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Cornerstone awarded $200K to study future jobs

Cornerstone Regional Development Partnership, the economic development arm of the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Northeast

Jerry Mallot

Florida Regional Council (NEFRC) were recently awarded a $200,000 grant by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to administer a targeted industry sub-cluster study and implementation plan.

The study will assist economic development organizations in identifying the region’s growth industries and developing the action steps needed for sustainable job creation.

“The study will help us identify and target the industries and workforce of the future,” said Jerry Mallot, president of Cornerstone.  “It will also provide the foundation for us to develop an implementation strategy to attract these industries to Northeast Florida.”

Community leaders believe the study will provide a deeper understanding of the highly competitive sub-cluster specialties that currently exist within the seven-county region and identify their unique competitive advantages.

“Upon completion of this study, we will have a better understanding of distinctive regional assets and the ability to direct resources more successfully by targeting unique regional advantages,” said Elaine Brown, president of the Northeast Florida Regional Council.

The study will also provide a plan of action for economic development practitioners, local governments and workforce development agencies within Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties to focus on the growth industries in Northeast Florida and pursue the continued success of the region’s economic future.

“Industry clusters leverage a region’s competitive strengths for job creation and increase our nation’s global competitiveness,” said John R. Fernandez, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development.  “This investment will provide local leaders with a plan to more effectively direct resources and target distinctive regional assets to support and expand economic activity and create jobs in Northeast Florida.”

The process to select a firm to conduct the study is underway.  Completion of the study will take one year.

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