Economic Opportunity Recommendations

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Introduction & Background

The Economic Advisory Committee

The Economic Advisory Committee was created as part of Mayor Jane Castor’s mission for Transforming Tampa’s Tomorrow. Working with the Tampa City Council, the Mayor assembled a group of subject matter experts, key stakeholders, and community leaders to participate in this important effort. Representatives of the University of South Florida and the USF Muma College of Business chaired the Committee and facilitated its discussions, conclusions, and recommendations.

The Process

Mayor Castor kicked off the Economic Advisory Committee on August 19, 2020 and set the challenge for this Committee to undertake three key tasks: a ) assess the most widely used and universal ‘best practices’ engaged by cities to measure social and economic progress; b) based upon the assessment, identify metrics that reflect areas of importance for the City of Tampa, as a community, to focus on improving, and c) recommend tactical and strategic initiatives to improve the selected metrics over time.

The Advisory Committee convened over a 90-day period to carry out these tasks.

The work began by evaluating numerous data measures and information sources including dozens of metrics from the ‘State of the Region’ data developed by the Tampa Bay Partnership Foundation and the USF Muma College of Business in collaboration with the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and United Way Suncoast. Data was presented from the ‘Regional Competitiveness Report’ which is a data-based assessment of Tampa Bay’s strengths and weaknesses across a diverse set of indicators, measuring performance against benchmark communities nationwide.

The Advisory Committee also reviewed findings and recommendations from related activities including the City of Tampa’s recent ‘Housing Affordability’ and ‘Workforce Development’ Advisory Committee Recommendations, the 2020 ‘Workforce Housing Initiative’ from the Tampa Bay Chamber, and an overview of resources available from Career Source Tampa Bay, a pivotal partner to the City and the community to help closer the regional skills gap.

Following this review, the group focused its recommendations on the following focus areas:

  1. Promote Inclusive Economic Growth
  2. Reduce Poverty
  3. Commit to Racial Equity
  4. Emphasize Educational Opportunity

Within these focus areas, the Advisory Committee identified ten specific measures that, if improved, could positively influence the focus area. As part of this exercise, it was important that each selected measure meet the following criteria:

  1. Be a recognized metric for measuring economic prosperity,
  2. Be easily measured at the local level specific to the City of Tampa (rather than the region or MSA), and
  3. Be readily accessible and trackable over time, ideally by the ‘State of the Region’ initiative, to enable the community to continuously track progress and assess whether implementation of the recommendations made a difference.

With the criteria in mind, the Advisory Committee identified the following ten measures to focus on:

  1. Promote Inclusive Economic Growth
    1. Per Capita Income
    2. Unemployment Rate
  2. Reduce Poverty
    1. Poverty Rate
    2. Transportation to Work
    3. Digital Access
  3. Commit to Racial Equity
    1. Racial Poverty Rate Gap
    2. Racial Labor Force Participation Gap
  4. Emphasize Educational Opportunity
    1. 4th/8th Grade Math Florida Standards Assessment (FSA)
    2. High School Graduation Rate
    3. Educational Attainment (Bachelor's degree and above)

After identifying the measures, the Advisory Committee worked to identify tactical and strategic initiatives to improve the trend of each selected metric. The recommendations are intended to help drive a common pathway to achieve positive progress.

The need for this assessment was amplified by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic which struck the Tampa Bay area as it did across the globe, presenting unexpected new challenges. Some of these challenges impacted underserved individuals and communities harder than others. The impact of the pandemic is yet to be fully appreciated, but the need for tactical and strategic initiatives to help improve economic growth and prosperity are stronger than ever.

Current State of Economic Growth and Prosperity in Tampa

The City of Tampa is experiencing rapid growth. Major public and private investments are transforming its physical landscape, and new residents and businesses are arriving daily. In summer 2020, the most recent ‘Regional Equity Report’ revealed that Tampa leads the nation on many enviable measures. However, several metrics were trending in the wrong direction, particularly those concerning poverty, income, and unemployment.

