The Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation recently visited Pensacola as a part of their 2030 Project Regional Rollout. The 2030 Project is an ongoing effort by the Florida Chamber Foundation to help the business community in Florida prepare for the growth that our state will experience over the next twelve years.
Florida Chamber Foundation Executive Vice President Tony Carvajal led the conversation with almost 100 leaders from Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties in attendance. Carvajal began the program by sharing data describing the coming growth in the state and Northwest Florida, including the number of jobs that will be needed by 2030. In Escambia County alone, it anticipated that the business community will need to create 7,233 new jobs by the year 2030. Carvajal also touched on the trends that he is seeing with the types of jobs being created and mentioned that many of the jobs of the future do not even exist today.
Following Carvajal's presentation, there was a panel discussion that focused on talent and workforce development in our community. Chamber President/CEO Clay Ingram participated on the panel with Scott Luth from FloridaWest, Michelle Taylor from the Escambia County School District and Business Consultant Patrick Rooney. The panel discussed ongoing efforts on the state and local level to train the workforce of the future in an effort to attract and retain the workers needed here in Escambia County.
To learn more about the Florida Chamber Foundation's 2030 Project go to www.florida2030.org and visit www.thefloridascorecard.org to review the data that was presented at the rollout.
The Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with the Pensacola Young Professionals, the League of Women Voters and NewsRadio 1620, is proud to announce a series of candidate forums in advance of the August 28th primary elections.
The candidate forum for the office of Pensacola Mayor will take place on Wednesday, August 1st at 5:30 PM. The candidate forums for Escambia County Commission Districts Two and Four will take place on Wednesday, August 15th starting at 5:30 PM. The forums will take place at Seville Quarter.
2018 is shaping up to be one of the hottest election years in recent memory. On the latest Toddcast, Escambia County Supervisor of Elections David Stafford provides you with the information you need to get ready for the upcoming election season.
After over an hour of discussion and debate, the Triumph Gulf Coast Board of Directors agreed to move towards funding for the Pensacola Airport's Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Project. The proposal forwarded by the City of Pensacola had evolved over the past few months from an initial request of $135 million downward to $56 million.
At the June Triumph Gulf Coast Board meeting held in Pensacola, board members Don Gaetz and Stan Connally stated that they wanted to see this project brought forward and vetted by Triumph staff. Dr. Rick Harper provided an overview of the project and the economic impact this project would have on the region. Harper stated that the project would bring an additional 1,325 jobs at an average salary of over $44,000 a year. Harper also pointed out that this type of project will provide spin-off jobs that will benefit the region. Harper rated the modified MRO project as an 'A'.
City of Pensacola consultant Dave Penzone provided greater detail about the MRO project and answered a number of questions about outside sources of funding, construction costs and construction timing from board members. The issue of other sources of funding was one that board members had the greatest concern. The city's new proposal relies on funding from local, state and federal sources, some of which has not been approved yet. Penzone stated that they expected to find out about their request for state funds within the next 30 days but the federal funds request will take longer. The Pensacola City Council and Escambia County Commission will also need to provide funding that has yet to be approved.
Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward also addressed the Triumph board saying that this project is his highest priority for his remaining time in office and will continue to support the project even after his tenure ends in November. The Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce also spoke in favor of the project at the meeting. The Chamber Board of Directors previously voted to endorse this project.
After hearing the presentations, the Triumph board wrangled with how to structure the payments for the MRO project. With outstanding funding requests still remaining, the board voted to give the city until the end of the year to secure additional funding for the first phase of construction. Once that funding is secured, the board will release funds in four tranches of $20 million, $20 million, $11 million and $5 million for the four phases of the project. This will reach the $56 million requested for the project. Each payment will be contingent on the other sources of funding being secured for each phase.
The board voted unanimously to move forward with this plan and instructed staff to work on the term sheet with the city.
