The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW) announced that Gainesville, Florida, has received the 2009 Region of Excellence Award. This award annually recognizes an outstanding community for its sustained, collaborative approach to economic development through education and workforce development.
"The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce has facilitated a successful partnership with the Council for Economic Research, Alachua Bradford Regional Workforce Board, FloridaWorks, Santa Fe College, the public K-12 school system and others," said Arthur J. Rothkopf, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber. "Gainesville's regional approach demonstrates how economic development and education are inextricably linked and need to be viewed as one overall collaborative course of action to developing a quality regional workforce."
ICW was most impressed with their Targeted Economic Achievement Machine (TEAM) model, which illustrates the region's readiness in responding to rapidly changing economic conditions. The TEAM model accomplishes this by recognizing and reinforcing the community's workforce assets to draw, grow, and retain the types of businesses and industries it desires. As a result, Gainesville has made significant strides in Biotech, Health Sciences, and Green Technology training during the recent recession.
To be considered for ICW's Region of Excellence Award, communities must be able to demonstrate strong evidence of engagement in initiatives that:
promote public and private sector cooperation in education and workforce development that leads to sustainable outcomes;
enhance the communities in which employees learn, work, and live;
build relationships with multiple stakeholders; and
take a proactive role in regional education, workforce and economic development issues.
Gainesville was honored for their achievement during ICW's annual Education and Workforce Summit in Washington, D.C. This annual event brings together leaders in business, education, and workforce development to discuss issues vital to America's competitiveness.