Business announcements, accompanied by glowing words and confident fanfare, are a staple in the media these days.
Business announcements, accompanied by glowing words and confident fanfare, are a staple in the media these days. Whether it is the latest mega-merger, a re-branding effort or the successful completion of an economic development initiative, events big and small dot the business landscape almost every day. Flagler County had its own moment in the spotlight earlier this week when Florida Gov. Rick Scott attended the ribbon cutting for Coastal Cloud LLC, a high-tech company that is bringing 100 new jobs to the county over the next three years.
While the county deserves praise for the effort in attracting Coastal Cloud’s owners, Tim and Sara Hale, to locate their headquarters in Flagler County, the jobs created are only part of an overall economic development strategy.
To talk about what Scott’s visit means and the significance of attracting a high-tech company to the area, Helga van Eckert, executive director at the Flagler County Department of Economic Opportunity, offered the local spin.
Gov. Scott’s visit earlier this week brought a lot of attention to Flagler County’s economic development efforts. What does it mean to the county to be in the job creation spotlight?
Gov. Scott’s visit was an honor. The attention highlighted the forward momentum of the county’s economic development efforts, in this case, specifically in the targeted area of high tech industries. As he stated during his presentation, great things will come to Flagler County as a result of the strong community support and collaboration that was apparent by the attendance at the ribbon-cutting event.
As important as the attention a gubernatorial visit brings, is the real significance of Tuesday’s ribbon cutting the promise of 100 jobs over the next three years and the potential for other companies to put Flagler County on their radar?
We are very excited about Coastal Cloud and the creation of 100 new jobs. The additional media attention that has been realized as a result of the governor’s attention to the company and the county has uncovered additional hidden technological talent that exists within the county today. These businesses have known for quite some time that Flagler County has the infrastructure, the talent, the reasonable cost of living and the unsurpassed quality of life to support this targeted high-tech industry.
One of the buzz words in economic development “clustering.” What does it mean and how can it work here?
Clustering indicates an agglomeration of related industries that enhance their economic productivity and cost-sharing by locating their operations in close proximity of one another. These general principles work for any industry within the community. Our goal is to strategically attract, encourage and expand these developments in order to strengthen and diversify the local economy.
With an unemployment rate still in double digits, 100 new jobs will not solve the county’s jobless issue. How significant is Coastal Cloud in the larger picture of job creation and onomic development?
It is the confidence expressed by Coastal Cloud by locating their headquarters in Flagler County that has the most significant impact. Tim and Sara Hale, the owners of the company, are accomplished experts in this industry. They have top CEOs and CFOs on their strategic planning team that have endorsed the business model as well as its location in Flagler County. The 100 jobs are substantial; however, validation by such accomplished professionals of this Flagler County as being competitive in the industry brings us much closer to achieving our goals. We view this new addition as a catalyt for additional growth in the high-tech and related industries.