The Advisory Committee reviewed this data as part of its initial assessment, including Tampa’s position next to competitive cities across the country. For this exercise, the City of Tampa’s economic performance was compared to five other comparable cities:

  • Charlotte
  • Minneapolis
  • Nashville
  • Orlando
  • Seattle

These cities were selected based on factors such as population and demography, size of the economy, presence of regional assets such as ports and research universities, and the frequency of competition for economic development projects. The selected cities reflect both peer and aspirational relationships with Tampa.

In reviewing the comparative data there are many positive trends to capitalize and build upon. Tampa ranks second in ‘business establishment start rate’ reflecting a dynamic business environment and continued optimism in the economy. And for the first time in four years the region experienced positive export growth. In addition, the region’s housing prices have stabilized in relation to the national average.

However, the City of Tampa has lower rankings for certain critical economic prosperity measures as compared to its municipal competitors. For example, job growth rate is improving, but is still at a five-year low and Tampa Bay ranks last among other Florida metro areas. The share of jobs in highly desired advanced industries has also increased competitively, but without providing the expected value to the regional economy, particularly in the form of higher wages. The local average wage trails all but one community, and the average wage in the service sector continued a downward trend below the national average. In household income, Tampa Bay continues to rank below its competitive cities, however this measure is based upon census bureau data and does not account for the cost of living index which is highly variable among these cities.

The assessment also revealed several drivers of economic prosperity, including for poverty, income, and unemployment. For example, there is a direct correlation between transit availability and poverty rate. Likewise, there is a correlation between educational attainment and Gross Regional Product (GRP) per capita. The assessment indicated that incremental improvements in measures such as transit availability and educational attainment can make direct meaningful changes in a community’s poverty rate and GRP per capita.

Summary of Current Economic State

These preliminary findings highlight the interdependencies of economic measures and the importance of an inclusive and coordinated response to drive positive outcomes. While the MSA and the City of Tampa have many positive measures and trends, there is much opportunity for improvement on several key measures concerning socio-economic prosperity. The measures identified for targeted action are intended to break the cycle of poor performance and enable the City to grow its economy across all neighborhoods and communities.

General Findings

Following the assessment and evaluation of relevant data, the Advisory Committee identified ten measures to focus on. The selection of these measures was based upon three specific criteria that the group felt was critical for it to measure progress over time. First, the measure had to be an established and universally acceptable metric. Second, the measure had to be trackable at the local, municipal level (vs at the MSA level). And third, the measure had to be measurable over time by the Tampa Bay Partnership’s State of the Region initiative.

The goals for each measure vary slightly. For example, one of the measures has been trending downward, so the objective is to reverse that trend. However, half the measures reflect recent positive progress, therefore the objective is to focus efforts to continue to achieve positive outcomes, and where possible accelerate them. Finally, several of the measures are stubbornly fixed and consistently under-performing, but not worsening in competitive position. The intention for these would be to break the cycle and initiate a turn toward incremental positive improvement.

Following are the ten measures selected by the Advisory Committee and the competitive standing for each one based upon the Regional Equity Report that was available in summer 2020.

Promote Inclusive Economic Growth

The mean income for every person living in a city. It is derived by dividing the total income generated in a city in the past 12 months by the total population of the City.
Tampa has persistently been ‘middle of the pack’ in this measure but recently began declining further, a trend that needs to be reversed.
  1. Per Capita Income - The mean income for every person living in a city. It is derived by dividing the total income generated in a city in the past 12 months by the total population of the City.

  2. Tampa has persistently been ‘middle of the pack’ in this measure but recently began declining further, a trend that needs to be reversed.

    Per Capita Income Chart for Tampa
  3. Unemployment Rate - The percentage of the labor force that is without employment. An individual is considered unemployed if he/she is willing and able to work but unable to find employment.

  4. Unemployment Rate Chart for Tampa Tampa has performed poorly against its competitors for some time, but recently improved. An improving trend over the past three years needs to be sustained.

Reduce Poverty

  1. Poverty Rate - The percentage of the population that is living below the federal poverty line defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. For Tampa, the poverty level thresholds in 2019 were: 1-person household: $13,011; 2-person household: $16,521; 3-person household: $20,335; and 4-person household: $26,172.

