Economic Report: UWF to Help Develop Regional Economic Plan

Dr. Rick Harper associate vice president of research and economic opportunity.
Dr. Rick Harper, associate vice president of research and economic opportunity.

The University of West Florida has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Adjustment Assistance and is working with Florida’s Great Northwest to develop a strategic economic development plan for the 13 counties that make up the region. In this week’s “Economic Report,” Dr. Rick Harper, who leads the University of West Florida Center for Research and Economic Opportunity, spoke with WUWF 88.1-FM’s Sandra Averhart about the role UWF’s Haas Center will play in the project.

“It’s going to be an exciting opportunity to look at the drivers of economic activity – what people do across the region,” Harper said. “It’s clear that tourism is obviously a sector of interest, although that’s not a particularly high wage sector. Then you’ve got the aviation cluster in Fort Walton Beach. You’ve got financial services here in Pensacola that export financial services around the globe. If you look further east and get into the rural counties, you’ve got major exporters of wood pellets made from wood scrap that get shipped off to points around the globe.”

To read the complete report, click here.