October Workgroup Recap

October workgroup meetings were heavily dedicated to preparing for the Grow Smarter Summit which will take place on December 6 at the Center for Health Equity. There was discussion at each workgroup meeting about who should be a part of our annual event. The primary goal of this year’s Summit is to showcase the people and organizations who are working to make St. Pete a better place for all its citizens to live. The various workgroup members were more than happy to recommend some truly fantastic participants, which we will be announcing very soon!

Along with Summit discussion, the workgroups were able to work on their 2019 priorities as well.



  • The CRA is expected to see 85% of its residents experience a reduction in their storm water fee
  • ADU’s (Accessory Dwelling Units)
    • The City of St. Petersburg wants to pay for 4 or 5 universally accepted ADU designs in order to streamline the process
    • This money is for funding designs, bids from contractors, finding banks willing to finance, and community marketing
  • FEMA’s new Coastal High Hazard Area for Category 1 Hurricanes
    • Increased density within the most flood prone areas is a primary concern
    • The minimum height for new buildings within the flood zone has been raised to 2 feet, the idea being to save people on their flood insurance
  • St. Petersburg Downtown Zoning
    • Just passed the lowering of minimum parking requirements


Targeted Job Creation

  • A consultant hired by the St. Petersburg EDC is developing a marketing strategy and value proposition for the Trop site.
    • This is not a determination of how the site should be developed or what assets to be included
  • Johns Hopkins of Baltimore had a meeting with Michael Jalazo concerning working with people of different backgrounds and their career paths
  • The Foundation for Healthy St. Petersburg wants to fund a study concerning SOC codes and their projections


Districts and Corridors

  • GS Summit Updates and Discussion
    • Sarah Jane – “Where Have the Mangroves Gone”
    • Highlighting all districts throughout St. Petersburg
    • Forward Pinellas for a possible booth?
      • http://forwardpinellas.org
    • Talking to FDOT and different transportation ideas and initiatives:
      • Expansion of I-275
      • Extending the looper further south
      • Should reach out for Grow Smarter Meetings
    • Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corp. – CATCH Program
    • St. Petersburg’s Coastal High Hazard Area and similarities to Norfolk, Virginia
      • https://www.norfolk.gov/1949/Flood-Zones

Culture and Community

  • Attracting new and diverse people to our workgroup
    • First, a concern for establishing a clear purpose—an elevator speech
    • Then, figuring out who exactly should be invited
  • PolicyLink – Creating Change through Arts, Culture, and Equitable Development
    • https://www.policylink.org/resources-tools/arts-culture-equitable-development
    • A good resource for policy change through arts and culture


Coordinated Education and Training

  • Priority 1 – Disconnected youth
    • Definition: “Youth aged 16-24 not employed or currently enrolled in a learning institution”
    • The group is focusing on this target demographic and attracting institutions that do the same
  • How do we incentivize companies to both hire and train? Are there examples of companies that do this? What else have companies provided that may benefit disconnected youth?
    • St. Petersburg College has a “fall-out” list.
      • Tracking students that have dropped out and sending them information about other career and learning opportunities
      • St. Petersburg College – Certified Clinical Medical Assistant
    • PERC Tiny Homes Program
    • Proforma in Tampa – has sent employees to full-time paid coding training
    • Florida Early Learning Coalition – providing child care services
    • Youth Connect – providing guidance, support, financial assistance, with post-secondary technical and academic training
  • How do we find and connect with more of our disconnected youth population?
    • Start by identifying which neighborhoods to focus on (census tracts)
    • We should look for more “place-based” programs


Entrepreneurial Growth

  • Entrepreneurial Growth Workgroup Survey
    • The goal of the survey is to highlight local business beliefs on accessibility to business resources. The idea is to cross tab these beliefs with business ownership status (minority, women, LGBTQ, veteran, etc.), size of business, type of business, etc.
    • Adding a matrix question aimed at capturing business owner perception of local availability of talent, capital, affordable space, affordable workforce housing, business services, and effective and affordable housing.
    • Further questions that have been added based upon workgroup feedback are years in business, customer base, zip code location, industry, current business status, and an open-ended question aimed at capturing respondent’s beliefs concerning the local business climate.
    • Finally, it was suggested that we include a binary question that asks the respondent if they are “interested in joining the local entrepreneurship focus group”.
    • We want the final data from the survey by November 27, 2019

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