TEAM Santa Rosa update

TEAM staff is continuing to work with representatives from Project Vortex- a company that could bring in excess of 700 jobs to Santa Rosa County. We are currently working to help them qualify for state incentives that will make Santa Rosa County an even more attractive place to bring their jobs.

The memorandum of understanding between TEAM Santa Rosa and the Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce is in final draft format and should be finalized this month. The agreement sets the foundation for the two organizations to work more closely on external marketing of the two-county Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) as a prime spot for industry to locate and thrive. As we head into the new year, there will be more joint site visits, shared familiarization tours and combined marketing efforts between TEAM Santa Rosa and the Pensacola Chamber.

The TEAM Board of Directors and staff continue to look for means to implement and learn from the organizational review completed by Tom Ticknor, a consultant from Evanston Illinois who is known for aiding economic development organizations in becoming more productive. Several meetings of the TEAM Board of Directors and our executive committee have taken place to identify very specific areas where we need to improve, all while assuring that the items for which TEAM was rated above average remain top of mind.

As part of TEAM Santa Rosa’s role in workforce development for the two-county area, TEAM’s workforce development coordinator is serving on the SkillsUSA statewide competition event steering committee. The competition is held each year to recognize students who are at the top of their class in a career and technical education program. This year, the statewide competition, expected to draw up to 5,000 visitors to the area, is being held in Pensacola at the Civic Center beginning with a reception on April 29, followed by three days of student competitions. The competitions will be complemented by a career expo for all attendees with a focus on seventh graders in the school districts of Santa Rosa and Escambia Counties.

TEAM Santa Rosa conducted a familiarization tour recently with a national leader in site location for large industry. TEAM was able to entice the visitor to make the trip here through his business relationship with Shannon Ogletree, TEAM’s Associate Director and industry recruiter. During the visit, we were able to introduce him to a variety of economic development stakeholders, including several county commissioners. TEAM worked with the Pensacola Chamber’s economic development staff to showcase a number of sites in both Santa Rosa and Escambia Counties, introduced him to all the amenities that two-county area has to offer and highlighted the workings of the area’s labor force. We are hoping to bring him back again soon, along with a few more from other parts of the country. Communities around the nation continually try to get people like this to visit their area, and TEAM was able to put them on the ground here in the Pensacola MSA- a great win for the region.