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EDC of Sarasota bucks brain drain

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  • | 4:00 a.m. July 18, 2012
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The Economic Development Corp. of Sarasota County met for breakfast this morning to get an update on the organization’s progress on job creation and hear a speech from Sarasota County Administrator Randall Reid on the government’s role in economic development.

EDC President and CEO Mark Huey touted wins in job creation and human capital allocation — keeping the young talent graduating from local schools in Sarasota County. The key, he said, has been assistance provided to firms to relocate to the area or stay and expand. Biolucid Technologies, a local animation and design company, recently hired ten Ringling School of Art and Design students, Huey said.

Reid pitched some ideas, one of which Huey said he can’t yet reveal, on how to shelter fast-growth companies in their infancies. One example is incubators, which provide workspace, telecommunications, and usually a small investment — or runway funding. Reid said he wants to establish an incubator to take advantage of our retirement community, which is rich in former executives.

“Are you bored on the golf course,” Reid said he would ask past business leaders. “How about you do it one more time?” In his plan, those retired entrepreneurs could share their wisdom with the local university students.

“It’s one tool in the toolbox,” Huey said. “And we’re always grateful to have another tool to attract investment.”


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