To see the city's revised budget for the MRO project go to www.myfloridatriumph.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/120-Pensacola-MRO-Campus-Score-Sheet-7-18.pdf
Ever wonder what the Gulf Coast Kids House provides our community? On this Toddcast, Executive Director Stacey Kostevicki explains the role of the Gulf Coast Kids House and how you can support their mission.
In our ongoing effort to increase public awareness about where candidates for local office stand on issues important to the business community, the Greater Pensacola Chamber is providing the responses to its 2018 candidate questionnaire. Click on the candidates name to find out where they stand on the key issues in our community. The questionnaire was provided to candidates running for Escambia County Commission, Pensacola Mayor and Pensacola City Council.
Escambia County Commission Candidates
Pensacola Mayor Candidates
Pensacola City Council Candidates
The Chamber teamed up with the Institute for Women in Politics to host a luncheon to provide information about the thirteen constitutional amendments that will appear on the ballot this November. Alexis Lambert, Deputy General Counsel for Governor Rick Scott and Ryan Wiggins with Full Contact Strategies provided an overview of the amendments and explained how these amendments came to be placed on the ballot.
Wiggins described Amendments 1-5, which are amendments that were either approved by the Florida Legislature or were placed on the ballot via signed petitions. Lambert explained Amendments 6-13, which were placed on the ballot after being approved by the Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC). Lambert served as the lead staff person and attorney for the CRC during this process.
Audience members asked questions throughout the luncheon. Lambert and Wiggins answered many of the questions but did not advocate for any of the initiatives, despite some leading comments from attendees. The purpose of the luncheon was to explain the process of how the amendments made the ballot and the substance of each amendment.
If you wish to do additional research on the proposed constitutional amendments go to ballotpedia.org/2018_ballot_measures and scroll to the Florida section.
On this Toddcast, Chamber President/CEO Clay Ingram lays out his vision for the Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce. Ingram also discusses the end of tenure in the Florida House of Representatives and his transition out of public life.
Greater Pensacola Chamber partners with local economic development agencies in effort to promote site
The Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce is joining with FloridaWest, Visit Pensacola, The Gulf Coast African American Chamber of Commerce, The Pensacola Beach Chamber of Commerce, the Century Chamber of Commerce and the Perdido Key Chamber of Commerce to help Escambia County businesses better prepare for and recover from hurricanes and other disasters.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) recently launched a new website, FloridaDisaster.biz, which has important information and resources. Businesses are encouraged to register at FloridaDisaster.biz before a storm arrives. Registration is free, and the site provides great resources for businesses before, during and after a storm. Businesses will have access to a Business Disaster Toolkit, road closure info, resource listings, Business Damage Assessment applications, and information on aid such as Small Business Emergency Bridge Loans and SBA Disaster Loans.
Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, said, “Businesses that take the time to prepare today can open their doors faster after a disaster. Using the resources at FloridaDisaster.biz, and through connections with local economic development organizations, business owners can make their communities more resilient and better prepared to weather any storm.”
Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce President Clay Ingram stated, “It’s important that our local businesses sign up at FloridaDisaster.biz to access available resources and get their businesses up and running after a disaster.”
We also encourage you to log on to Be Ready Escambia for the latest information local information and sign up for email updates.
FloridaDisaster.biz is a partnership between DEO and the Florida Division of Emergency Management. Other partners include the U.S. Department of Commerce, Florida State University’s Center for Disaster Risk Policy, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, the Florida Retail Federation, VISIT FLORIDA, the Florida Small Business Development Center Network and others. DEO is the lead agency for the support of business, industry and economic stabilization during a statewide disaster.
Did you know that the US Air Force has a significant presence at NAS-Pensacola? On this Toddcast, Todd talks to Colonel Charles “Andy” McElvaine, Commander of the 479th Flying Training Group. Col. McElvaine oversees four squadrons, 325 personnel and 45 T-6 Texan II and T-1A Jayhawk aircraft and trains over 300 Combat Systems Officers each year.