As you may have recently read in the Ledger, USF Polytechnic is poised to receive the funding necessary to develop the programs, faculty and facilities to move the University toward its mission as Floridaâ€™s first Polytechnic University. USF Polytechnic is unquestionably one of the most important economic development projects to impact Lakeland, Polk County and the I-4 corridor in years, and will serve as a catalyst to attract high skill/high wage industry and jobs to our region. The Lakeland community is already experiencing the ripple effect associated with this project. Welldyne, a high-tech pharmaceutical company, chose to build its newest facility in Lakeland because of USF Polytechnic. They have pledged to fill 700 jobs in the next two years. As the University grows our community can expect to see various support industries moving to Lakeland.
As business leaders in the community, the Chamber is encouraging you to communicate your support of USF Polytechnic and ask Governor Crist to support the funding allocated in this yearâ€™s budget for the University. David Steele, Director of University Advancement, has provided some points and communication tips to assist in this process:
Urge Gov. Charlie Crist to support the Legislature’s recommended funding levels for higher education and USF Polytechnic.
Make contact by letter, email, phone & fax ASAP after 05.11.09.
The Florida Legislature has appropriated $11.4 million in construction (“PECO”) funding and $5 million in base budget for new faculty & programs.
KEY POINTS TO INCLUDE IN YOUR LETTER:
Last year Gov. Crist signed legislation that established USF Polytechnic as “the state’s first and only polytechnic”.
Last year Gov. Crist supported $15 million in initial construction funding for the new campus.
The development of USF Polytechnic has been a top priority of our entire region, including the Tampa Bay Partnership, the Central Florida partnership, the Central Florida Development Council, the Lakeland Economic Development Council, the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce, the Polk Board of County Commissioners, the Lakeland City Commission, Lakeland Vision, and numerous other public and private organizations and citizens.
It represents a stunning opportunity for economic development in one of the state’s most dynamic regions, at the heart of Florida’s High Tech Corridor. (Key sectors include information technology, manufacturing/logistics/distribution, healthcare, engineering, etc.)
The PECO (construction dollars) funding is vital as an economic stimulus initiative (construction projects have tremendous “ripple effects” on the economy)
The base budget funding for new faculty & programs is crucial as USFP develops an exciting new model of public higher education and moves toward separate accreditation.
Well over $100 million has already been invested in this project by local government and private donors. The state “needs to do its part” and leverage those investments.
This is important to you, your organization, your community/region, and the state.
This is about “finishing what we started” and positioning Florida for global competitiveness.
Use multiple modes of communication: email is quickest, but you can follow up with fax, phone, AND “snail mail”.
Open your communication with a clear statement of support. Don’t save that for the end. At the end you can reinforce your message.
Briefly explain your connection with the project & region (i.e. local entrepreneur, investor, donor, native, concerned citizen, etc.)
Emphasize that this is not only an important “regional priority” but also vital to the state’s future
Don’t forget to thank Gov. Crist for his prior support for USF Polytechnic.
Every “touch” on this issue matters. Please do NOT pass up a chance to weigh in!
Governor Charlie Crist
State of Florida
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
email: Charlie.Crist@MyFlorida.com, Eric.Eikenberg@MyFlorida.com
/ cc: HARRISON.PATTY.S17@flsenate.gov, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
NOTE: It is very important to send the emails to all addresses noted above. That allows those other than the Governor to track support & help to leverage it.
If you have any questions, please contact David Steele (firstname.lastname@example.org or 863.944.9119). He can get you whatever information you need.