By staff writer
There is no denying that Tampa Bay is on the up and up; in fact, the region saw 3.98 percent job growth in the last year. With more young professionals coming into the region than ever before and a booming tech scene, Tampa is a hot place for development. In fact, Tampa is one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the U.S., and according to a 2017 study by NerdWallet, millennials make up nearly a quarter of its total population.
With this substantial population growth and millennial influence comes increased demand for more targeted talent to meet workforce needs and ramped-up construction to provide housing to the influx of new residents. Invest: Tampa Bay spoke with local leaders across Tampa’s major economic sectors to find out where they see the region growing and shining. While they might work in different industries, it is easy see that the general message is the same: Tampa Bay is the place to be.
“We’re working to develop an employee-led, demand-driven workforce strategy. Rather than simply push forward higher graduation rates and certificate completions, we’re starting from the demand side to understand exactly what we need today and in the future. Then we can develop a strategy to produce that. We are looking at five major industries that we think are critical to Tampa Bay’s economic future: healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality, information technology and construction.”
—Rick Homans, President & CEO, Tampa Bay Partnership
“Tampa is in a bigger growth position and has a more vibrant construction economy than it has ever had in its history. There are more large projects here than there ever have been — by a large margin. There is great growth from one end of Tampa Bay to the other. Channel Side is exploding. Downtown Tampa and Downtown St. Petersburg continue to be amazingly busy, and the beaches are strong. Growth is steady, and we haven’t seen any leveling off.”
—John Bowden, Senior Vice President, Moss Construction
“The Tampa Bay region stands out as Florida’s business destination. We offer a high quality of life with a low cost of living. That’s what we’ve been known for because it’s rare to have both. With that, we’re attracting a lot of talent. When you have jobs and a high quality of life, it makes you very attractive to young professionals. We also have one of the most affordable markets for first-time home buyers.”
—Craig Richard, President & CEO, Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation