City of Orlando Strategic Plan Prepared by: Analytica

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1 City of Orlando Strategic Plan Prepared by: Analytica Strategic Focus Area (SFA): Strong Economy Master Scope of the SFA. This SFA covers traditional economic development activities along with other key factors that impact economic vitality of an area such as housing and education. Clearly, other SFAs such as transportation, safety, and healthy environment, also play a key role in economic vitality. However, since there are dedicated SFAs to those topics, this SFA will be limited to a narrower set of initiatives. Intent of the SFA. The intent of this SFA is to build and strengthen within a city the climate, systems, and strategies that attract and support business investment and activity while also assisting the City to contribute to regional economic growth and development. The ultimate desired result is that everyone prospers; workers, business owners, and residents. This SFA does not attempt to direct the marketplace to a particular industry. Rather it seeks to develop the economic development infrastructure of advanced education systems, appropriate public-private partnerships, start-up and incubation mechanisms, communications technology and attractive workforce dimensions such as affordable workforce housing, quality public education and continuing education. While not seeking to direct the marketplace, it is the intent of this SFA to build upon the asset base of existing businesses. In many cases the role of the City is not to take direct responsibility for a strong economy, but rather to engage partners in advocacy for those initiatives that can lead to economic success. Desired Results from this SFA. The desired results of this SFA include: 1

2 A wider range of job opportunities. A wide range of job opportunities from entry- level positions to highly skilled professional and technical positions with an attainable ladder of midrange positions in between is an important part of a thriving city. Job diversity and range allow for career advancement, initial entry and the development of work skills and for reducing the risk of a have/have not society. A diverse economy. A diverse economy is more resilient given ongoing fluctuations in the viability and profitability of business sectors. Having a diverse economic base is a requirement if there is to be a wide range of job opportunities. A quality public education system, Pre-K-post-graduate including technical education. A quality education system is critical for four reasons. First, it produces a workforce possessing the skills required by the various business sectors. Second, it assists in business recruitment and retention. It is difficult to convince businesses to come or stay if they believe there is a lack of good education options for their employees children or there is a poorly educated workforce. Third, post-graduate education is often the source for the ideas and innovations required for on-going competitiveness in the global marketplace. Fourth, high quality higher education institutions attract the young people who can become the basis for entrepreneurial growth. Increased diversity of higher education opportunities. In addition to quality education, the region needs greater diversity of educational opportunity in both non-profit and for-profit higher and technical education. The goals are more colleges, universities, and technical institutions that would provide a greater expand the range of current degree options. Achieving this result would lead to a full range of professional preparation options, and more options for local students to reach their educational goals in Orlando. A deeper venture capital base. Entrepreneurial activities are dependent in part upon venture capital. Building a stronger venture capital base, through private or public-private partnerships will provide the start up 2

3 capital or growth capital needed for new businesses, particularly the creative industries the City is attempting to support. A denser urban core. There are empirical relationships among urban density, creativity, and entrepreneurial activities. The intensity of interaction that accompanies increased density gets translated into patents, new products, business plans, and other indicators of creative effort. Increased cultural opportunities. The cultural options of a City serve as a business attractor as well as a benefit to both residents and visitors. By encouraging and supporting a diversity of venues, public and private, and a diversity of cultural experiences, Orlando will be an increasingly attractive site for creative, research, and professional businesses. A changed perception of community. In addition to being a worldrenowned tourist destination, Orlando is much more. However, those additional attributes and features are largely unknown outside the region. One of the key results of this SFA is a more accurate picture of the economic nature of the City. Increased workforce housing. The rapid rise in housing costs in certain areas of the country has placed an unfair competitive disadvantage on those areas, which include Florida. When housing costs become unaffordable for the majority of the workforce, recruitment of outside talent becomes more difficult. Furthermore, businesses are less likely to relocate to areas where they cannot attract qualified employees due to high housing costs. A growth in the number and proportion of jobs that pay self-sufficient wages. The growth and development of business sectors that can afford to pay wages that allow persons and families to afford safe and decent housing, health care, and other basic needs is a key result of this SFA. Effective and efficient City processes that facilitate economic activity. The City should operate as a business-friendly organization whose processes, such as its permitting processes, serve to assist economic development. 3

