January 3, 2013
By Robert Trigaux
Only three days into 2013 and the new year's already taking shape with new players and issues. Consider this a "Part 2" to my People To Watch in 2013 column that ran Sunday. It's going to be a busy year!
Tampa Bay's regional economic development scene will be hopping this year as the strengthening economy breeds more job opportunities and Tampa Bay leaders try to leverage the hefty marketing sums spent in promoting this region during the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa.
As compelling as live-streaming the best of Tampa Bay's business scene was during the RNC, Tampa Bay Partnership chief Stuart Rogel still needs to figure out how to transform Internet interviews of Front Row Tampa Bay and the gobs of archived footage into this year's regional sales tool.
And watch for Rick Homans, finishing a successful first year as head of the Tampa/Hillsborough Economic Development Corp., to come up with an encore performance. For starters, the regional IT workforce gap study in 2012, aimed at creating workers with tech skills that best meet the neediest IT jobs, will be followed this year by a similar workforce project for area manufacturing. Two key players lurk in the background helping to drive these job-generation projects. They are Randy Berridge of the Florida High Tech Corridor and Ed Peachey of the Tampa Bay Workforce Alliance. Why them? Because both have the financial budgets that can help fund these pro-employment efforts. And in 2013 - like any year -those with the dough help make things go.
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