Haas Center Proposes $95K Plan For Century Economic Development

September 15, 2018

The University of West Florida Haas Center is proposing to use $95,000 in county funds to plan economic growth in Century. Earlier this year, the county commission took no action on a workforce education plan proposed by the Century Chamber using the same funding pool.

The Escambia County Commission approved $55,000 in economic development funding for the Century area during the current 2017-2018 fiscal year, and there is an additional $50,000 pending final approval for the upcoming 2018-2019 fiscal year.

The monies were designated by the commission for economic development initiatives in the Century area but were not awarded directly to the town or chamber. Instead, funding requests were to be submitted to District 5 Commissioner Steven Barry for presentation to the entire commission for approval.

Hass Center $95,000 Plan

The Haas Center plan would utilizes the $55,000 from the current fiscal year plus $40,000 from the upcoming year that begins October 1. The plan expands on a “Six Pillar Community Economic Development Strategic Plan” that was funded by a state grant in 2014.

“The Town of Century will be the model for rural economic redevelopment, excelling in cultivating its workforce, facilitating the growth of regional industry, and enhancing the quality of life for its residents and the surrounding communities,” was the vision of the 2014 plan.

Currently, the Haas Center is proposing:

Market Analysis – $24,500 – Market analysis of development opportunties.

CRA Mapping Tool -$15,000 — An application that will allow users to view and interact with CRA data.

Market Study of Industrial Park – $25,000 — The study will include an analysis of amenities and site development for the park in comparison to other site locations.

Health Assessment and Needs Survey – $15,500 – Will include a “pre” survey before a $2 million Community Health Northwest Florida expansion in Century and a “post” survey to gauge how this investment into the health center has increased the access to resources and overall health needs of the community.

Strategic Plan Metrics and Dashboard – $15,000 –  Collect data and present online, mailed resident satisfaction.

The $50,000 Plan

Escambia County took no action on previous request for most of the $55,000 in current fiscal year funding.

The Century Chamber of Commerce proposed a  two part workforce development training program with Pensacola State College.

The first part, “Basic Skills for the Workforce” would have been 52 hours with instruction including reading comprehension, basic math, business grammar, financial literacy, resume building and mock interviews.

The second segment would have included 200 hours of instruction for entry-level positions in building construction and industrial settings, including safety, construction math, hand and power tools, communication skills, OHSA 10 hour course and CPR/first aid.

The proposal asked for up to $50,188 for 15 students.

Pictured: The unoccupied, town-owned Helicopter Technology Building in the Century Industrial Park. NorthEscambia.com photo, click to enlarge.


11 Responses to “Haas Center Proposes $95K Plan For Century Economic Development”

  1. IMHO on September 15th, 2018 8:52 pm

    I can do the same study for half the price. Plenty of smart people around but local businesses can’t find people that want to work.

  2. db on September 15th, 2018 7:21 pm

    Another bad waste of good money.

  3. David Huie Green on September 15th, 2018 6:36 pm


    “The Town of Century will be the model for…”

  4. Watcher on September 15th, 2018 4:52 pm


    ideas from citizen to century town council and mayor not to the county..to be clear..like fall on deaf ears..no answer emails..etc

    like give up..

  5. William on September 15th, 2018 1:59 pm

    >>>The money had been allocated — ideas submitted but the current leaders didn’t use those proposals

    Only the workforce training proposal was submitted for this pot of money. Restore is different funds,different purposes.

  6. Watching on September 15th, 2018 1:03 pm

    The money had been allocated — ideas submitted but the current leaders didn’t use those proposals and step up to the plate.

    They have also been sent numerous ideas about Triumph GCI project money available to them.

    They have not pushed for the RESTORE dollars and followed proposals for the lift stations.

    I heard through the grape vine one man takin care a bitness..said no RESTORE would be given north of nine mile which is false.

    You get what you go after and if you don’t go after it you get nothing.

    No response— No talent.

    No Follow up.

    So these people will be happy to come in and take these funds and pay themselves.

    That’s how it works apparently. it is still a better deal for the citizens for their water and sewer and just let leaders flounder than to unincorporate and pay ECUA.

    so Que Sara Sara.

  7. Rodney on September 15th, 2018 12:59 pm

    When I hear of market research two projects quickly come to mind. The Pensacola Technology campus which has received much ado about nothing and the Garcon Point bridge which has gotten less than half the traffic which the market research team predicted and they have publicly announced it will never reach their results. The only ones who benefit from market and research development are the ones providing the data.

  8. Chelleepea on September 15th, 2018 10:19 am

    I’m sure all the money used on research and survey helps in someway but haven’t this research happened already? When do we see something more tangible like actual jobs.

  9. M in Bratt on September 15th, 2018 8:47 am

    Another thing worth noting is that the“Six Pillar Community Economic Development Strategic Plan” that was funded by a state grant in 2014 has not accomplished a thing as far as getting Century off the ground, So let’s spend another $95,000 to study it for another four or five years. After all this studying, Century has earned a Phd. in failed economics.

  10. M in Bratt on September 15th, 2018 8:36 am

    Looks like they will study this to death with UWF being the recipient of the funds rather than North Escambia residents. . The only proposal that has a program that directly reaches the intended is the one the Chamber has proposed. To me, it would make better sense to let the Chamber work on these actual programs than to funnel money way down south to UWF. The good thing about all these proposals is that the Town of Century’s management doesn’t get their hands on any of the money.

  11. Butch on September 15th, 2018 4:53 am

    Don’t forget the water bill

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