4 A creative jobs economy. Given that the nature of the U.S. economy has changed to a more high skill, creative services economy, this SFA seeks to promote ways to encourage the development of these business sectors in Orlando and in the region. A sustainable economy. This SFA seeks to develop an economic base that is sustainable from a natural resource perspective. SFA strategy The strategy is to diversify the Orlando economy into cutting edge higher-wage industries and to capture emerging new economic trends through full participation and leadership in regional economic growth. The City s role is to concentrate on developing those assets and amenities needed by businesses that prefer to operate in an urban core, build upon its existing economic base, and develop its own economic development infrastructure, while assisting in the development of the education and housing infrastructure needed for economic growth. Challenges Sufficient tax revenues to fund public services. If a community does not make an adequate investment in itself then it will not prove to be attractive to high wage businesses. The State is considering legislation that could reduce ad valorem tax revenues to local governments. While the City wants to provide tax relief to citizens, such action must balance with the ability to provide quality public service. In the economic arena, Orlando is clearly in competition with a number of cities worldwide for talented people and growth industries. Unless it develops the infrastructure and quality of life to attract these people, it will lose out on future opportunities for economic growth. Cost of insurance. The cost of property insurance, worker s compensation, and health care insurance all make it difficult to meet needed levels of profit. If these costs continue to rise, it will decrease the competitiveness of Orlando as an attractive business site. 4

5 Lack of measures for city-states (regional economies such as Greater Orlando). Assessing how well the economy is doing is a challenge since Orlando is essentially the core of an emerging I-4 corridor city- state. Measuring economic well-being and advancement at the city-state level is a work in progress. Difficulty of entry level housing. The increased costs of housing, insurance, and taxes make it difficult for first-time home buyers. The cycle of poverty. In terms of preparing a skilled workforce, one challenge is that a portion of the K-12 student body is growing up in poverty. During the most recent school year available, nearly 60% of Orange County Public School elementary school aged children were on free or reduced price lunch, mostly within the City of Orlando. Poverty is related to poor educational outcomes, including dropping out of school. Low income children face many hindrances to their educational achievement, including: high rates of residential (and school) mobility due to unstable housing, untreated health conditions, and the need to contribute to the economic survival of their families at the expense of their own education. In addition, since their parents are more likely to have attained a low educational level, these children often lack the home supports they need to achieve academically. For all these reasons, low income children have a difficult time overcoming the cycle of poverty. Need for vocational training. Meeting the needs of the economy for skilled workers in the technical and trades areas can be challenging. At times, educational offerings are uncoordinated with industry needs. Furthermore, students are often unaware or do not take advantage of training opportunities. Offshore movement of service jobs. Consistent with national trends, mobile, lower skill, lower paying jobs are being moved to areas where workforce costs are significantly less. For example, call center jobs are moving offshore. This does not impact lower wage jobs where workers must be on site, such as jobs in the hospitality industry. But, it may reduce the range of employment options available as well as the opportunity to move from manual labor to service industry. 5

6 Possible movement of industries to mid-west and areas where housing is more affordable. As mentioned earlier, there are regions of the nation where housing is much more affordable. There are some indications that these areas are starting to see business and industrial growth because they offer more affordable housing. Assets Name recognition. The City has extremely high name recognition, due in large part to Disney, Universal Orlando and other theme parks, attractions and sporting events. The region s downtown. Orlando anchors the east I-4 corridor. As such, it is a central economic driver for the region. Climate. The weather attracts not only tourism, but also those businesses that can operate from anywhere and desire a warmer climate. Higher education. UCF is a major university with all the benefits such an institution brings in terms of research and development. Rollins College, Barry University, Florida A&M law school, local community colleges and other private institutions offer a range of higher education options. Existing and developing business clusters. While tourism is a dominant industry with a worldwide presence, Orlando s digital media and simulation are other significant clusters. With the addition of the Burnham Institute and new hospital development, a presence in the biotech field will emerge. Airports. Clearly the two airports provide competitive advantage to the City for those businesses where air transport is a significant element. I-4/Turnpike location. The City is at the functional center of the eastern I-4/Turnpike corridor, in effect, the cross-roads of the corridor. Existing level of regional cooperation and planning. The myregion effort has led to an enhanced level of regional cooperation on economic development activities. 6

