TEAM Santa Rosa needs more staff and more money to step up its game, according to economic development consultant Tom Ticknor.
Two public economic development workshops were held in October, and as a result, the TEAM board of directors spent $10,000 plus travel expenses to hire Ticknor to review TEAM’s structure, mission, accomplishments and recommend areas of improvement.
Ticknor gave the board a preview of his report on Nov. 30 before giving the full report to the board of county commissioners on Monday. He first suggested that TEAM keep its public/private structure and not consolidate with Pensacola.
“If we are going to step up the game in Santa Rosa, we should look to the private sector as well as the public sector to do that,” he said.
Ticknor visited the county for a week collecting information through 75 interviews with board members, commissioners and business leaders and two public meetings. He said overall, TEAM was praised by its business clients for continued support and had a healthy level of prospect activity considering the economy. In the past six years, he figured TEAM has facilitated the creation of 2,500 jobs and received $5.7 million in grants.
“Which pretty much equals the budget for TEAM all together so in some ways you’re getting the job creation for free,” he said.
For more on this story, see the Dec. 8 issue of Navarre Press or subscribe online.