A five-member delegation from Northwest Florida is leaving for London later this week on a mission to bring aviation jobs to the region.
The group of economic development professionals will be attending the Farnborough Air Show where hundreds of aviation companies will be meeting to buy, sell and demonstrate the latest in airplanes, helicopters and other aviation products and services.
Headed up by Florida’s Great Northwest – the region’s economic development marketing organization – the group has set up appointments over the four-day event with leading global aerospace companies.
“We will be meeting with the decision makers of aerospace OEMs and major suppliers to discuss why we believe they can be successful in Northwest Florida.” Larry Sassano, president of Florida’s Great Northwest, said. “Aviation companies are one of our top targets and there is no better place than Farnborough to have a captive audience with this many companies.”
Besides Sassano, the other members of the delegation are John Hutchinson with Gulf Power Company; Ed Gardner with PowerSouth Corp.; Scott Luth with the Greater Pensacola Area Chamber of Commerce and Neal Wade with the Bay County Economic Development Alliance.
More than $70 billion in aviation transactions were made at the 2012 Farnborough Air Show, which is held every other year.
The state of Florida will also have a booth at the air show to promote incentives, workforce advantages, tax advantages and other business-friendly programs available to prospective aviation companies.
“Our region and our state will be well-represented,” Sassano said. “It’s a very competitive environment, but we have a great story to tell with our military-trained workforce, our local and state incentives, our site certification program and other critical business needs.”
Florida’s Great Northwest is the regional economic development organization representing the 16 counties in the Florida Panhandle: Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Liberty, Leon, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington. The mission of Florida’s Great Northwest is “to market and brand the 16-county Northwest Florida region as a globally competitive location for business and to work with regional partners to recruit new jobs and investment throughout Northwest Florida.”