7 Different demographics. Average age in Orlando is younger than other Florida cities. Housing stock is younger. Infrastructure is newer. Cultural amenities and an emerging downtown. This City has a variety of cultural amenities and a downtown that is becoming a 24/7 center. Strong Economy: Eight Initiatives 1) Bio-med clustermedical City initiative Purpose. The purpose of this initiative is to support and facilitate development of a medical/biotech cluster in the City. Related results: Economic diversity, job range, sustainability, changed perception of community, venture capital, diversity of higher education. Goals: Facilitate development of targeted facilities through incentives, permitting and other processes. Support broader impact of the center. Tactics Collaborate with UCF and other partners to develop business incubation system. Cooperative planning with other stakeholders to facilitate development of the center. Coordinate with other economic development agencies. Assignable actions Institute multi-entity support team. Develop strategies/business plans. Examine formation of local bio-med group. Key questions Are the number and proportion of medical and research jobs increasing? 7

8 What amount of economic activity can be attributed to this economic sector? Is it increasing? 2) Creative Village/Digital Media and Simulation Initiative Purpose. The purpose of this initiative is to support new and existing creative industries within the City. Related results. Economic diversity, sustainability, job range, changed perception of community, denser urban core, venture capital, diversity of higher education, increased cultural opportunities. Goals Foster a business climate and setting that encourages the development of creative industries. Tactics Grow a geographic area of the City for redevelopment in a manner attractive to creative industries. Assignable actions Institute support team. Identify key factors for success. Update redevelopment plan. Obtain development partners for creative village; concept team. Key questions What proportion of jobs in the City could be classified as creative? Are creative firms locating in the targeted area? What is the economic impact of the creativity sector? How do we compare with other benchmark cities on attracting and fostering creative industries? 3) Self-Sufficiency Initiative Purpose: Support the growth of a local and regional economy that can pay self-sufficiency level wages 8

9 Related results: Self-sufficient jobs, workforce housing Goals Increase the proportion of City and regional wage earners who earn self-sufficiency wages. Tactics Support workforce development efforts in the City. Support Earned Income Tax Credit program efforts. Seek growth of higher wage jobs within the City. Seek to ensure that all City positions pay a self-sufficient wage. Strengthen Internship programs for high school and college students. Strengthen Anti-drop out programs for high school students. Continue Building Family Assets program. Assignable actions Support and participate in existing and planned workforce development actions. Assist in expansion of EITC programs, child care assistance programs; continue after-school programs. Develop ways to build family economic opportunity. Support best practice programs to prevent high school dropouts in conjunction with school board. Key Questions What proportion of city residents fall below self-sufficiency standards? What is the trend over time? How we using best practice drop-out prevention programs? 4) Workforce Housing Initiative Purpose. Develop available housing options for the workforce Related results: Attainable housing 9

10 Goals Expand the amount of attainable housing within the City. Tactics Explore, implement or advocate for the recommendations of Mayor s Housing Task Force. Consider feasibility of land trusts. Consider affordable housing set asides. Consider fees to support affordable housing. Consider transportation impact fee waiver for downtown area. Assignable actions Explore joint development with the County of a workforce housing plan. Continue participating in regional affordable housing efforts. Continue, promote, and expand Teacher & Public Safety Home Buying program. Key questions Is the gap between wages and housing cost closing? What proportions of City workers are able to afford housing within the City? Are the full range of affordable and workforce housing development options available to the City? Are there other tools that can be used? 5) Downtown Initiative Purpose. Support development of a 24/7 downtown Related results. Economic diversity, creative economy, job range, denser urban core, increased cultural opportunities, changed perception of community 10

11 Goals Support development of downtown housing. Support development of support services downtown. Support continued location of businesses downtown. Support effort to reduce homelessness. Tactics Continue collaboration efforts with other local governments, the State and the private sector to attract businesses downtown. Continue and expand marketing effort to attract businesses that fit well with downtown. Continue support of downtown events & venues. Continue provision of security in downtown areas. Improve way-finding resources (signage, maps, and other tools) to ease transit for visitors to downtown. Assignable actions Institute teams of community leaders to support development goals. Strengthen downtown partnerships with businesses, non-profit organizations and other governments. Key Questions How much downtown housing is there? What are the projected future trends? What services are available downtown? What services are missing? How viable are the downtown businesses? How many shuttered storefronts are there? How much foot traffic is there in the evening and weekend hours? 6) Education Initiative Purpose. The purpose of this SFA is to support a quality public and private pre-k through a higher education system, including technical education, and build strong linkages between university research capacities and product development by local businesses. 11

