Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news for working families.  An online newspaper

Florida News

FL's Strategic Plan for Economic Development Updated by DEO's Noel Munson

Florida: 13th on the list of Fortune 500 companies

DEO's Noel Munson reviews FL's Strategic Plan

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Last year's Dept. of Economic Opportunity (DEO) budget was $891,519,498.Thursday night's North Central Florida Regional Planning Council (NCFRPC) greeted DEO's Strategic Planner, Noel Munson, as its monthly guest speaker. He introduced the Planning Council to Florida's 5 Year Strategic Plan for Economic Development.

Scott Koons, the Executive Director of the NCFRPC, introduced DEO's Noel Munson, "He is going to share with us an update on the Economic Development Plan. The plan has been out for about a year. We've been monitoring the implementation of it."

Cambridge Systematics were the consultants involved in the Strategic Plan. It is not clear how much they were paid.

Mr. Munson, an MBA, has been with DEO since February, 2013. He began his presentation, "In 2011 we were charged with developing a 5 year state wide plan for economic development. The plan was released in July of 2013. The plan uses the Florida Chamber's Six Pillars of the Future Economy as its organizational framework."

He explained there was input from over 3,000 Floridians during the development of Florida's Strategic Plan.

Mr. Munson continued, "The Plan articulates for the first time Florida's economic development vision that the state will have the nation's top performing economy and be recognized as the world's best place to live, learn, play, work, and do business."

Mr. Munson read the State's economic development objectives from the DEO power point: improve employment; foster opportunities for prosperity; grow Florida businesses; expand global commerce; and increase Florida’s attractiveness to workers, residents, and visitors.

The state's Strategic Plan is based on the Florida Chamber's Six Pillars, which has been around since 2007. When the Six Pillars were unveiled, everyone in economic development made a big deal out of them. The state funnels a lot of tax money into economic development.

Mr. Munson said, "The Plan is intended to be a plan for all Florida."

The Six Pillars are: talent supply and education; innovation and economic development; infrastructure and growth leadership; business climate and competitiveness; civic and governance systems; and quality of life and quality places.

Mr. Munson explained The Strategic Plan has 29 strategies and four statewide "cross-cutting strategies." The cross-cutting strategies are: strengthen collaboration & alignment; develop talent and innovation clusters; build Florida as a globally competitive mega-region; and position Florida as a global hub.

According to the DEO power point, the Planning Council activities align with the cross-cutting strategies.

Mr. Munson explained, "Your council (Planning Council) has several cross-cutting activities that span multiple pillars and align with numerous strategies."

There are also many activities that align with the strategies and cross-cutting strategies, as well as the Six Pillars.

Former Columbia County Commissioner, James Montgomery asked, "How many of these strategies are actually taking place at this time?"

Mr. Munson answered, the easiest way to answer is there is reporting on 27 of the 29 strategies."

Where are the Fortune 500 companies?

California leads the nation with 54 Fortune 500 companies, followed by New York and Texas with 52 each. Florida is 13th on the list with 15.

The Observer asked, "Can you tell me why Florida continues to lag in attracting Fortune 500 companies after all these years and all the investment in strategic planning?"

Mr. Munson answered, "Sure. Remember the Strategic Plan is only a year old."

The Observer, "The Six Pillars is now seven years old."

Mr. Munson responded, "If you like, I have a graphic that I would be happy to share with you. Business, Fortune 500 companies are located in talent and industry clusters. Talent and industry clusters don't form overnight."

The Observer, "If I may, I have one final question. As you may know, you are in a Rural Area of Critical Economic Concern. That means under educated; under employed; under the rug. Can you tell me how Florida's Strategic Plan helps areas that are areas of critical economic concern and how that plan addresses the issues that face these communities?"

Mr. Munson answered, "Certainly. Again the Strategic Plan does not spell out actions. Actions happen at the local level with community leaders. The Strategic Plan identifies that having a well trained well educated workforce is good thing... That's the function of a strategic plan."

Updated: April 28, 2014; added link to ballotpedia.org

Comments  (to add a comment go here)

On April 26, PC from Tampa wrote:

Mr. Munson's presentation reminded me of an English expression that "denotes a confusing or meaningless subject" - Mumbo Jumbo. The best thing Florida can do with those six pillars is build a fence around the state to keep anyone else who subscribes to the "American Dream", justice, opportunity for advancement or a fair and honest government from getting in.

Mr. Munson spoke in circles without saying anything of value for the amount of money that was expended for this presentation. He attempted to spin a strand of gold out of a spider's web. Not working folks.

Good piece but not only doesn't it inspire, it is actually depressing if you understand the depth of what truly goes on here.


This work by the Columbia County Observer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.


Make a comment • click here •
All comments are displayed at the end of the article and are moderated.