Chamber CEO Jim Hizer told board members Monday the best near-term prospects for new jobs are call centers and back office operations.
Hizer said the chamber's recent strategic plan identified calls center jobs as the best prospects, given the numerous vacant buildings in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties that can quickly accommodate those kinds of operations.
"Some call centers are notoriously low paying, but when your unemployment is 8 percent, any job is a good job," Hizer said
But Outzen said the chamber could expect some criticism for re-emphasizing call centers as its top job growth strategy.
"We are going to get some criticism and we're going to have to deal with the public's perceptions," he said. "People are going to say, 'What are we doing with their (Vision 2015) money."
Vision 2015 is a nearly $9 million fund the chamber raised from public and private sources with the goal of creating 3,000 near jobs by the year 2015.