12 Related results: Quality public education, economic diversification, diversity of higher education, changed perception of community. Goals Support increasing quality of local education system, public and private. Support education and training programs that would serve to raise the average wage level of the community, including professional, technical and trades programs. Identify and develop solutions for industries who need skilled workers that local institutions are not currently producing. Develop knowledge transfer system to transfer academic research into business products. Tactics Continue Implementation of the Mayor s Six Steps to an A plan 1. Safeguarding our school children; 2. Creating a permanent public education advisory board; 3. Supporting pre-k for all students in Orlando; 4. Becoming a Teacher Friendly City; 5. Creating a Community Based Institute 6. Expanding before and after school programs. Examine education options such as charter schools, small schools, magnet schools and neighborhood schools. Examine current City-School district partnerships and look for opportunities to expand. Examine existing City-College/University/Technical School partnerships and look for opportunities to expand Improve community accessibility to schools. Maintain adequate land for educational and research park development, using cooperative efforts with universities where appropriate and feasible. Enhance Parent engagement programs. Enhance youth programs, especially in low income neighborhoods. Enhance mentoring and tutoring programs in low income neighborhoods. Continue and expand efforts such as Parramore Kidz Zone, which aim to make high risk communities more supportive and positive 12

13 places for children, so they have the resources they need to succeed in school. Assignable actions Review best practices for City engagement with education issues and make recommendations. Examine issues involved with charter schools, charter school districts, etc and develop recommendations. Strengthen and further develop community education partnerships. Develop cooperative master plans for every school within the City. Establish joint task force to resolve School Board site and size requirements with the City s comprehensive plan. Update of walkability/bikeability plans to incorporate school access. Continue joint planning efforts with Orange County Public School system. Continue parent engagement efforts. Continue and expand Teacher Home Buying Program. Continue school safety efforts. Support volunteers and mentors at schools. Continue joint training programs between the School Board and the City. Incorporate education issues in surveys of City residents. Support teacher recruitment for City Schools. Hold annual meetings with school principals. Continue grant-writing efforts in partnership with schools. Continue efforts to build school health partnerships. Explore private sector partnerships to achieve their goals. Key questions What do employers identify as unmet needs? Future job needs? How readily can employees find adequate employees? What are the reasons for students dropping out of high school? What are the grades of city schools How satisfied are parents with the schools in the City? Promoting power looking at promotion rates of students 13

14 7) Sustainable City Initiative Purpose. The purpose of this initiative is to position Orlando as a leader in fostering a sustainable economy. Related results. Sustainable economy, denser urban core, venture capital Goals Provide leadership in the field of sustainability for municipal services. Encourage green practices in the private sector. Tactics Establish green building codes. Examine alternative energy sources for city facilities and equipment. Develop new public facilities for increased sustainability. Increase water conservation efforts. Develop incentives to encourage green development. Assignable actions Review of cutting-edge local government practices. Develop partnership with UCF. Identify and support existing local efforts. Key Questions What is the extent of use of sustainable practices in City operations? To what degree are projects in the City, public or private, certified as sustainable? What is the degree of public awareness of sustainability issues? 8) Small Business Initiative Purpose: Support the viability of small businesses in the City via technical assistance and business-friendly regulation and processes. Related Results: Diverse economy, wider range of jobs. 14

15 Goals: Maintain a diverse and viable small business community in the City Create a business-friendly atmosphere that will encourage new small business development. Tactics: Partner with small business assistance centers at local educational institutions Develop a partnership with the Chamber to promote small businesses Support existing incubators and foster new ones if needed Conduct a review of City procedures to determine how they could be made more small business friendly. Develop or adopt a small business definition. As part of redevelopment strategies support façade improvements. Assignable Actions Develop inventory of existing or planned small business assistance programs and incubators Review any prior local studies of how to improve the viability of small businesses. Review any prior local work on business friendly regulation. Convene small business forum(s) to generate ideas on how the City could foster and support small businesses. Key Questions What is the trend on the number of new occupational licenses issued annually? How do businesses rate the City as a place to do business? What is the unemployment rate in the City? 15

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