PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - In the midst of economic troubles, local leaders are coming together to try and boost the Palm Beach County economy by tying it to future trends including the next population boom. On paper, the strategy appears promising. In reality, this 'Six Pillar' plan to bolster Florida's economy will take some hard work.
According the to the Florida Chamber Foundation, projections show five to seven million new Florida residents are expected to arrive in the state by 2030; thousands of whom will likely move to Palm Beach County. About 350 Palm Beach County business and government leaders are addressing the 'Six Pillars', which include bringing higher-paying jobs to this area, growing the county's infrastructure and remaining competitive in what is a global economy. "There is not enough money for everybody to do this alone anymore. It's clear with the great recession and the pain people are feeling with their homes, the funding of government. We can't do this alone," said Dale A. Brill, President of the Florida Chamber Foundation. "If this kind of process can work here, it is giving great encouragement to your brothers and sisters in counties throughout the state," he said.
Hundreds of volunteers have participated in a series of workshops over the last year, according to the Economic Council of Palm Beach County. Participants with expertise and commitment are aligned to one of the Six Pillars for Florida’s future economy: 1) Talent Supply and Education, 2) Innovation and Economic Development, 3) Infrastructure and Growth Leadership, 4) Business Climate and Competitiveness, 5) Civic and Governance Systems, and 6) Quality of Life and Quality Places.
"Management is how you get out of problems. The economy is clearly struggling right now," said Nat Roberts, General Manager of Callery-Judge Grove, a citrus distributor near Wellington. The economy was partly to blame for Roberts having to downsize his staff and even change which crops he grows. Roberts is planning for the long term and is glad that the county appears to be doing the same. "If we do nothing, we will continue to be where we are and we will just hope that something changes our situation. I would submit that hope is not a plan." he said.
Palm Beach County becomes the third community in Florida and the first urban area to be designated a Six Pillars Community by the Florida Chamber Foundation. For a detailed look at the strategy, click here .
Click HERE to read more about the Six Pillars Plan for Palm Beach County.