Miami-Dade growth plan is complete

May 7, 2012

Excerpt from The Miami Herald

Now the hard work begins, as community leaders on Monday laid out a blueprint to create 75,000 targeted industry jobs in Miami-Dade County over the next five years.

The Beacon Council, which leads the One Community One Goal effort, presented the last in the report’s four-part series, with recommendations outlined in 113 pages.

The goal: Create jobs, boost investment and economic development and elevate Miami-Dade to world-class status.

“The mission of One Community One Goal is to create jobs and lower the unemployment rate” said Alexandra Villoch, co-chair of One Community One Goal and senior vice president/advertising and marketing at The Miami Herald Media Company. “With the new One Community One Goal strategic plan we want to make sure that we diversify our local economy so that we reduce these drastic ups and downs as much as possible.”

Hundreds of community leaders in business, education and government attended the kick-off event at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson campus to herald the next step: implementation of the plan.

Focusing on Miami-Dade’s private and public education is among the top themes.

“To succeed, we have to have education,” said Adolfo Henriques, co-chair of One Community One Goal and president of Gibraltar Bank. “Education is the foundation from which we are building our targeted industries.”

More than 5,000 people have participated in creating the strategic plan, leading to 80 recommendations, said Amy Holloway, president of Avalanche Consulting, one of two consulting firms that drafted the reports. It is the second One Community One Goal project in 15 years, updating one from 1998.

The latest project first highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of Miami-Dade’s economy, then identified target industries for economic development and educational initiatives. The seven industries selected were aviation; creative design; hospitality and tourism; information technology; international banking and finance; life sciences and health care, and trade and logistics.

Providing a plan of action is next, reflecting a shared vision, with community-wide cooperation and an aim of economic diversification.

“Miami-Dade needs to build its brand identity as a business destination,” Holloway said. That’s going to require $15 million for a global public relations and marketing campaign, she said.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, who also co-chairs One Community One Goal, said it is “time to roll up our sleeves,” to make the project “a roadmap” for the community’s future.

He pointed to Miami International Airport and PortMiami as key generators of job growth.

“We have the people, resources and tools we need to make One Community One Goal more than just a study,” Gimenez said. “As long as I am at the helm of the county, I assure you we will make One Community One Goal our priority.”

Read the full article in the Miami Herald.