What do Olympians, professional athletes and the Navy Seals have in common? They train their minds to perform at a high level when it matters most. High-performing individuals and teams have developed the ability to think and act on purpose; with purpose.
These same mental conditioning techniques can be applied to effective economic development. That's why we asked mental toughness expert Justin Su'a to keynote the Annual Update Reception of the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation in October.
In charge of mental conditioning for IMG Academy athletes, Su'a's clients include NFL players, Olympic athletes, military personnel, and corporate leaders and their teams. He teaches on topics like motivation, confidence-building and focus. His enthusiasm for the subject is infectious, and I expect we will all walk away from his talk fired up and equipped to apply valuable lessons.
I recognize many of the positive traits Su'a promotes in the Bradenton area's team of high-performers working to create a more diverse and sustainable economy. Whether it's our employees and volunteer leadership at the EDC, county and city staff members, educators or workforce development professionals, the results of the right mindset continue to deliver results for our community.
Since 2009, the Bradenton Area EDC and its partners have assisted 60 businesses with expansions and relocations. These companies are projected to deliver more than 3,500 jobs and $3.8 billion in wages from direct and indirect jobs through 2021. Equally important, they plan to invest $447 million in capital during the same period.
The pace of business expansions in Manatee County in 2014 was encouraging. First, as a sign that the effects of the recession are ebbing; and second, because nothing speaks louder than capital investment.
When companies hire employees and invest in facilities and equipment, they are demonstrating confidence that their sales will continue to grow. And to further benefit the community, their investments show others that the Braden
ton area is a great place to locate and grow a business.
Examples of local companies that announced plans in the last year to create jobs and invest capital include Bright House Networks, New South Biolabs, IRISS, Palmetto Canning Co., RND Automation, Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals, Star2Star Communications, Sun Hydraulics, Verde GSE and xByte Technologies.
While large relocation projects like Air Products and Feld Entertainment capture headlines, and rightly so, the organic growth of companies that are already here is responsible for most job creation in a community.
That's why the EDC is focusing more than ever before on serving existing businesses through our revitalized Business Expansion and Retention Program. We've dedicated a highly experienced professional, Mary Chilton, to manage that effort and coordinate a team of volunteer ambassadors recruited from among the EDC's investors.
The EDC's ambassadors meet with business owners to identify ways the EDC and its partners can help local companies overcome obstacles and identify opportunities for growth. Then, the EDC staff and other professionals from governmental agencies, education, workforce development, international trade and other specialties step in to assist businesses on their specific needs.
It's what we've been doing all along, but turbo-powered and with laser focus.
And that's why our team at the EDC will be riveted on Su'a's message at our event on October 23, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Bradenton Convention Center. The public is invited, and registration information is available online at ThinkBradentonArea.com by clicking on "Event Calendar."
Sharon Hillstrom, president and chief executive officer of the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp., may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 941-803-9035.