One on One With Neal Wade - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

One on One With Neal Wade

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Bay County's Economic Development Alliance works to attract new businesses to Bay County...and help existing businesses grow.

One of it's priorities is to attract aviation and aerospace industries to the West Bay area of Beaches International Airport.

EDA Executive Director Neal Wade talks about the process in this week's One on One.

"That has become one of our top priorities to work with the airport authority and space coast to try and figure out a way to build at least two hangars to accommodate a 747."

Ok, So you are trying to entice for the airport purposes the aerospace and aviation type industries...within the fence, we are focused solely on aerospace?

"I can tell you right now, if we had the infrastructure out there, if we had hangars, we would already have companies working out there, we've got to find a way to get hangars at the airport. Now was the air show that you attended in Paris along those lines, cause that was aviation related, correct? Sort of along those lines. That is more broadly aerospace it is your largest global aerospace companies in the world like Boeing, Lockheed ah, Airbus, EADS, those kinds of companies. Plus alto of suppliers."

"We were there in support of the state of Florida, ah, who gov. Scott, Secretary of Commerce Grace Webb, were calling on a number of aerospace companies during the event."

"We were there to support that and I happen to chair a four state aerospace alliance from Louisiana to Florida, so we hosted a cruise down the sane on Sunday, prior to the show opening. We had 400 aerospace executives on that cruise. Gov. Scott was there, along with two other governors and four us senators."

"I know the Governor announced 2-3 companies were locating or relocating in Florida, not necessarily in Bay County, is that what you do, you go and give them incentives and tell them about our area to see if they can locate here? Well, we are trying to get in the mix. They key to this whole thing is get in the game, If we know that a company is looking to expand in Florida or anywhere else, we want to get in the competition and we want to be able to show them, here's what bay county thru our sites thru our incentives, thru our work force, this is what we can offer you to come to Bay County."

Wade says it's a competitive situation, so they work hard to find big companies and see if their projects are compatible with Bay County.