Miramar Beach, Fla. - The 21st Gulf Power Economic Symposium is all about the future. Regional business and community leaders met to discuss areas of regional concern and to strategize on building long-term prosperity for Northwest Florida. The Governor was the keynote speaker.
Gov. Rick Scott was on hand to address the crowd and pledged his support for the area and its importance to the State of Florida's future.
"I think there is an unbelievable opportunity for the Panhandle. I think there is a lot of opportunity to do with manufacturing. There's also a lot of opportunity to do with technology, because people can do that anywhere and this is a beautiful place to live. Our taxes are lower, the people are nice, and we love our beaches," said Gov. Rick Scott, State of Florida.
This year's theme, Northwest Florida FORWARD, brings together the top 600 movers and shakers in the region. They were here to discuss the vitality of economic growth.
"To have conversations about where we go to carry Northwest Florida forward, only good things can happen from that, whether it's a conversation about talent and education or infrastructure or just how we work on things in our communities to make it a more vibrant community," explained Stan Connally, President & CEO Gulf Power.
The regional strategy is to build relationships, diversify the economy and expand wage growth. Making the year 2030, a target date to reach their goal.
"That may seem like a long way away but, that's only 13 years away and many of the young people that are entering school today, as grade school children, they'll be in the workforce here in some 15-ish years," said Connally.
"People want to live here but, it's all tied to jobs. That's why right now, we have about, I think it's 255,000 job openings in the state," shared Gov. Scott.
Northwest Florida FORWARD says their goal is to focus on strengthening the workforce to build economic growth.
Gov. Scott said in his last 400 days in office, he plans to focus on continuing the momentum of creating jobs and hopes to bring more to the Panhandle. His term ends next year.
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