  2. Poverty Rate Chart for Tampa Tampa has stubbornly held a low ranking in this measure over time and will look to break this cycle with incremental improvements.
  3. Transportation to Work - This metric measures the proportion of workers aged 16 years and older that rely on public transit or walking to commute to work.

  4. Commute times in Tampa Bay declined slightly from prior year but are still growing faster than the national average. The region offers few alternatives to car travel as seen in its low ranking in transit availability and ridership. Unfortunately, the competitive gap is widening as other communities make critical transportation investments.


    Transportation to Work Chart for Tampa

    About: Measures, on a per capita basis, the number of miles traveled by public transit vehicles during revenue service, meaning that the vehicle is transporting passengers while on the road. Source: Federal Transit Administration, National Transit Database, Annual UZA Sums.


    Transportation Chart for Tampa
  5. Digital Access - The share of households with a computer and a dedicated physical broadband such as fiber optic or DSL.

  6. Tampa has shown positive but inconsistent progress on this measure and needs to be able to support a year-over-year consistent positive trend.

  7. Digital Access Chart for Tampa

Commit to Racial Equity

The next two measures reflect performance metrics that are stuck in ‘middle of the pack’ rankings. In the case of ‘racial labor force participation gap’ the downward trend is recently worsening. The Advisory Committee also evaluated equity measures related to gender and races other than African American; however, to amplify attention on areas in the most immediate need, the Committee identified racial equity as its key metric to follow.

  1. Racial Poverty rate gap - The black-white gap in share of workers working fulltime with income below the poverty line (calculated by comparing the average poverty rate for African Americans vs White-Americans).


  2. Racial Poverty Rate Gap Chart

    Racial Poverty Rate Gap Chart 2
  3. Racial Labor Force Participation Gap - The black-white gap in the percentage of the population 16 years and older that is either working or actively looking for work (calculated by subtracting the labor force participation of African Americans from that of White-Americans).

Emphasize Educational Opportunity

Educational opportunity is not an area that is within direct oversight or control of the City, the Mayor, or the City Council. However, it was hard to ignore its importance in seeking to break through barriers to economic prosperity. For that reason, the following measures are included, with a recommendation to work closely with Hillsborough County Public Schools and other partners to emphasize and positively influence these critical measures.

  1. 4th/8th Grade Math Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) - Percentage of students who took the 4th and 8th Grade Math FSA and scored a level 3 or higher.

    Based on the available assessment periods, the results for Tampa students for this metric remain flat.


  2. Tampa City Schools - School Grade ELA and Math Performance with Percentage of Total Points Earned

    Grade 4 ELA and Math - % Scoring Satisfactory and Above

    Grade 8 ELA and Math/Alg - % Scoring Satisfactory and Above

  3. High School Graduation Rate - Percentage of High School graduates in the school district of the city.

    Graduation rates are measured at the District level. For Hillsborough County District schools, the graduation rate rose to 88.8% in the 2019-2020 school year, an increase from the prior year and an all-time record high, according to data from the Florida Department of Education. While overall graduation rates have been improving over the past six years, the graduation rate for Black students in Hillsborough County of 82.3% is more than 10% lower than the white student graduation rate of 92.5%.
  4. Educational Attainment (Bachelor's degree and above) - Percentage of population, 25 years and older, who have attained a bachelor's degree or higher

  5. Educational attainment in terms of absolute percentage has improved for Tampa over the years. In 2010 it was around 20 % and in 2019 it was 24%. Other comparable cities have also shown upward trends. On the other hand, the competitive position of Tampa was 6th (out of 6) in 2010 and was still 5th in 2019. This is largely because for other cities, educational attainment has increased at a faster rate.

    There is no available data to clearly identify the factors leading to relatively slow or stagnant growth of educational attainment in Tampa. From anecdotal evidence, it may be because of slow growth of high paying jobs which need a bachelors or higher level of education in Tampa compared to other cities.

