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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Infomation technology has a future as First Coast business leaders are developing a game plan toretain and grow jobs.

Innovate Northeast Florida is wrapping up a 9-month study with a five-year job development strategy. The cornerstones to growth continue to be industries that are strong locally, including aviation, financial services and health care.

"I think information technology for this region. It permeates every company you have here," said Amy Holloway, president of Avalanche Consulting based in Austin, Texas.

Holloway likes what is happening in this industry that expanded in Northeast Floridaby almost 27% in the past five years. The consulting group doingthe study for the Chamber of Commercesays IT growth locally was 5% higher than the US average.

"It (information technology) may not be recognized as its own stand alone industry right now, but it is strong here. It is world class and we would like to see it advance even further," said Holloway.

Web.com is one local business that is involved in information technology, assisting small businesses in developing websites. The Jacksonville-based company employs 1,900 people with 400 here in the city.The company in January announced it plans to add 200 jobs, many of them locally, in the next two years.