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Front Page » Top Stories » No Stone Unturned In 75000 Job Chase

No Stone Unturned In 75000 Job Chase

Written by on June 6, 2013

The One Community One Goal community-wide job creation effort is taking a broad range of steps to meet goals of 75,000 new jobs within five years, 27,000 of them in seven targeted industries, says Art Torno of American Airlines.

"We don’t want to leave any stone unturned," because those are big target numbers, said Mr. Torno, who a year ago became American Airlines vice president for Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America and is one of three leaders of the effort.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, another of the trio, told a session on One Community One Goal at the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Goals Conference on Friday of a number of specific steps the team is taking to build those job numbers.

Among those steps is working with the Miami-Dade County Public Schools on new specialty schools.

"We’re talking with them now about trying to create a new entrepreneur high school," Mr. Gimenez said, and also about a high school for information technology.

Another plan, he said, is to create a recognition program in which students would compete for monthly certificates.

Mr. Gimenez also announced a package of internship programs his office is spearheading that he’s branded the A.I.M. Initiative to offer internships as one way of keeping talented college students from Miami-Dade families from leaving the area when they graduate, a program he said could become a model.

"Our homegrown talent will take advantage of opportunities in other cities… if we don’t," he said.

He asked the business community to help: "I need your buy-in as well."

An overarching element of the job-creation effort is the oversight of a seven-member body of academic leaders, who next meet June 12, Mr. Torno said. Local colleges and the public schools have tailored curricula to match the seven-industry menu of target jobs in the community.

The One Community One Goal Talent Development Network has matched a series of internships with those industries and is trying to develop a $100,000 fund to pay the interns, Mr. Torno said. He noted that Baptist Health and American Airlines had agreed to fund $5,000 each. Bill Talbert, CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, rose to say that the bureau would add $5,000 to the fund.

While the effort is rolling along, the chamber was told by George Foyo, executive vice president and chief administrative officer at Baptist Health, the third leader of the program, planning for One Community One Goal is not final: "We’ll make corrections along the way," he said, "because the best plans are always wrong."

One Community One Goal started in the chamber in the 1990s in a first incarnation, also targeting a group of seven industries that grew to eight as aviation was later added. The current incarnation was developed by the Beacon Council, the county’s job creation partnership, but quickly broadened to a community-wide push several years in the planning and now one year in action.

Asked about cross-county economic initiatives by the job creation team that is working in one county, Mayor Gimenez noted that he has long said that only two things on earth can be seen clearly from outer space: the Great Wall of China and the Dade-Broward County line.

Turning serious, he said that economic development in Broward is good for Miami-Dade as well, because the area is "broadly known as Miami. Miami is the brand name, and we need to leverage that name around the region."

He noted that the mayors of Broward, Palm Beach and he are meeting regularly, starting on tri-county transportation but planning to branch into other areas of cooperation. They recently signed a pact, he said, aimed at developing more jobs for all.

"We’re really looking at a regional approach to economic development," he said.

With programs aimed at funding ways to put bright young entrepreneurial minds into Miami, he said, "we want… to bring brainpower from around the world to create Silicon Valley East, and soon Silicon Valley will be known as Miami West." To read the entire issue of Miami Today online, subscribe to e-MIAMI TODAY, an exact digital replica of the printed edition.