    Educational Attainment Chart

    Educational Attainment Rate: Bachelor’s Degree Completion Competitive Position

Advisory Committee Recommendations

Promote Inclusive Economic Growth

Inclusive economic growth is a concept that advances equitable opportunities across every section of society. Currently, there are many organizations focused on improving economic inclusiveness in our community. The Tampa Bay Chamber, the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council, Career Source Tampa Bay, and many other private sector, advocacy, and academic/educational groups are launching initiatives focused on improving this measure. It will be important to leverage these existing programs, build on successful solutions, ensure appropriate visibility and awareness of existing programs, and inspire and/or influence new programs across all employer groups and sectors. Inclusive economic growth is a foundational economic equity measure and the City and its partners will need to focus on strategic efforts to improve it.

Recommended Action Items
  1. Per Capita Income
    Per Capita Income measures the mean income for every person (man, woman, and child) living in a city. It is derived by dividing the total income generated in a city in the prior 12 months by the total population of the city. The Advisory Committee recommends the following efforts to reverse the downward trend for this measure.
    1. Work with job placement partners to identify all existing state and federal funding programs targeted at job creation and assess the effectiveness of each one for improving Tampa’s per capita income for underrepresented individuals.
    2. Provide information to employers regarding federal, state, and local programs intended to support the labor force and supplement income levels for the employed.
    3. Develop training and certification programs for the largest unemployed groups to enhance talent available for workforce opportunities and encourage employers to implement skills-based hiring.
    4. Leverage and build upon existing job and career path planning through organizations such as Career Source Tampa Bay to increase skill levels and drive compensation increases.
  2. Unemployment Rate
    The Unemployment Rate is the percentage of the labor force that is without employment. An Individual is considered unemployed if he/she is willing and able to work but unable to find employment. The Advisory Committee recommends the following efforts to continue the recent positive trend for this measure.
    1. Support efforts to market designated Opportunity Zones to promote existing businesses and attract new ones to drive job growth. Develop new programs and enhance and promote existing programs that incentivize employers to encourage greater proportion of employment from underserved communities.
    2. Work with employer groups and other stakeholders to assess the job skills of unemployed and underemployed individuals and encourage the use of skills-based hiring approaches, in addition to educational credentials, to expand the potential hiring pool.

    Reduce Poverty

    Efforts to reduce and eliminate poverty address both economic and humanitarian issues and can work to lift people out of poverty. The City of Tampa has several resources that can be helpful in this journey including the Career Source Tampa Bay Committee, representatives of Hillsborough Community College, and the One Tampa Board. These groups, and others, will need to come together to find real solutions to make meaningful improvements in these measures.

    Recommended Action Items
    1. Poverty Rate
      Poverty rate is the percentage of a population that is living below the federal poverty line as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. The Advisory Committee recommends the following efforts to begin incremental positive improvement for this measure.
      1. Focus on reducing poverty in specific neighborhoods like East Tampa, West Tampa, and Ybor City by providing increased structure, support, and guidance to those respective Community Redevelopment Areas.
      2. Encourage use of Opportunity Zones to attract more jobs, businesses, and true mixed-use developments to under-served neighborhoods.
    2. Transportation to Work
      Enabling access to reliable and cost-effective transportation, particularly to work centers, is a key part of increasing the likelihood of long-standing employment and reducing the costs associated with personal transportation, both of which can reduce poverty. A key measure in this area is the proportion of workers who either walk or use public transit (not including bikes or scooters) to commute to work and reflects public transit availability which is an important driver affecting poverty reduction.


    3. The Advisory Committee recommends the following efforts to begin incremental positive improvement for this measure.
      1. Identify core work centers in the city and neighborhoods which are currently underserved by public transportation; undertake a cost-benefit analysis with the help of USF CUTR (Center for Urban Transportation Research) to identify best practices to connect work centers to underserved population centers.
      2. Establish a regular mechanism to access gaps in availability of public transportation and use this data to enhance the system.
      3. Work to enable affordable and workforce housing in closer proximity to core work centers and encourage housing affordability across all neighborhoods to reduce the reliance on private and public transportation.
      4. Develop a formal partnership with USF’s Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) and possibly similar organizations to encourage/incentivize targeted major employers in the three major work centers (Downtown, Westshore, Innovation District/University) to promote commuter resources.
      5. Explore a City Staff commuter incentive program.
    4. Digital Access
      Access to the internet for educational and vocational purposes is critical to help reduce poverty across underserved areas. A digital access measure is the share of households with a computer and dedicated physical broadband such as fiber optic or DSL. The Advisory Committee recommends the following efforts to continue the recent positive trend for this measure.
      1. Work with partners to establish ‘Homework Centers’ in Tampa Recreation Centers to provide a clean and safe place for students to do homework and study close to their home.
      2. Work with telecommunication service providers to ensure appropriate digital availability to all neighborhoods; explore and adopt best practices that have been successfully adopted in other jurisdictions.

