Achieve Escambia is tackling the educational and workforce development challenges in our community. On the latest Toddcast, Executive Director Kim Krupa explains Achieve Escambia’s role in achieving their Cradle to Career mission for our students, job seekers and employers.
On the latest Toddcast, Justin Beck, President of Beck Partners, gives us an overview of what’s happening locally in commercial real estate. Justin also provides his insights on what needs to be done in Pensacola to keep the momentum going and how to attract the young workers needed for future growth.
The military has a $7.4 billion annual impact in Escambia County.
In the latest Toddcast, Chamber board member Keith Hoskins describes how the Chamber is supporting our military bases through the West Florida Defense Alliance (WFDA).
Find out how the business community can support this important effort.
On the latest Toddcast, find out about local workforce development and education initiatives with Gulf Power’s Community Development Manager Jennifer Grove.
Jennifer explains how these initiatives will help develop our workforce of the future and improve education outcomes in Northwest Florida.
Want to find out what’s going on in business, government, education, tourism and other industries that impact business in the Greater Pensacola community?
Then check out the Greater Pensacola Chamber Toddcast. Chamber Vice President of Public Affairs Todd Thomson goes in-depth with the leaders and decision-makers who are in the know. On the Toddcast, you will find out how decisions made locally, regionally and nationally will impact your business and our community.
You can follow the Toddcast on Twitter at @ToddcastPcola.
Keep checking back as more Toddcasts are posted.
In an effort to provide the business community with up to date information on business and government on the local and state level, we introduce the Greater Pensacola Chamber Toddcast.
The Toddcast will keep you updated on the latest government meetings as well as providing interviews from the key players from business, government and politics, education, tourism and other key industries. Stay tuned, the Toddcast will be out soon!
At their April meeting, the Triumph Gulf Coast Board of Directors voted to move forward with the Escambia County School District’s Workforce Development Project. The $3.12 million project will expand current workforce development efforts by the school district and Pensacola State College. The primary areas of training will be focused on advanced manufacturing, aviation maintenance and cybersecurity. The goal of the project is to train 1,145 students for quality local jobs by 2023-24.
Chamber Vice President of Public Affairs Todd Thomson spoke in favor of the project at the meeting reiterating the Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce’s endorsement of this project late last year. Thomson interviewed Escambia County School District’s Workforce Education Director Michelle Taylor following the vote. You can listen to the interview below.
The full application with a detailed description of the project can be found here.
Dave Penzone, a consultant for the City of Pensacola, provided his quarterly update on the VT-MAE Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) project at the Pensacola Airport to the Pensacola City Council and Escambia County Commission. Penzone reported that construction of Hangar 1 has been completed and that the ribbon cutting will take place on June 8th. The Hangar 1 project cost $46 million and will create 400 jobs. The local government investment in the project was $8 million.
Penzone also provided the city council and county commission an update on the city’s Triumph Gulf Coast request for the MRO project. The goal of the Triumph request is to bring create a VT-MAE campus with three additional hangars at the Pensacola Airport. Penzone stated that if the full VT-MAE expansion were to take place at the airport, there would be an additional 1,325 jobs created with an average salary of over $44,000/year. If the full VT-MAE campus were to be completed, VT-MAE would be the fifth largest private-sector employer in Escambia County.
Penzone laid out the city’s Triumph project request in detail. The city is asking for $135 million from Triumph over a four-year period. This would be done in installments of $68 million in 2018, $0 in 2019, $38 million in 2020 and $32 million in 2021.The city’s budget for their portion of the $200 million includes $35 million from VT-MAE, $10 million from local government sources and $20 million from other sources.
City staff met with Triumph staff members Rick Harper and Cori Henderson on March 29th to review the city’s proposal. Based on that meeting, the city will revise their initial proposal and resubmit to Triumph in May. Penzone believes that the Triumph board will consider the MRO proposal sometime this summer.
You can find Penzone’s full report here.
The Escambia County School Board voted 4-1 to move forward a proposal that would allow Escambia County voters the opportunity to decide whether to change the method the superintendent of schools is selected. If approved, the new measure would call for the Escambia County School Board to appoint the superintendent of schools. District Five board member Bill Slayton was the lone vote against the proposal.
In explaining the proposal, current Superintendent of Schools Malcolm Thomas stated that he had committed to bringing this proposal forward after announcing that he would not be seeking a fourth term. Thomas explained that voting on this during the 2018 elections would allow the district to prepare for whatever the outcome of the vote. If the voters decide to keep the current system of an elected superintendent, then nothing changes. If voters choose to go to an appointed superintendent, then the school board would have two years to find that person while Thomas serves out the remainder of his term. Thomas also said that putting the proposal on the November 2018 general election ballot would allow for the greatest number of Escambia County voters to express their desire.
Thomas did raise a caution that the county commission or Supervisor of Elections David Stafford might not allow the proposal because of the lengthy ballot this year. The general election ballot will be longer than normal due to the thirteen proposed constitutional amendments that will also be on the ballot.
The elected vs. appointed school superintendent proposal now goes to the county commission for their approval before it can be placed on the ballot.
The Florida Constitution Revision Commission wrapped up their final deliberations and approved eight proposals to be considered on the 2018 general election ballot. The Greater Pensacola Chamber had endorsed the proposal that would prohibit offshore oil and gas drilling in Florida state waters. This proposal was bundled with a proposal to prohibit vaping in enclosed indoor workplaces. These items will be combined as one proposal on the November ballot.
A proposal that would have required all Florida businesses to use the E-Verify system was defeated. The Greater Pensacola Chamber testified against this proposal during the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing in Pensacola earlier this year.
The list of the final revisions approved by the CRC are provided below; the full text of each revision is available on the Florida Constitution Revision Commission’s website, flcrc.gov: