Since January, EMSI and our partners have been working with leaders in Osceola County, Florida on a major targeted industry identification analysis that combines concrete data with qualitative information from the community to strengthen the county’s economic development efforts. The project has yet to be completed, but today the Osceola County Board of Commissioners released the list of targeted clusters that it selected based on the consulting team’s recommendations.
EMSI is working with The Natelson Dale Group (TNDG) and the University of North Texas’ Center for Economic Development and Research. Together, the consulting team has developed a county and regional economic profile, examined potential clusters using 10 data variables (including historical/future job growth, industry concentration, export orientation, workforce compatibility, etc.), and met with industry and community partners.
The work thus far has resulted in the county’s selection of five targeted clusters — life sciences/allied health; information technology; tourism, entertainment, and recreation; chemical product and plastic manufacturing; and food manufacturing — and the team’s detailed analysis of the clusters’ employment outlook and supply chain. Based on these industry opportunities, the county can strategically align economic development, workforce, and education resources to accelerate the growth and position of key industry clusters in the area.
Here’s a full media release from Osceola County:
Osceola County, FL – Working with industry experts and the community to proactively shape its job creation efforts, the Osceola County Board of County Commissioners selected the core focus areas for its future economic development efforts earlier this month.
“Osceola’s business friendly atmosphere can now be targeted to industries to maximize job growth,” said Commission Chairman John Quiñones of the industry identification study that began in January. “This will be a key to implementing one of the commission’s strategic goals – to grow and diversify the county’s economy.”
The targeted “clusters” are:
- Life Sciences and Allied Health Services: Primarily pharmaceutical and medical equipment manufacturing and some allied health services
- Information Technology: Revolving around computer and graphic related services and data and web hosting/services
- Tourism, Entertainment and Recreation: Industries that attract tourism to the region and support the existing tourism base
- Chemical Product and Plastic Manufacturing: Primarily plastic product manufacturing and other chemical manufacturing (e.g. household products)
- Food Manufacturing: Variety of food products ranging from drinks to fruits and vegetables to specialty foods
“Our ability to identify attract and grow new industries will be key to our economic future,” said Clancy & Theys’ Pete Pace, a construction industry expert representing the Kissimmee/Osceola Chamber of Commerce on a Leadership Group of about 15 industry and community partners.
The team, which included Economic Development directors from Kissimmee (Belinda Kirkegard) and St. Cloud (Ernie Gearhart), looked at clusters being a complete chain, including, suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and the end users. Potentially, there are dozens of industries and companies in each cluster, officials said.
Next up is creating a strategy for attracting, growing, and sustaining the selected clusters. For instance, the consultants identified the opportunity to attract companies that sterilize medical instruments. Data shows there is a quantified demand for this business that Osceola County can tap into immediately.
“The study will identify clusters that are most conducive to successfully create job opportunities for our citizens,” said Maria Toumazos, administrator of the Osceola County Economic Development Department. “It is not just about recruitment but about growing our own and helping our existing companies expand.”
A consulting team that included EMSI (Economic Modeling Specialists Inc.), the Natelson Dale Group Inc. and the University of North Texas’ Center for Economic Development and Research analyzed existing and potential industry clusters in the region and county, based on factors such as, employee wages, national/regional trends and the local multiplier job effect.
The effort included a multi-department team with members from Community Development, Long Range Planning, Economic Development, Strategic Initiatives and the Convention and Visitors Bureau. There are more than 150 stakeholders from the community contributing to the effort.
Osceola County also provided this example supply chain that helps illustrate the consulting team’s comprehensive approach: