Bradford County Joins Heart of Florida Coalition

Bradford County has been named a member of the Heart of Florida, a regional coalition dedicated to increasing employment opportunities and enhancing the quality of life in North Central Florida.

The Heart of Florida coordinating board on May 5 voted unanimously to accept the North Florida Regional Chamber of Commerce as an official member, said Jackson Sasser, president of Santa Fe College, which in 2003 joined with Central Florida Community College to create the coalition.

“Bradford County has much to contribute and is well positioned to receive benefits from its alliance with the Heart of Florida,” Sasser said. “Bradford is a unique area in this unique region.”

Santa Fe and Central Florida Community College launched the coalition in 2003 by focusing upon areas of agreement as a basis for cooperation in a region distinct from major surrounding metropolitan areas of Orlando, Tampa-St. Petersburg and Jacksonville. Although the alliance originally was between Alachua and Marion counties, the goal from the outset was to include contiguous areas if they were willing and which identified naturally with the north central part of the state.

“The Heart of Florida Regional Coalition’s mission is to promote regional collaboration to strengthen economic vitality and quality of life,” said Ron Barnwell, HOF executive director. “The North Florida Regional Chamber of Commerce is a welcome partner in the coalition to pursue this mission.”

The coalition has been active in developing initiatives in intergovernmental cooperation, transportation, water supply and conservation, education, health care, legislative advocacy and economic development.

A key initiative is technology development and its transfer to emerging businesses and industries in the region with the objective of producing unique products that garner significant market share nationally and internationally.

“We have learned that quality of life issues and economic development are mutually supportive ideas,” Sasser said. “All of us seek prosperity in a region in which we want to live and enjoy.”

CONTACT:

  • President Jackson Sasser – Please call 352-395-5164 and ask for Tina Crosy to arrange an interview with Dr. Sasser, or contact Julie (below)
  • Julie Garrett, media relations coordinator, 352-395-5430 or 352-870-2924 (cell) or julie.garrett@sfcollege.edu