Commit to Racial Equity

According to the Center for Social Inclusion ‘racial equity’ is both an outcome and a process. As an outcome, it is achieved when race no longer determines one’s socioeconomic outcomes; when everyone has what they need to thrive, no matter where they live. As a process, racial equity is applied when those most impacted by racial inequity are meaningfully involved in the creation and implementation of the institutional policies and practices that impact their lives.

Recommended Action Items
  1. Racial Poverty Rate Gap
    The racial poverty rate gap is the differential between races in the share of workers working fulltime with an income below the poverty line. It is calculated by comparing the average poverty rates for African Americans vs White-Americans. The Advisory Committee recommends the following efforts to begin incremental positive improvement for this measure.

    Outreach and Awareness
    1. Engage professional marketing firms, particularly black-owned firms, to improve marketing and communication methods and heighten awareness of existing support programs.
    2. Improve communications to targeted audiences by enlisting advocacy and community groups to amplify information including pastors, church groups, the NAACP, and specific business support organizations, such as the SBA and the SBDC.
    3. Coordinate informational outreach activities with existing community-based activities and events, e.g., church events, neighborhood gatherings, etc.

      Increase Workforce Opportunities
    4. Expand and formalize communications to local minority contractors (primes and subs), including USF’s vendor lists, to widen awareness of City contract opportunities.
    5. Encourage minority contractors to participate as vendors in the City’s ‘Owner Occupied Rehab’ housing renovation program.

      Encourage and Support Home Ownership and Maintenance
    6. Emphasize and grow programs that enable maintenance of home ownership, for example, programs that provide support for maintenance assistance, real estate taxes and foreclosure prevention, and code enforcement compliance and fines.
    7. Synthesize the use of diverse support programs for those most in need, e.g., connect homeowners who qualify for the Stormwater Fee Mitigation program to the Owner- Occupied Rehab program and the Tax Assessor Discount program.
  2. Racial Labor Force Gap

    Tampa has a growing gap between the positive trend in labor force growth and the declining percentage of black participants in the work force, particularly young black men. The racial labor force gap examines the racial gap in the percentage of the population 16 years and older that is either working or actively looking for work. It is calculated by subtracting the labor force participation of African Americans from that of White-Americans. The Advisory Committee recommends the following efforts to reverse the downward trend for this measure.

    1. Identify training, entrepreneurship, vocational and technical partners to provide paths and options that are alternatives to college, particularly at an early age. Work closely with Career Source Tampa Bay and other similar organizations to position these youth to join a stable workforce.
    2. Focus on developing an apprenticeship program and facilitating support for the program from the NAACP and labor unions.
    3. Promote greater visibility of HUD Section 3 requirements and guidance to optimize the value of this program to drive job placements. For example, the FHEO Section 3 Opportunity Portal helps HUD grantees and Section 3 businesses meet their Section 3 obligations for employment and contracting. Section 3 residents may use the site to search for jobs and post their profile/employment history for companies to search. Employers may use the site for posting job/contract opportunities or search for candidates to fill positions.
    4. Explore a program with large Tampa employers to implement incentives tied to the recruitment, promotion, and retention of African Americans, including USF’s current recruitment initiatives.
    5. Promote ‘Seed Funder’ programs to contribute to promotion of black-owned businesses.
    6. Build on the City of Tampa’s ‘Bridges to Business’ program to cultivate minority businesses, including methods for minority businesses to be selected as prime contractors by addressing substantial bond and insurance requirements and other obstacles that may exist; Work to exceed minimum hiring standards.

