Jacksonville Economic Development Efforts Fly the Friendly Skies


January's edition of Dossier, a magazine featured in-flight onboard United Airlines, selected Jacksonville as part of an economic development series. Titled “Jack of All Trades,” the edition is dedicated to the business climate of Northeast Florida. Having an objective outsider recognize Jacksonville’s development was good news to Cathy Chambers of JAXUSA Partnership.

Chambers said the biggest benefit is the fact that it's a third party endorsement of what many in Jacksonville, including JAXUSA Partnership, have been working towards.

Writer Wyatt Murphy takes note of the booming logistics industry in Jacksonville, noting the success of the airports, rail lines, and seaports. Northeast Florida contains three major rail lines — Norfolk Southern, RailAmerica and CSX — which Murphy points out connects Jacksonville to 27 of the nation’s top 50 metropolitan areas. Rail isn’t the only infrastructure mentioned, the article mentions another feature of Jacksonville that makes it a logistics powerhouse — Jacksonville has access to more than 50 million consumers within an eight-hour truck drive.

Jacksonville’s workforce is heralded as a great asset for the region, for not only being rich in highly skilled veterans, but also for the great young professionals produced by area universities. The University of Florida is recognized as being active as part of UF Health, providing innovative health solutions to Jacksonville residents. Jacksonville University’s new $20 million College of Health is expected to add further to Jacksonville’s healthcare expertise.

Chambers said 2013 gave Jacksonville two important firsts to help Jacksonville be recognized globally: the Jaguars trip to London and OneSpark.

Jerry Mallot of JAXUSA Partnership told Murphy, “Our biggest challenge has never been to convince companies to come here — it’s making them aware that we are here and what we have to offer.”

Check out the full spread seen on board United Airlines flights here.

 

By Catherine Byerly, Jacksonville Business Journal