate: 20.7%

Average Volunteer Hours per Resident: 26.1

View from a Competitor

Florida Trend asked an economic development professional in a market that competes with Jacksonville to assess the city’s strengths and weaknesses.

Strengths:
”Jacksonville has been linked ‘to a great sea by a great river’ since its beginning days. With the widening of the Panama Canal, scheduled for completion in 2014, Jacksonville is poised to assume an even more powerful leadership role in the coming era of giant cargo ships. But its greatest strength is its model of government, created in 1968. Jacksonville is today the envy of civic, business and governmental leaders from across our state, since its one-stop-style-of-local-government makes doing things in Jacksonville easy when compared to most other cities and counties in Florida.”

Weaknesses:
"Although it is the largest city in our state by size, when contrasted to and when competing with other regions of Florida, Jacksonville has a comparatively small population. As a result, it lacks some of the amenities and the quality of life image now being demanded by the creative class. In the years ahead, Jacksonville will have to learn how to better showcase its assets; not just to future residents now living in other parts of the United States, but to those citizens looking to relocate to the United States from other countries. This international competition for talent is going to be an especially difficult game for Jacksonville to win, unless it establishes new ways of recruiting highly skilled, highly educated, highly motivated workers, essential for the new economy.”

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