The Tampa Bay Economic Development Council has won the International Economic Development Council's Gold Economic Development Organization of the Year Excellence Award for 2023 in the large market category, which means regions with a population greater than 500,000.
The award was given earlier this week at the IEDC's annual conference in Dallas.
The Tampa Bay EDC says the award recognizes economic development organizations "that have demonstrated evidence of consistent strategy, defined goals and accomplishments, and committed leadership."
The IEDC has more than 4,300 members, including local, state, provincial and federal governments; public-private partnerships; chambers of commerce; universities; and a variety of other institutions. The Tampa Bay EDC is the lead designated economic development agency for Hillsborough County and the cities of Tampa, Plant City and Temple Terrace.
"The Tampa Bay EDC's outstanding performance in strategic planning, organizational management and innovative place-making, as well as its visionary leadership, make it one of the best economic development organizations among large markets in North America," says Nathan Ohle, president and CEO of the IEDC.
The International EDC looked at criteria including demonstrated program innovation, leadership quality and consistency, measured metrics, performance benchmarks, and community engagement and impact.
Craig Richard, president and CEO of the Tampa Bay EDC, says Tampa and Hillsborough County are "the best place in the country to grow a company, find exceptional talent, and access supportive business, local government, and academic leadership."
Tampa Bay EDC's recent wins include attracting a California company to Tampa Bay, although the firm has yet to choose Hillsborough or Pinellas County, which has its own major metro EDC. The win was an example of how Tampa Bay EDC sometimes works with partners in Pinellas, Pasco and Polk counties.
The Tampa Bay EDC is one of only 72 accredited economic development organizations across the globe, according to the IEDC.
Hillsborough County and the Tampa Bay EDC have been collaborating successfully on "transformative projects" since the organization's inception, says Ken Hagan, chairman of the Hillsborough County Commission.
"Thanks to our joint efforts, Hillsborough County has become one of the fastest growing destinations in the country for tech talent and tops the list of places Generation Z graduates want to move to launch their careers," Hagan says.
The Tampa Bay EDC was formed in 2009. Tampa Bay EDC says since that time, it has helped recruit or expand companies "that have transformed Hillsborough County into one of the most economically diversified counties in the United States and a top destination for new resident in-migration."
Tampa Bay EDC says in the past five fiscal years, from 2018 to 2022, Tampa Bay EDC helped 134 companies create 14,022 jobs and generate over $1.6 billion in capital investment in Hillsborough County. The jobs supported the creation of an additional 16,990 related jobs, and generated an additional $1.06 billion in economic impact.