Hillsborough Economic Stimulus Task Force Meets

03/27/09 Mitch E. Perry
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Today the Hillsborough County Economic Stimulus Task Force held its third meeting in Tampa.

The group, created by the County Commission as a way to generate job growth during this brutal recession, has already alienated some people in the community.

Critics have said that the Task Force is weighed too much with establishment faces. Its Chair is Bob Abberger, the Managing Director for the Development & Investment Group with Trammel Crow, a real estate development and investment firm.

The majority of today's meeting consisted of a speech on how the outside business world looks at Hillsborough County, given by relocation expert Jay Biggins with Biggins, Lacy Shapiro & Company.

Mark House is with Beck Construction. He asked the Biggins how much transportation and water play into a business' desire to relocate; Biggins said there’s lot of activity on those issues.

Dr. Jack Rechcigl is Director of the University of Florida Regional Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Hillsborough County. He said that his organization advertises nationally, but has trouble recruiting English speaking college graduates.

Biggins said that youth are turned on by a vibrant downtown. But that's something that Tampa struggles with.

During the public hearing portion of the meeting at the end, there were only a handful of speakers. One was Tampa resident Norma Bostock – who thought that the task force was involved with finding jobs from the Federal Stimulus Package.

The next meeting of the Hillsborough County Economic Stimulus Task Force will take place next Friday morning at 9:30 AM. The meeting will focus on workforce development.

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