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Plant City marketing push aims to attract employers

Plant City

Marketing push aims to attract employers

The city and county are making a coordinated effort to attract employers.

Under a program funded partly by the city, the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation will launch a marketing push next week aimed at promoting Plant City and eastern Hillsborough County. The city will put $50,000 toward the effort.

TECO will contribute another $20,000, and the EDC will pick up additional expenses.

Jacob Austin, an Air Force veteran, will head the project and starts Monday.

Economic development is "vitally important" to Plant City's growth strategy, City Manager Greg Horwedel said.

The city will build off its core strengths to reach employers, he said.

An EDC analysis two years ago identified four economic sectors for growth: agribusiness, manufacturing, food processing and packaging, and nutraceuticals, an industry that combines food with nutrition health.

"We need to have the ability to raise Plant City's profile among the site-selection and corporate-relocation folks," Horwedel said.

Austin previously worked as an associate project manager at the Chamber of Commerce in Bowling Green, Ky.

2013 Strawberry Festival adds acts

The 2013 Strawberry Festival has added more acts to its concert lineup that runs from Feb. 28 to March 10: rocker Bret Michaels, polka band Jimmy Sturr & His Orchestra; country acts Gene Watson and 14-year-old Caroline Kole, Lorrie Morgan and Pam Tillis, Dwight Yoakam, Steve Hall & the Shotgun Red Show, Mel Tillis, T.G. Sheppard and Janie Fricke; and gospel's Gaither Vocal Band.

The list already featured other headliners, including Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins. Tickets go on sale Dec. 3 at 8 a.m.