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CenterState CEO president says region must focus on eradicating poverty, closing the skills gap By Lou Sorendo Q.: You noted last year the “robust growth that drove investments in 2018 were expected to continue into 2019.” Did that pan out the way you expected? Is there a single headline to characterize your economic forecast for 2020? A.: During our annual economic forecast breakfast, we highlighted the new optimism that is being felt in our community. In fact, members of the business community who contributed to this year’s economic forecast report described our regional economy using words like “vibrant, evolving, growing, progress, strong, robust” and “diverse.” It’s a sentiment echoed time and again in meetings with our members and partners. It’s optimism borne from seeing transformative projects take shape in our community, and our elected leaders aligned in their objectives. It is a direct reflection of our work and collective efforts to focus and execute on economic strategies rooted in data and best practices. Q.: Are the region’s gross domestic product and unemployment numbers where you want them to be at this point? If not, what can be done in order to improve these key indicators? A.: The region’s growth over