A Message from Our President
This year marks Bay Future, Inc.’s 15th year leading economic development efforts throughout Bay County. Through that time, BFI has worked closely with many of our community’s large industrial and commercial industries and employers helping to solve their barriers for growth, their need for expansion, or their desire to create quality jobs. But how did we get here?
In 2004, elected Bay County and City of Bay City representatives, along with business and community leaders, recognized a need to focus on economic opportunities in Bay County. The community had not weathered the short recession of 2000 through 2002 well, and the industrial climate in the community had changed. In an effort to gain insight and recommendations on the most effective tactics to move the community forward, Dean Whittaker of Whittaker and Associates along with Jay Garner of Garner Economics, LLC. (formerly Competitive Strategies Group, LLC.) were hired to identify; impediments to growth in Bay County, analyze existing assets related to economic, community, and workforce development, and recommendations to take Bay County in to a viable economic future.
One-on-one interviews and town hall meetings were facilitated with business and community members that culminated in The Whittaker Study or Whittaker Report, a comprehensive economic analysis of Bay County.
The most definitive outcome from the study and report was the formulation of Bay Future, Inc. Charged with facilitating economic development strategies in Bay County, Bay Future is a partnership of public (government bodies) and private sector (business) organizations that have joined together to promote job growth and retention in the community.
Here we are now, fifteen years later, an organization that has experienced many changes, serving a community that has evolved. In the last fifteen years, Bay Future has supported numerous businesses in the creation and retention of more than 3,600 jobs and worked with businesses to facilitate over $1.5 billion in new capital investment.
While time has passed, our core purpose has remained the same- to aid Bay County’s economy and to assist businesses in creating quality jobs for our community residents. We are thankful for the businesses we have had the opportunity to work with, community leaders who have been catalytic in stimulating change, and our BFI investors who pledge their support and commit to Bay Future and Bay County. I’m excited about what the next 15 years will bring and I’m excited about the future of Bay County.
-Trevor Keyes, EDFP
President & CEO
Bay Future, Inc.