Economic Opportunity

Envision Alachua is all about attracting jobs, not building houses.

Envision Alachua will:

  • Accommodate approximately 30,000 potential jobs over 50 years in eastern Alachua County, where the employment need is the greatest.
  • Attract advanced manufacturing and agricultural related jobs, many of which require only a high school diploma or some specific training, to help overcome jobs competition that residents face with college students.
  • Assist to increase the tax base, and allow for the services and recreation opportunities close by that support a vibrant community.
  • Enable Alachua County, the University of Florida and Santa Fe College and the region to compete in the state, national and global economies.

Envision Alachua will accomplish this by:

  • Providing land that is zoned and ready to meet the expansion needs of local companies. Alachua County has limited land suitable for advanced manufacturing and modern industrial uses that is well-served by transportation, a factor that limits the County’s ability to attract new industry. A 2007 report by the Council for Economic Outreach documents this. Many locally grown businesses end up leaving the County when they want to expand, taking jobs and local talent with them.
  • Creating the types of employment-oriented development that employers want. Increasingly, employers are seeking to locate in a high quality community that allows people to live close to where they work. They also want to be close to strong educational institutions like the University of Florida and Santa Fe College that are creating a well-trained work force for a variety of jobs at all skill levels.

Economic Progress Initiative

Weyerhaeuser is committed to realizing the community vision developed through Envision Alachua. The vision articulates the type of community and high quality environment that can attract these desired employers and provide space for local, established businesses to expand and prosper. Envision Alachua features the “Economic Progress Corridor,” which stretches from East Gainesville to Hawthorne, and is well-served by existing highways and rail lines linking the county’s economic assets.

Economic progress is not just about the number of jobs being created, but the quality of the employers and the types of jobs they bring. The Economic Progress Initiative seeks to build on the data and community input generated through Envision Alachua by conducting targeted research to determine how best to identify and attract these companies. To attract a significant employer, our community needs to have an attractive location and the resources available to support it.

Weyerhaeuser, partnering with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Council of Economic Outreach, Innovation Gainesville, the University of Florida and Santa Fe College, worked to create a regional marketing plan for economic development. With the economic development initiative, Weyerhaeuser funded the baseline analysis of the greater Alachua County area, a higher education asset report of UF, and is currently producing a regional marketing plan with the necessary tools. As part of the higher education asset report, over 150 interviews comprised the data research and relationship mapping including administration, deans and researchers at UF and SFC, businesses, government officials and community members interested in bettering the economy. No other university in the United States has ever had such a comprehensive asset mapping undertaking. To answer an immediate need, Weyerhaeuser produced a marketing piece for UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) for its use in recruiting companies to locate in the greater Gainesville area. Overall, the community partnership, led by Weyerhaeuser and the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, will support this effort as it executes the forthcoming plans.




related videos

Amy Holloway Video

Watch presentations by Amy Holloway and futurist Rebecca Ryan on the region's economic future at the iG 2013 Regional Economic Forum.
Amy Holloway | Rebecca Ryan

John Doggett Video – Part 1

Maintaining US Competitiveness in the Global Economy, John Doggett, J.D., M.B.A., Innovations in Economic Development, August 4, 2011
Part 1 | Part 2

 Planning for Plum Creek Lands in Alachua County—Regional Economy by Dr. David Denslow

Planning for Plum Creek Lands in Alachua County—Regional Economy, Dr. David Denslow, Task Force Meeting 3, Phase I, September 7, 2011

 Envision Alachua Economic Progress Initiative

Envision Alachua Economic Progress Initiative, Dr. Dale Brill, Hawthorne Community Workshop, June 26, 2013