Bold actions are needed to spur job growth and creation officials from throughout the Tampa Bay area said Thursday.
The Pinellas Board of County Commissioners, Pinellas County School Board members and officials with the Tampa Bay Partnership talked about the regional business plan at the of St. Petersburg College in Largo.
They talked about targeting manufacturing industries and using education to support job growth.
The Tampa Bay area's three-year business plan includes increasing employment in industries including medicine, technology, financial and data services, and marine and environmental activities.
The region’s workforce numbers are grim.
More than 200,000 jobs were lost in the Tampa Bay area in the last five years and more than 50,000 Pinellas residents are unemployed or underemployed.
An economic scorecard ranking six southeastern cities, including Jacksonville, Charlotte, N.C. and Atlanta put Tampa in fifth place, said Stuart Rogel, head of the Tampa Bay Partnership, a group of business leaders from around the Tampa area.
The meeting also included presentations from Pinellas county administrator Bob LaSala and Tampa Bay Rays president Matt Silverman.
The ideas they talked about include improving communication between schools and business and creating a databank of available jobs.
Pinellas county school board members Julie Janssen, Linda Lerner, Janet Clark and Nancy Bostock; Board of County Commissioners including Ken Burke, Norm Roche, Karen Seel and Susan Latvala; and SPC officials including president Bill Law and Deveron Gibbons were grouped into three teams of eight to discuss policies, initiatives and opportunities for job growth and creation for about an hour.
They identified and presented "bold actions" needed to make this happen.
The BOCC bold action is the 10,000 jobs iniative.
The school board bold action is to formalize SPC and PTEC's relationship.
The groups plan to meet again in the fall.
"We need to keep this alive," LaSala said.