St. Petersburg is targeting five major sectors that were identified through a competitive assessment as sectors with the greatest potential to create new jobs and raise incomes. Through its Grow Smarter Initiative, the city will focus on growing businesses in these sectors where competitive advantages exist to maximize its economic development resources.
Marine and Life Sciences joins together the City’s historical presence of healthcare services with its more recent phenomenon of marine sciences. In fact, the City boasts the largest marine research cluster in the Southeast. Major institutions in this sector include All Children’s Hospital/Johns Hopkins Medicine, Bayfront Health, and the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, as well as various federal and state agencies.
Specialized Manufacturing is a growing sector concentrating into two niches: electronics manufacturing and medical devices manufacturing. Historically, manufacturing has been a top employment sector in St. Petersburg and Pinellas County, evidenced by St. Petersburg’s rank as second statewide for manufacturing employment.
Financial Services is the largest employment sector in St. Petersburg, employing thousands of local residents in high-paying careers. Impressively, St. Petersburg has the most concentrated financial services sector in Florida and the City is home to Raymond James, the largest financial services firm outside of Wall Street.
Data Analytics is a quickly emerging sector of businesses using and manipulating “big data” to optimize business processes. The growth of “big data” – massive datasets requiring special data processing techniques – is projected to increase. Several prominent firms in St. Petersburg, such as Valpak and HSN, position the City to capitalize on this growth by creating a hub for talent and employment in this sector.
Creative Arts and Design is gaining traction in St. Petersburg and is an essential economic driver, playing a key role in the city’s tourism by placing it as the cultural capital of Florida. For tourists and locals alike, the City offers immense opportunities for enjoying the arts with dozens of top-ranked galleries, theatrical and music venues, world-famous museums, and performing arts companies spread throughout five arts districts: the Waterfront Arts District, the Central Arts District, the EDGE District, the Grand Central District, and the Warehouse Arts District.