Targeting High Tech
Polk County wants an identity change. Its economy has traditionally been based on agriculture, phosphate and industries like warehousing and distribution. But in recent years, there has been a push to attract high-tech, higher wage jobs. Now - in a coup for economic development officials - a new, autonomous USF campus will be built in Polk and the name has been changed from USF-Lakeland to USF Polytechnic. The name signals a shift toward technology, research and development - both for the campus, and community leaders hope, for the area in general.
Steve Scruggs and Marshall Goodman talk about their experiences at this year's Consumer Electronics Show and the challenges facing Florida when marketing to overseas technology companies. Pat Steed adds that it's important to position the area as part of mega-region including Miami, Tampa and Orlando.
Steve Scruggs explains the Lakeland Economic Development Council's "Why Lakeland" and Summer Leadership program - efforts to reach out to college students and young professionals in the city and connect them with the community.
Marshall Goodman describes the kinds of students USF Polytechnic wants to recruit as well as how he's trying to attract professors for the school.
After the discussion, our panelists talked more about what makes the Polk County area attractive to potential employees.
Several members of our audience asked questions of our panel during the live taping in Lakeland. Hear those questions and the panel's answers.
Tuesday at 6:30 PM | Sunday at 7:30 AM on WUSF 89.7
Monday at 10:00 PM on WSMR 89.1
Carson Cooper is a familiar voice. He has become a favorite of WUSF listeners as the local host of NPR's "Morning Edition" on WUSF 89.7 since he took the job in 2000. Carson has worked in Tampa Bay radio for more than two decades. He has been the host of WUSF 89.7's Florida Matters since its launch in 2006. During that time he has reported on a variety of issues of importance to the community, including growth management, education, transportation, affordable housing, taxation, public health and the environment.
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