July Workgroup Recap

Are you curious what the Grow Smarter workgroups have been up to this month? Well, wonder no longer. Here are the highlights from each meeting. If you have questions or are interested in getting involved with one of our workgroups, you can reach out to Dr. Keesha Benson at kbenson@growsmarterstpete.com.


  • Goal for 2019 is to determine housing needs
  • Review of Justin’s data (which can be found on Grow Smarter blog) and what further data can be pulled and broken down to understand housing needs
  • Discussion of ADUs, Tampa Bay CDC, and Habitat
  • The city foreclosure lot disposition process

Targeted Job Creation:

  • Power of shared purpose, shared data base, and doing a better job of inviting each other to go on appts. Outcome: Target specific industries and make a concerted effort to share in a common approach – starting with manufacturing
  • Stpeteworkforce.com- discussion of ways to promote and get into the hands of people who will need it as a resource.
  • Creating an entrepreneurial environment

District and Corridors:

  • Reviewed priorities – Coastal high hazard, trop site redevelopment, and transit-related initiatives
  • Who should be at the table and how can Grow Smarter be a productive member of the conversation?
  • Next action items would be to invite the necessary people to the table to move conversations forward and start developing the answer to “how”

Culture and Community:

  • Defined what makes up the culture of St. Pete and reflect on if workgroup participants are reflective of these: Food, Heritage (trail), Parks and Rec/Dance, Libraries, Water features and activities, Natural spaces, Festivals, Murals and mural artists, Coffee and craft beer, Sports teams (Rays, Rowdies, etc.), Dog friendly
  • Combined Priority 1 and 2 and developed a new priority to fill in. Break past waterfront to highway mentality, showcase grass roots and authenticity

Coordinated Education and Training:

  • The group identified disconnected youth, define as 16 to24 year old’s who are not in school or working, as the target population of focus. Organizations around the table discussed what efforts the current undertake to re-engage this population.
  • Discussed the needed entities to bring to the table to move this work forward the need for workgroup collaboration (e.g. Targeted Job Creation).

Entrepreneurial Growth:

  • Review a draft of entrepreneurial resources available in St. Petersburg and the broader Pinellas county. Discussed what was missing, potential gaps, and the audience for the entrepreneurial ecomap.
  • Discussed current research and data available on entrepreneurial growth metrics and how to best capture St. Pete specific data.

One Comment on “July Workgroup Recap”

  1. Looks like real progress is happening! Looking forward to the Grow Smarter Summit in December. Are we ready?

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