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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Feb. 5, 201312:00 PM EST

JAX Chamber to focus on 5 priorities for 2013


The JAX Chamber board identified five priorities for 2013.

"The chamber board identified key priorities that will help us drive business growth to the region," said 2013 JAX Chamber Chair Greg Smith in a news release. Smith is the Northeast Florida Market president for Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

The chamber also will continue to provide leadership in public policy to create a business-friendly political environment; work with businesses to create and grow the number of jobs in Northeast Florida; and to continually innovate to increase the interaction among chamber members, said the release.

The five priorities are:

• Revitalize Downtown. The chamber is contributing to re-energizing the urban core through initiatives that include renovating its Downtown headquarters, participating in the Downtown Marketing Collaborative, organizing and attracting residents to Community First Saturdays; and partnering with other organizations on issues facing Downtown.

• Encourage education and workforce development. Chamber leaders will focus on educational programs that prepare students for jobs within targeted industries, including advanced transportation, health and life sciences and financial services. Many positions within these industries require skills in science, technology, engineering and math, known as the STEM industries.

• Transportation and infrastructure. The chamber will work with transportation authorities to develop and market the region as a transportation gateway and will advocate for funding for infrastructure improvements that are detailed in the Innovate Northeast Florida Strategic Implementation Plan recommendations.

• Build strategic partnerships. The chamber's public policy committee will lead efforts to form alliances with organizations to help develop and enhance economic development opportunities while strengthening economic partnerships.

• Instill community pride. The chamber's #ilovejax campaign will continue to highlight the region's business and economic strength and boost community pride. The #ilovejax campaign uses multiple communication methods with a focus on social media to promote the region.

In 2012, the Chamber committed to a five-year campaign.

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