government’s support of an economic development program provides
professional and targeted resources to direct and stimulate a greater
long-term diversification of the local economy. By targeting and
publicly supporting opportunities for higher skilled and higher waged job
creation, the County and its economic development partners increase the
prosperity and standard of living in the local economy.
Diversification from traditional industries helps to import economic
wealth and to balance the local economy while making it less vulnerable to
higher levels of new capital investment along with higher waged jobs,
economic development expands the tax base thereby providing
more dollars for local and county governments. This new tax base continues
to provide a stronger cumulative or residual economic return for the
community for years to come.
The world is changing
Much of that
change can be seen in the very types of jobs that exist compared to those
the County is trying to attract. Failure to diversify by targeting higher
skilled and higher wage jobs, could cause our community to fall behind
within the regional economy and be left to depend substantially on
tourism, and a service economy. Many of Volusia County’s cities have
partnered with the County’s economic development effort to achieve the
results of increased wealth and diversification.
The process of
economic development does not have to be complex. At its best, economic
development is both research-based and relationship-driven. The major
components of Volusia County’s Economic Development Strategic Plan are
expressed in the following areas:
- We have
researched key community factors including demographics, infrastructure,
workforce, existing industry base, real estate inventories, tax climate,
and quality of life.
- We have evaluated
the communities’ assets and weaknesses, including the market’s economic
strengths, weaknesses and threats and have developed targeted strategies
for minimizing or leveraging them on a case-by-case basis.
- We have
identified targeted industries that leverage the communities’ strengths
while encouraging a strategy that requires higher skilled and higher
- We have
capitalized on assisting existing companies and growing industry groups,
assembling a variety of business enhancement programs to support
international trade, research, technology and commercialization funding
and government procurement opportunities.
- We have partnered
with our local cities to recruit new capital investment projects and new
jobs and have worked together, developing future employment centers to
accommodate future capital investment and employer relocations.
Economic Development is a collaborative process
site-specific real estate deals, navigating local and state regulatory
issues–while demonstrating that transportation and workforce needs are
met–has been an important part of supporting potential business
recruitment. Other features of the program have been:
- generating leads
through marketing, such as trade shows, direct mail and business visits
information on websites and project research to support cost analysis,
- facilitating site
tours and community introductions,
- negotiating a
variety of partner based incentives, and
business climate improvements.
Site selection is an
elaborate decision process. Business expansion and location decisions are
based on the evaluation of many factors. Often, corporate executives and
their consultants develop complex matrices to compare cost and other
business impacts for twenty or more sites in as many states or locations.
We routinely explore a variety of location parameters that are most
important to businesses–transportation, labor costs, availability of
skilled workers, taxes and incentives, quality of life, and others.
quality of life for our residents is our mission, and true
economic development is a cooperative effort between many different
elements of our county. We, here in Volusia County, are fortunate to
partners in our efforts to support our business community and recruit
The Team Volusia
Economic Development Corporation, (teamvolusiaedc.com)
is a public-private partnership between the County, most of our cities,
and our business and educational community whose mission is to enhance
the economic development resources in the county.
The CEO Business Alliance (ceobusinessalliance.com)
is a select group of
Chief Executives and Chairs of some of the pre-eminent businesses in the
County whose purpose is to personally assist in the many aspects of
decision making required for an expansion or relocation.