The game plan is being scripted by the mayor of Tallahassee and six regional task forces. All met Monday to share notes. It's about relying less on state government and more on local enterprise.
Mayor John Marks wants Tallahassee and surrounding counties to tap into its own resources, to create a robust economy. Six local leaders are using their brain power and combining ideas to make this region stand out- financially.
“We've come together to figure out how we can grow without dependency on state government. We're going to look at resources- use institutions of higher learning,” says Mayor John Marks.
“We have this wonderful intellect that leaves. If we can retain not all of them but a large number of them than we currently do,” says Bob Bodine, CEO of Workforce Development
Bodine says that would create a firm foundation for a new diversified economy, but other elements come into play. The need for a major corporate structure is apparent, as well as small businesses.
Still, some say that's only scratching the surface. We must also factor in the current uneven distribution of wealth.
“To bring the very low income citizens of the community up to the point where they can participate in the economy's growth,” says Dot Inman-Johnson, former Tallahassee Mayor.
As you can see, many ideas were brought to the table Monday. Mayor Marks says the team will meet again in four months with a more defined game plan for economic growth.
Mayor Marks says the goal is to diversify the economy in Leon, Gadsden, Wakulla and Jefferson Counties. He says he will meet with leaders from all four counties in the coming months.