An economic summit is coming to Zephyrhills next month, with a primary focus on offering solutions to the needs of the medical community — which represents the largest percentage of the city’s workforce.
The inaugural Zephyrhills Economic Summit — organized by the Zephyrhills Economic Development Coalition (ZEDC), in partnership with the City of Zephyrhills and The Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce — is scheduled for Oct. 4, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Scotland Yards Golf & Country Club, 9424 U.S. 301, Dade City. Registration is $8, with breakfast and lunch provided.
Representatives from Florida Hospital Zephyrhills — the city’s largest employer — will be delivering presentations, along with a number of medical practitioners from Zephyrhills.
Survey results of the 2017 ZEDC Medical BizWalk also will be announced and discussed throughout the summit.
The ZEDC collaborated with professors from University of South Florida’s School of Public Affairs on identifying needs of medical employers and employees in the city.
Melonie Monson, executive director of The Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce, said one of the main outcomes from the BizWalk and economic summit is to address the issue of why many health care professionals work in Zephyrhills, but choose to live elsewhere.
Said Monson: “We want to know why they do not live here and what can we do (to address) what type of housing they need and what type of businesses they are looking for in the community…”
Besides addressing issues within the medical community, there also will be roundtable discussions on the city’s development and future growth opportunities in business, infrastructure and so on.
Other talking points will focus on how residents can become more involved in community affairs and additional amenities they prefer within city limits, Monson said.
“We would like to make sure that we’re informing the public of all of the great things that are going on around our community and any of the issues that might be affecting them that we’re working,” Monson said.
“We want everybody there that has any interest in what’s going on in the community,” she said.
The summit also will feature State Rep. Danny Burgess, Pasco County District 1 Commissioner Ron Oakley, Zephyrhills City Manager Steve Spina and Zephyrhills Planning Director Todd VandeBerg.
“We’re going to have the city’s planners…talk about the different things that we have coming into our community, and then we’re going to hit on the government side and how we can be better advocates in Tallahassee for our community,” Monson explained.
Some forthcoming projects that may come up include: construction of a new City Hall; development of a multi-million dollar, city-owned tennis center; various master-planned communities; and, restoring and reopening Hercules Park.
Monson said similar ZEDC-led summits will be held each fall, with a different spotlight each year, such as the education and industrial sectors.
The ZEDC was developed in 2012, partnering with city and local leaders in business, government, education and economic development, to create a sustainable and vibrant business and economic climate in Zephyrhills. Besides assisting the needs of the medical community, one of the ZEDC’s key initiatives is developing a vision for the city’s municipal airport for growth and expansion. Designing a comprehensive targeted jobs and barriers report is another.
Published September 20, 2017