Now the hard work begins, as community leaders on Monday laid out a blueprint to create 75,000 targeted industry jobs in Miami-Dade County over the next five years.
The Beacon Council, which leads the One Community One Goal effort, presented the last in the report’s four-part series, with recommendations outlined in 113 pages.
The goal: Create jobs, boost investment and economic development and elevate Miami-Dade to world-class status.
“The mission of One Community One Goal is to create jobs and lower the unemployment rate” said Alexandra Villoch, co-chair of One Community One Goal and senior vice president/advertising and marketing at The Miami Herald Media Company. “With the new One Community One Goal strategic plan we want to make sure that we diversify our local economy so that we reduce these drastic ups and downs as much as possible.”
Hundreds of community leaders in business, education and government attended the kick-off event at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson campus to herald the next step: implementation of the plan.
Focusing on Miami-Dade’s private and public education is among the top themes.
“To succeed, we have to have education,” said Adolfo Henriques, co-chair of One Community One Goal and president of Gibraltar Bank. “Education is the foundation from which we are building our targeted industries.”
More than 5,000 people have participated in creating the strategic plan, leading to 80 recommendations, said Amy Holloway, president of Avalanche Consulting, one of two consulting firms that drafted the reports. It is the second One Community One Goal project in 15 years, updating one from 1998.
The latest project first highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of Miami-Dade’s economy, then identified target industries for economic development and educational initiatives. The seven industries selected were aviation; creative design; hospitality and tourism; information technology; international banking and finance; life sciences and health care, and trade and logistics.
Providing a plan of action is next, reflecting a shared vision, with community-wide cooperation and an aim of economic diversification.
“Miami-Dade needs to build its brand identity as a business destination,” Holloway said. That’s going to require $15 million for a global public relations and marketing campaign, she said.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, who also co-chairs One Community One Goal, said it is “time to roll up our sleeves,” to make the project “a roadmap” for the community’s future.
He pointed to Miami International Airport and PortMiami as key generators of job growth.
“We have the people, resources and tools we need to make One Community One Goal more than just a study,” Gimenez said. “As long as I am at the helm of the county, I assure you we will make One Community One Goal our priority.”
Boosting entrepreneurship is among the strategic goals.
“We already have an entrepreneurial spirit,” Holloway said. “But we need to invest more resources to make a rich entrepreneurial community.”
Frank R. Nero, president and chief executive of the Beacon Council, who first came up with the idea of revisiting One Community One Goal, emphasized the importance of getting everyone involved in seeing the plan through.
“If this is just a Beacon Council effort and does not engage the entire community, this will fail … If we do not change how we do things, collaborate more and provide resources, this will fail,” he said.
“We need your help, we need your engagement, we need your brainpower, we need you rolling up your sleeves, and yes, we need your money,” Nero said. “The prize at the end is a community with equal opportunity and economic prosperity… and it will continue to be a beacon for others to come here for economic opportunity.”
One Community One Goal’s steering committee will next meet to choose the organizations that will be assigned to implement recommendations, figure out how much money is required and set time frames.
“We need to all get engaged and we need to start immediately,” Henriques told the audience. “The heavy lifting begins right now.”