    Emphasize Educational Opportunities

    Lifetime earnings are heavily influenced by higher levels of educational attainment. Individuals without high school diplomas earn lower wages and experience higher levels of unemployment than graduates, and those who complete at least a bachelor’s degree enjoy even higher wages. (2020 Regional Equity Report). Accordingly, the Committee focused on the following three Tampa- specific metrics affecting educational opportunity.

    Recommended Action Items
    1. 4th/8th grade Math Florida Standard Assessment
      This measure tracks the percentage of students who took the 4th and 8th Grade Math Florida Standard Assessment (FSA) and scored a level 3 or higher. For students who reside in the City of Tampa, this metric has remained flat during the assessment periods available. The Advisory Committee recommends the following efforts to begin incremental positive improvement of this measure.
      1. Collect Tampa-specific data on kindergarten readiness and vocational/certification programs to have a more comprehensive understanding of educational opportunities for Tampa residents from preschool through post-secondary. This is a critically important first step to developing recommendations for improving kindergarten readiness, increasing career options for Tampa’s workforce and enlarging the talent pipeline.
      2. Widely advocate for and promote programs in coordination with Hillsborough County Public Schools, community organizations, and the City of Tampa that can reduce the gap between white and black student performance in 4th/8th grade Math FSA scores such as tutoring programs, professional development for teachers in math content and pedagogy, and social-emotional interventions to enhance student motivation.
      3. Ensure that Tampa families are aware of the programs available through Hillsborough County Public Schools, community organizations and resource centers, and City of Tampa Parks and Recreation that can improve 4th/8th grade math performance such as afterschool tutorials, homework assistance, and mentor programs. These programs should be organized into a readily accessible listing for residents; because of the digital divide for many of the neediest students, the programs should be aggressively marketed using methods beyond just website and social media.
    2. High School Graduation Rate
      1. Encourage better collaboration and coordination by the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation, Hillsborough County Public Schools, and organizations including LEAP Tampa Bay, Hillsborough Community College, the University of South Florida, Big Brothers-Big Sisters, and others to promote existing programs and develop new initiatives. These new efforts could include adopting and adapting Seattle’s program to achieve educational justice which focuses on engaging families and encouraging strong community engagement and oversight for taxpayer and grant funds.
      2. Further evaluate the City of Charlotte’s program to create curricula that build in career planning via hands-on experiences through Fab Lab which ensures that curricula keep pace with the landscape that students will navigate in choosing careers while making sure they have the skills they need before leaving high school.
      3. Partner with Hillsborough County Public Schools to better analyze and understand root causes of the gap in white and black student high school graduation rates in Tampa and craft practical solutions to eliminate these differences and improve overall graduation rates based on these specific analyses.
      4. Increase high school student engagement with, and exposure to, the Tampa business community by developing internship and mentorship programs and expanding existing initiatives on career pathways, in partnership with Tampa’s business community.
    3. Educational Attainment (bachelor’s degree and above)
      This measure tracks the percentage of the population aged 25 years or older who have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher. It is a good indicator of the city’s talent pool to support high-wage jobs across diverse sectors.Educational attainment in terms of absolute percentage has improved for Tampa over the years. The Advisory Committee recommends several actions to maintain and accelerate the rate of education attainment.
      1. Promote greater participation in federal student aid by encouraging and facilitating completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms by Tampa high school students through programs that connect with applicants directly in key locations such as high schools, neighborhood community centers, and recreation facilities.
      2. Through corporate and foundation support, significantly expand college tours and teen prep programs offered by City of Tampa Parks and Recreation to make it easier for Tampa students to successfully apply, enroll, and be accepted into college.

Conclusion

Following publication of this report in Spring 2021, the City of Tampa will help to facilitate the implementation of the various recommendations across a variety of stakeholders and other parties. No one entity can bring about change. The recommendations set forth here require a community-based effort involving the public sector, advocacy, educational, and religious organization, and the private sector. Only is all are committed to the effort can it be successful. In addition, the annual ‘State of the Region’ report will be used to track progress of these and other related metrics to determine the success of this effort.

