In terms of opportunity for growth and improvement, the Talent driver shows no shortage of areas in which the community might choose to examine, understand, and engage. …In terms of Outcomes, Tampa Bay performs well in the aggregate measures – migration, GRP growth – yet lags significantly in more individual metrics of poverty and per capita GRP. – Regional Competitiveness Report

Tampa Bay Partnership, in collaboration with the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and the United Way Suncoast, recently released the 2018 Regional Competitiveness Report.  You can read the full report in its entirety here.Published annually, “the report benchmarks the community against peer and aspirational markets nationwide, and provides an unbiased and contextual account of the economic performance, competitiveness and prosperity of our  region.”

The report looks at six main indicators of economic and social health:

  • Economic Vitality – measures the quantity and quality of jobs, the relative incomes and opportunities
  • Innovation – measures how well the region and its institutions are generating new ideas, andas well as market reception of these ideas.
  • Infrastructure – looks at levels of infrastructure investment and quality of performance
  • Civic Quality looks at quality of life, and includes health of the citizenry is, whether an area has a safe
    and clean environment, and recreational opportunities .
  • Talent -this category looks at early childhood through advanced degrees,  :and is arguably the most critical factor in regards to a community’s ability to compete and prosper.  “
  • Outcomes – This last category looks at “lagging” indicators of economic competitiveness and prosperity, and looks at the economy on the whole and on a per person basis for current and potential residents

As might be expected, by anyone who’s lived here any length of time, Tampa Bay is a mixed bag, a combination of wonderful opportunity and resources, climate and culture, with educational and economic challenges that can make it hard for everyone who lives here to make the most of the good things.   The individuals behind the report put an enormous amount of effort into carefully and honestly evaluating indicators across Tampa Bay and comparing against geographically and demographically similar locales.  The results are comprehensive and should be read through in their entirety for a complete understanding of the complex issues facing Tampa Bay in our ongoing effort to achieve our full potential for our great area and our great citizens.

FCDI’s main focus is in the area covered by “Talent”, and as the report concludes for that section, “In terms of opportunity for growth and improvement,the Talent driver shows no shortage of areas in which the community might choose to examine, understand, and engage. ”  We believe the work we do speaks directly to driving talent, from hands-on learning opportunities for youth through robotics and maker initiatives to providing certification and training opportunities for all ages.

As we look ahead to ROBOTICON at the end of September, at USF, and the great science and technology showcase opportunity it affords participating youth, and to building out our Tampa Bay manufacturing and robotics center, this report will help us refine our framework to provide the most useful programming and training programs we can.  We’re excited about helping fill the competitiveness gap in Tampa Bay, and working with the other great organizations in the area striving towards similar ends.

It takes all of us who live here, working together,  to make Tampa Bay as good as it can be, for all of us who live here now, and for those who will come after us.