Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Industry Report Confirms City's Marketing Plan

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Industry Report Confirms City's Marketing Plan

Article excerpt

Byline: Earl Daniels, Times-Union business writer

City officials want to make sure the companies that are being recruited are the right fit for Jacksonville.

And for the most part, it seems they are.

Yesterday, a consultant told members of the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission that city officials should focus on certain kinds of companies in a so-called targeted industry study.

The study suggests city officials focus on information technology companies; financial and insurance services; medical-related businesses; headquarters of manufacturing companies; service and distribution companies; aviation and aerospace industries; distribution and manufacturing plants; and the electronics industry.

"I would not say it is a drastic change from where we are now," said Kirk Wendland, executive director of the JEDC. "We are continuing to look at higher wage jobs as we have before."

The study will replace a similar one done in 1997. The $130,000 study was commissioned in partnership with the JEDC; Cornerstone, the economic development arm of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce; and JEA.

Yesterday's presentation kicked off the JEDC's monthly meeting because JEDC partly funded the study and awards financial incentives to companies that relocate and expand in Jacksonville.

Wendland said the most recent study is more focused than the previous one and contains information that will be helpful to city officials when recruiting new companies to the area.

The study will identify certain industries and business niches within an industry where companies operate and chief points of contact at those companies, he said.

Wendland said the study is not yet final.

The information will allow city officials to recognize companies in certain industries that will play to the area's strengths. City officials are expected to use the information as a resource for marketing and recruitment efforts.

The consulting company, Whittaker Associates, will develop a database of companies that are likely to relocate to or expand in the area. …

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