FORT MYERS, Fla. - A wider array of jobs with higher paychecks could soon be coming to Lee County, if local leaders can lure the companies behind them.
The county's Economic Development Office tells WINK News it is targeting four specific industries as part of a concentrated effort to attract high paying, high skilled jobs to the area.
The industries include: medical technology, avation, distribution, and information services.
"We see companies like Chicos, Hertz, and Gartner very dependent on information services," Brent Kettler told WINK News. "That's a classic example of why we picked an industry like that."
Kettler, who works in the Economic Development Office, said the county targeted avation because of the development expected around Southwest Florida International Airport. He said distribution was chosen because of Ft. Myers' location and the land available along Interstate 75, and medical technology because of the success of companies like Arthrex.
"It's often referred to as a three-legged stool," CareerSource's Jim Wall told WINK News. "Here, tourism and hospitality are one leg... The medical industry is also very, very strong... But what we're really looking for is that third leg to stabilize the economy and create some more year-round opportunities."
Wall said the county was targeting traditionally strong industries that could help diversify the area's economy. He believes Southwest Florida would not only be ideal for re-location, but could also help quickly train and supply a capable workforce.
"Whenever you have a major company coming here, we are geared and in a position to create training programs," Wall said. "Long term, it will certainly help the area."
A spokeswoman for Lee County told WINK News there is no timeline in which a new company might relocate to the area, but efforts are already underway to attract potential businesses. In June, members of the Economic Development Office attended a 20,000-person medical technology conference in New York City, using the opportunity to network with companies.