Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco developing marketing strategy to lure high wage jobs

NEW PORT RICHEY — When Pasco officials asked business leaders in Hillsborough and Pinellas how they perceived their northern neighbor, they were surprised by some of the answers.

"They thought (the Shops at) Wiregrass was in New Tampa," said Melanie Kendrick, the county's senior planner for economic development.

The revelation, which did not amuse county commissioners, was used Monday at a workshop to present Pasco's strategic plan for economic development. Planners stressed the need for "placemaking" — which is a way to develop a brand for the county to attract desirable development and high wage jobs.

"For a place to be remembered it has to be unique," said Kendrick, who told the story of how Lizard Lick, a small town in eastern North Carolina, came to be home to corporate giants Glaxo Smith Kline and Siemens.

The town is about 20 miles east of Raleigh, in the research triangle, which is an area brimming with jobs.

"They're attracted to that place," she said.

North Carolina took a community that had been associated with tobacco and textiles and turned it into a high tech corridor.

Pasco can do the same thing to develop a sense of place, Gehring said. That includes becoming more savvy salespeople.

The strategic plan was developed over the past year and a half in cooperation with business leaders, the Pasco Economic Development Council and regional developers.

It took the changes in the land development rules and transportation fees and built on that to create long-term goals for each of the county's five market areas. They also renamed the areas based on their characteristics in order to improve their marketability.

The Harbors is the area along U.S. 19, described as a "boater's paradise." That area is slated for infill and redevelopment. Gateway Crossings is the new name for the south market area, which includes the State Road 54/56 corridor and allows for more dense urbanized development.

"That will be Pasco County's Westshore," Gehring said.

The area between State 54 and 52 is called the Midlands and includes preserves, lakes and residential subdivisions, while the Highlands, which includes the Brooksville Ridge, encompasses the cities of Dade City and Zephyrhills.

Areas outside of these have been renamed the Countryside.

The report listed countywide goals as well as goals for each market area that fit in with the overall plan. They included telling Pasco's story and encouraging positive growth through using more expert panels such as the Urban Land Institute, which issued a highly critical report several years ago and prompted the land use rule changes. Also on the list was maintaining a business-friendly climate by offering sites with infrastructure already in place and making Pasco a national destination for active outdoor activities.

The report also cited the need to work more closely with the school district and its career academies, which would be expanded to every high school and middle school, to develop a qualified work force that would want to stay after graduation.

Commissioners asked questions but didn't take a hard position on the report. They will discuss it further at the overall strategic planning session set for 9 a.m. Monday at Saint Leo University. If approved, it will be part of the business plan, with initiatives considered for funding in the 2013-14 budget.

Gehring said the county, which has lots of available land, is in an enviable position as the economy returns to life and other counties are built out.

"If we did this four years ago, we'd have been whistling in the wind," he said. "It's a great time to be putting it in place."

Pasco developing marketing strategy to lure high wage jobs 11/27/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 6:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Florida education news: Athletic trainers, signing bonuses, student vaccinations and more


    SAFETY FIRST: Pasco County school district leaders decide to retain high school athletic trainers, which had been slated for elimination, amid pleas from …

  2. Rays morning after: Why Alex Cobb was out of the game and Alex Colome was in


    Alex Cobb obviously did a really good job pitching the first eight innings for the Rays on Tuesday.

    So why didn't manager Kevin Cash let him pitch the ninth?

    Because he had Alex Colome available to do so.

    Cobb had thrown only 98 pitches, so workload and fatigue were not factors.

  3. Police commander among 6 charged in deadly 1989 UK soccer deaths


    LONDON — British prosecutors charged six people Wednesday in the 1989 Hillsborough stadium disaster where 96 soccer fans were crushed to death.

    Police, stewards and supporters tend and care for wounded supporters on the pitch at Hillsborough Stadium, in Sheffield, England, on April 15, 1989. British prosecutors on Wednesday June 28, 2017, are set to announce whether they plan to lay charges in the deaths of 96 people in the Hillsborough stadium crush _ one of Britain's worst-ever sporting disasters. [Associated Press]
  4. Supreme Court term ended much different than it began


    BC-US—Supreme Court, 1st Ld-Writethru,899

    AP Photo WX109

    People visit the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, June 26, 2017, as justices issued their final rulings for the term, in Washington.  The Supreme Court began its term nine months ago with Merrick Garland nominated to the bench, Hillary Clinton favored to be the next president, and the court poised to be controlled by Democratic appointees for the first time in 50 years.  Things looked very different when the justices wrapped up their work this week. [Associated Press]
  5. SPC's Bill Law leaves with pride for the faculty, concern for students — and a story about hotdogs


    ST. PETERSBURG — The local community college had already made a name for itself when William Law Jr. first arrived on campus in the early 1980s as a vice president. Still, the school, then named St. Petersburg Junior College, was just a shadow of the sprawling state college it would later become.

    Bill Law, outgoing St. Petersburg College president, said he is proud of the college cultivating stronger relationships with the community.