In 2013, the Florida Chamber Foundation and the Florida Regional Councils Association set out to create a Scorecard for the Regional Planning Councils within the State, which would allow each individual Regional Planning Council to see a collection of metrics within their region, as compared to the State of Florida, that aligns to the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Six Pillars framework. This entire initiative is designed to complement the Florida Statewide Strategic Plan, which utilizes the Six Pillars Framework. For a comprehensive history of that plan, please visit the Florida Chamber Foundation web site.
The Florida Chamber Foundation
The Florida Chamber Foundation is widely recognized as the “think tank for business” in the State of Florida. As an organization concerned with securing a positive and prosperous future for Florida, the Chamber Foundation has developed a strategic plan for Florida, based on the year 2030, and aligned with the Florida Chamber’s “Six Pillars” structure.
The Florida Chamber’s vision for Florida encompasses vibrant communities enjoying prosperity and high-paying jobs realized through competitive advantage in a global economy.
The framework offered to accomplish such a task is known simply as the Six Pillars™. The product of years of collaboration and research by the Florida Chamber Foundation, the Six Pillars identifies the critical factors for determining Florida’s future:
- Talent Supply & Education
- Innovation & Economic Development
- Infrastructure & Growth Leadership
- Business Climate & Competitiveness
- Civic & Governance Systems
- Quality of Life & Quality Places
The Six Pillars incorporates the work of a diverse range of stakeholders and their strategic thinking, including Century Commission for a Sustainable Future, Florida Council of 100, Enterprise Florida, Florida State University System, Workforce Florida, and 1000 Friends of Florida, among others.
This framework serves as an organizing force for strategic planning at local, regional and state levels. Its real power is in the efficiency of harnessing fragmented viewpoints into a common and consistent conversation. The Florida Chamber Foundation, along with its Six Pillars Caucus System™, released the first iteration of the Six Pillars 20-year Strategic Plan to accomplish the vision set forth above.
The Florida Regional Planning Councils
The Florida Regional Councils Association, an alliance of Florida’s 11 regional planning councils, serves to strengthen the consistency and quality of regional planning council programs to ensure economic prosperity and add value to local, regional, and state initiatives.
Regional planning councils have been in existence in Florida since the early 1960s, created by the local governments they serve, to meet local government and regional needs, provide services, and collaborate on state and federal initiatives and programs. Florida Statutes recognize regional planning councils as “Florida’s only multipurpose regional entities that plan for and coordinate intergovernmental solutions on multi-jurisdictional issues, support regional economic development, and provide assistance to local governments.”
Regional planning councils are designated by the U.S. Economic Development Administration as Florida’s Economic Development Districts. Each Economic Development District is required to develop a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, which is an economic development plan designed to bring public and private sectors together to create an economic road map to diversify and strengthen the regional economy. It serves as a guide for establishing regional goals and objectives, developing and implementing a regional plan of action, and identifying investment priorities and funding sources. Projects advanced by the Strategy function broadly to promote higher wage/higher skill job creation, diversify the regional economy, increase exports, and build regional competitive advantages. Once a project is listed in the Strategy, it becomes eligible to seek funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Public Works and Economic Adjustment Programs. These awards can fund up to one-half of the qualifying infrastructure costs of a project.
In 2012, regional planning councils updated their respective Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies using the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Six-Pillars of Florida’s Future Economy™ as the organizing foundation. This resulted in the alignment of the Strategies with the Florida Strategic Plan for Economic Development, providing a framework for improving regional development partnerships, and encouraging a stable and diverse economy. As a result of this effort, in June 2013, the Florida Chamber Foundation officially recognized regional planning councils as “Six Pillars Communities” at a ceremony held during the Florida Association of Counties Annual Conference.
The Florida Scorecard
The Florida Scorecard™ provides Florida leaders with the metrics they need to secure Florida’s future and gives local stakeholders the power to measure progress within their own communities.
The Florida Chamber Foundation’s commitment to its 20-year, statewide strategic plan requires measuring current status and progress toward the stated goals of that plan.
The Scorecard’s structure identifies issues and ideas within each of the Six Pillars and which are paired with more than 120 metrics to best communicate key issues.