Writer: Jerrica DuBois
2 min read January 2022 — As more people descend on Jacksonville to live and work, businesses are taking stock of the ever changing needs of their company, employees, the community and how they will be best served moving forward. Invest: spoke with local leaders from a range of industries about what their outlook is for their business and the Jacksonville region in 2022.
David Yencarelli, COO, American Electrical Contracting
It is unstoppable. The only thing holding Jacksonville back from the growth opportunities that are emerging, and have been presented to us, is finding the people to do the work. That is one of the reasons we started a nonprofit this year. We started a 501(c)(3), the American Electrical Academy that is open to anyone who has an interest. It is a free electrical school, with no strings attached, where we will teach anybody off the street. We will give them nine weeks of world-class instruction to be electricians. When they graduate from our program, they get an OSHA 10 safety card. It is nine weeks of one-on-one instruction from an NCCER-certified electrical trainer. We do not do this for our benefit. We do this for the community’s benefit. They will be hirable by any electrical contractor in the country. We started it in August 2021 and graduated our first class, all of whom were 100% employed within a week. One of the reasons we did that was because the growth in Jacksonville is going to be absolutely tremendous. Keeping up with it is going to be the toughest task.
Bruce Lowthers, President, FIS
Fintech is in its early innings as an industry. There’s a tremendous amount of creativity and innovation and it should be a great time to be a part of it over the next five years. I love being a part of Jacksonville, it’s a wonderful city with great people and we’re seeing more fintech move to the area. That has me excited about what’s happening here. The business leaders are joining with the city leaders to find ways to stimulate the growth of fintech in Jacksonville and that’s going to fire up the future of Jacksonville over the next five years.
Jennifer Hendry, Broker & Owner, CrossView Realty
In the next two to three years, we are due for somewhat of a correction. It has to happen. I just don’t know when in that time frame it’s going to happen. Our priority will be to watch the market and adapt so that we are in front of the curve when the correction happens. It is not going to be like what we went through in 2007-08 but prices can’t continue to grow at the pace that they are growing at right now. It is just not sustainable.
Douglas Baer, President & CEO, Brooks Rehabilitation
Jacksonville fortunately is one of the strongest healthcare markets in the country, with the Mayo Clinic, Baptist Health, MD Anderson, Wolfsons, Nemours, UF Health, Ascension and HCA all with significant presence. We include Brooks in that as well from a rehabilitation standpoint. We anticipate the sector will continue to get stronger, with more facilities, more access and more competition among healthcare providers.
As we think about the next two to three years here, we will have more access for patients and families to meet growing demand as well as more competition among healthcare providers. There are positives and challenges that come with that. On one hand, it allows us and the industry to expand faster with fewer constraints. On the other hand, too many facilities and too much growth raise concerns over continued high quality. Brooks intends to grow to meet the market demand while continuing to offer the same innovative technology, clinical expertise and proven treatments synonymous with the Brooks culture.
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