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City of Alachua Pledges Support for $6 Million Chamber Economic Development Plan

City will provide $100,000 over five years to "Transforming Greater Gainesville" initiative

The City of Alachua recently pledged $100,000 to support the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce's five-year plan to infuse the local economy with 3,500 new jobs, $218 million in new salaries, $250 million in new capital investment. In a letter signed by Alachua Mayor Gib Coerper, Vice Mayor Gary Hardacre and commissioners Ben Boukari, Jr., Shirley Green Brown and Robert Wilford, a unanimous declaration of support was communicated to the Chamber's Council for Economic Outreach, which developed and secured commitments for the $6 million initiative in 2014. The City Commission approved the measure on Jan. 26, 2015.

"The City of Alachua stands solidly behind 'Transforming Greater Gainesville,' and sees in it a path to a new era of opportunity for our citizens," said Mayor Coerper. "I applaud my fellow commissioners for finding a way to get to 'yes' on this important collaboration."

In recent weeks, local business, education and government leaders have articulated various perspectives emphasizing the importance of regional collaboration to achieve common goals from growing innovation, to talent pipeline enhancement, to making the region a premier businesses and residential destination.

 "The City of Alachua's support is a major first in what I hope will be a regional trend of cities uniting around this immediate and palpable opportunity to transform Greater Gainesville into a region of opportunity for everyone," said CEO Chairman Todd Powell. "We must work collaboratively across our region to realize our full potential, and the City of Alachua has clearly identified itself as a key partner in that effort."

A primary aim for the Chamber is increasing job and advancement opportunities for Greater Gainesville at all skill and educational levels. From 2012-2014, CEO's efforts resulted in more than 1,400 jobs announced, the majority of which provide an average wage of about $65,000.