Committee Co-Chairs

Moez Limayem, USF Lynn Pippenger Dean of the Muma College of Business
Dr. Michael Bloom, USF Associate Vice President for Corporate Partnerships and Innovation

Advisory Committee Team Members

Jeremy Bunkley, Chief Technology Officer, Hillsborough County Public Schools
Juawana Colbert, Small Business Association
Ernest Coney, Chief Executive Officer, CDC of Tampa
Ronald Christaldi, Managing Partner, Shumaker Loop and Kendrick, LLP
Terrie Daniel, AVP, USF Office of Supplier Diversity
Terry Eagan, Project Manager, Tampa-Hillsborough Planning Commission
John Flanagan, Chief Executive Officer, CareerSource Tampa Bay
Henry Gonzalez, III, Beach Bank
Sandra Guggino, Hillsborough Community College
Bobby Harris, Chief Executive Officer, Blue Grace Logistics
Rick Homans, Chief Executive Officer, Tampa Bay Partnership
Yvette Lewis, President, NAACP
Sonya Little, Chief Administrative Officer, Strategic Property Partners
Missy Martin, Roche Surety and Casualty Co., Inc.
Cory Person, Partner, Hill, Ward Henderson
Randy Randolph, Pastor, Abundant Life Church and CEO, R.L. Building Contractors, Inc.
Craig Richard, Chair, Tampa Bay Economic Development Council
Bob Rohrlack, President & CEO, Tampa Bay Chamber
Sheila Solomon Rudd, Executive Director, Tampa Bay Job Links
Francisco Sanchez, Partner, Holland & Knight
Andy Joe Scaglione, Real Estate Investor
Lakshmi Shenoy, Chief Executive Officer, Embarc Collective
Brandon Wagner, Government Relations, Hillsborough County
Andrew Wright, Chief Executive Officer, Franklin Street
Mercedes Young, Chief Executive Officer, Vivid Consulting Group

Advisory Team Support
Nicole Binder, Hillsborough County Public Schools
USF Team Members
Shivendu, Shivendu
Carole Post
Ebone Clifton
Ocea Wynn
Eric Hayden
Andre Bennett
Marley Wilkes
Janelle McGregor
Rob Rosner
Andrea Zelman
Morris Massey
James Malcolm

Appendix A: 2020 State of the Region

2020 Regional Equity Report

Appendix B: Categories and Metrics Defined

  1. Promoting Inclusive Economic Growth
    A. Per Capita Income: This measures the mean income for every person (man, woman, and child) living in a city. It is derived by dividing the total income generated in a city in the past 12 months by the total population of the city.
    B. Unemployment Rate: The percentage of the labor force that is without employment. An Individual is considered unemployed if he/she is willing and able to work but unable to find employment.
  2. Reducing Poverty
    A. Poverty rate: The percentage of population that is living below the federal poverty line defined by the US Census Bureau (Income thresholds vary by family size). For Tampa, the Poverty level thresholds in 2019 are: 1-person Household: $13,011; 2-person Household: $16,521; 3-person Household: $20,335; and 4-person Household: $26,172
    B. Transportation to Work:The share of workers 16 years and older that rely on public transit or walking to commute to work. This data is from US Census Bureau, American Community Survey. This metric measures the proportion of workers who either walk or use public transit (does not include workers who use bike or scooter) to commute for work and reflects public transit availability which is an important driver affecting poverty reduction.
    C. Digital Access: The share of households with a computer and a dedicated physical broadband with internet subscription such as fiber optic or DSL.
  3. Committing to Racial Equity
    A. Racial Poverty Rate Gap: The black-white gap in share of workers working fulltime with income below the poverty line; calculated by comparing the average poverty rates for African Americans vs White-Americans.
    B. Racial Labor Force Participation Gap: The black-white gap in the percentage of the population 16 years and older that is either working or actively looking for work; calculated by subtracting the labor force participation of African Americans from that of White-Americans.
  4. Emphasizing Educational Opportunity
    A. 3rd/8th Grade Math Florida Standards Assessment (FSA): Percentage of students who took the 4th and 8th Grade Math, Florida Standard Assessment, and got a level 3 or higher.
    B. High School Graduation Rate: Percentage of High School graduates in the school district.
    C. Educational Attainment (Bachelor's degree and above): Percentage of population, 25 years and older, who have attained a bachelor's degree or higher.

Updated: 04/25/2021