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Gadsden County Development Council planning retreat is held

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Gadsden County leaders participate in planning retreat

On Friday, February 10, 2017, the Gadsden County Development Council (GCDC) held a planning retreat at the Tallahassee Community College Gadsden Center located at 223 Pat Thomas Parkway in Quincy.

Over 20 people participated including GCDC Board members, private sector stakeholders and one elected official each from the City of Quincy and Gadsden County. “I found the small group approach on discussing each topic to be very effective,” said, Angela Sapp, City Commissioner for the City of Quincy. Eric Hinson, Vice Chairman of the Gadsden County Board of County Commissioners stated, “The GCDC is a committed group of professionals who are working hard to improve the lives of our citizens. I look forward to this process and the final product.”

In 2014-15 via the Department of Economic Opportunity Competitive Florida program, the GCDC unveiled economic and tourism goals, objectives, and strategies along with an implementation timeline. Great strides have been made in areas such as strategic sites identification, business park documentation, infrastructure improvements and economic development marketing. Since the launch of the strategic plan, the GCDC has assisted five companies in their announcement to locate in Gadsden County: Safelite AutoGlass, Rental Inc, Armada Ammunition, Capital Hydraulics and Four Star Freightliner.

The planning retreat was facilitated by Lesa Lorusso of LNL Designs Interiors. Lesa has an MBA, a Masters of Architecture and is pursuing her doctorate degree in Design Thinking from the University of Florida. During the retreat, participants looked backward at what is working and forward for adjustments to ensure continued job growth and workforce investment in Gadsden County.

Armed with demographics and reading materials from economic development researchers like Amy Liu of the Brookings Institute who authored, “Remaking economic development: The markets and civics of continuous growth and prosperity,” participants were taken through a series of exercises that quantified like thoughts and then further explored top-ranked focus areas.

“The outcome of this retreat will provide a focus and call to action for each of the standing committees to address and provide guidance to the GCDC,” said Jim McShane, Board Chairman and President/CEO of CareerSource Capital Region. “We look forward to communicating often and deliberately with our partners at the County, in each municipality, education & workforce and the private sector to gather input for our next strategic plan regarding economic and community development.”

About Gadsden County

A Competitive Florida Community, Gadsden County is home to global distributors and manufacturers who depend on our positive business climate and vast transportation network to serve their customers. Our quality of life and mild climate allows residents and visitors to do something original most every day. Our team is here to help you discover all the benefits of the region and find a location that best fits your business.