Economic Development News Round-up froom The Florida Economic Development Council

President's Message

Good afternoon!

Here is a roundup of what is going on around FEDC. We are in the process of setting up regional events throughout the state. Look for announcements coming from your regional director of dates and subjects. We are looking at having 1-2 events in each of the regions in the coming months.

FEDC is also in the process of formulating our 2015 Legislative Agenda. While we have been receiving information from members as to ideas to consider, we will hold a meeting this month to bring those ideas forward and to accept any additional input. We are looking to bring the full agenda to the FEDC Board of Directors in November for approval. Additionally, in the coming weeks, we will hold our first 2015 Conference Committee conference call. Date and times to be announced in the next week. Both the Legislative Affairs and the Conference Committee are ways for you to get involved, have a voice and help move our agenda further. Please participate and be a part of the process.

Lastly, we opened registration this week for the 2015 Winter Symposium, January 15-16th in Fort Lauderdale. This year’s theme, “Site Selection and Winning Communities”. I cannot stress enough that both Symposium and hotel space is limited. Our Symposium is a more intimate and detailed driven event that allows you more time to concentrate on one subject and this year we have five consultants along with our Secretary of Commerce, Gray Swoope. Please go to to register. Early bird registration lasts until November 15th before the price goes up. The hotel is expected to be sold out and we will close registration before Christmas. So take advantage of early bird and register now.

Have a great weekend and thank you for all you do!


Amy L. Evancho
President & CEO
Florida Economic Development Council

News and Accomplishments

Read all of this week's news in the FEDC Newsroom

12 Florida, Alabama Counties Partner for Industrial Development

Last Week, the Florida-Alabama Mega Team formed by 12 counties in northwest Florida and southeast Alabama, formally announced efforts to lure a large manufacturer to a 2,240-acre industrial site in Campbellton, Fla. More than 150 elected officials and community leaders gathered at the Florida Welcome Center near the Alabama state line to show support of the effort.

The Mega Team was formed in 2012 by co-chairs Neal Wade, executive director of the Bay Economic Development Alliance, and Matt Parker, president of the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce. The county and community partners agreed to market the Jackson County mega site, which is four miles south of the Alabama state line, because of the number of attributes available to a large industrial user.

"The economic impact analysis results revealed that the proposed automotive assembly plant can be a force in promoting economic prosperity and development in the region," said Wade. "From an employment perspective, there would be nearly 10,000 new jobs associated with the project, creating a total impact of more than $833 million."

"This alliance is a perfect example of counties and states working together to accomplish a greater goal," said Wade. "We all want quality jobs in our communities and this effort can lead toward that result. It’s a celebration of cooperation and competition coming together."
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Enterprise Florida: Helping to Grow Jobs and Improve the State's Economy for All Citizens

Enterprise Florida (EFI), the principal economic development organization for the state of Florida, has seen another successful year in 2014. In fact, according to EFI, Florida’s job growth increased by record numbers, with more new private-sector jobs projected (23,864) than ever before, at the highest average wage in history. Combined, this equals to 84 percent more new and retained jobs added last fiscal year than in 2011.

The Mega Team was formed in 2012 by co-chairs Neal Wade, executive director of the Bay Economic Development Alliance, and Matt Parker, president of the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce. The county and community partners agreed to market the Jackson County mega site, which is four miles south of the Alabama state line, because of the number of attributes available to a large industrial user.

A game-changing project that EFI helped bring specifically to Tampa Bay was the two Amazon distribution centers, which are located in the Tampa and Lakeland areas. This project brought more than 1,000 jobs to the region along with $300 million in capital."

Other highlights for Enterprise Florida in 2014 include:
  • The International Trade & Development division conducting 5,234 export counseling sessions, leading 40 domestic and overseas events and helping Florida small businesses record more than $820 million in total project export sales
  • The Florida Defense Support Task Force providing $4 million in grants to seven counties, the Defense Infrastucture Grant awarding $1.6 million in funds to eight counties and the Defense Reinvestment Grant supplying $150,000 to 12 counties
  • The Florida Sports Foundation awarding 161 grants, resulting in $627 million in economic impact and 700,000 out-of-state visitors
  • The Minority & Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Capital division providing loan guarantees in the amount of $12.2 million and $9.2 million for use in private capital lending
This year, it is clear that EFI is attaining and surpassing goals never before reached by the organization and helping to grow jobs for the state of Florida to improve the economy for all its citizens.
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DEADLINE EXTENDED: 2014 Florida Rural Economic Development Summit – Nov 5-7

The registration deadline has been extended until OCTOBER 13 for Florida'’s Statewide Rural Economic Development Summit is back and we want you to be a part of Florida’s largest and highest quality professional development event focused specifically on rural economic development issues! Highlighting the Summit will be an Opening Session Keynote address from Enterprise Florida President/CEO and Florida Secretary of Commerce Gray Swoope and the Rural Economic Development Champions Legislative Awards Luncheon. The Summit will provide a diverse range of high-quality, practical professional development sessions presented by state, regional and local economic development professionals, national site location consultants and marketing firms, private utility service providers, and project financial experts, among others.

Read More »


Florida SBDC Launches New Website

The Florida SBDC Network, the state's leading provider of small business assistance, is pleased to announce the launch of its newly redesigned website: The site boasts a vibrant new look, streamlined navigation, and a functional mobile design, all of which stem from the network's continuous efforts to enhance the quality and delivery of services to Florida's small business community.

Polk’s Economic Development Agency Honors Leaders

Two notable names in engineering and logistics were honored by the Central Florida Development Council on Friday night. Bartow’s Madrid Engineering Group won the George Harris Jr. Economic Development Success award, in the small business category. "It’s an honor to be involved in business with many of you," said company President Larry Madrid, to the audience at Streamsong resort. "I want to thank you for tonight." Lakeland-based Saddle Creek Logistics Services won the George Harris Jr. award in the large business category.

The George Harris Jr. awards are given to companies that have a positive economic impact in Polk County, as well as those that promote free enterprise and community service.Friday’s event was the annual meeting for the CFDC, which is the countywide economic development agency in Polk.  

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Tallahassee Chamber Leaders Committed To Small Business Support, Growth

The small business focus of the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce is the key to building an environment that will in turn attract larger companies and diversify the area’s economy, Florida Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Mark Wilson said Tuesday.Speaking at the annual meeting of the Tallahassee Chamber, Wilson said there tends to be an emphasis on bringing large corporations to town, though economic development is achieved by other means as well.

"The secret is small businesses. Four out of five jobs are going to come from small businesses who think that now is the right time to invest in our community, so just keep that in mind," Wilson said. From his vantage point in leading the Florida Chamber, which is based in Tallahassee, Wilson noted that Florida is now the world’s 19th largest economy. If Florida were a stock, "I would be buying all of it that I could possibly afford," Wilson said of the economic potential his organization sees. "I think if you look at where Florida has been, and you look at where Florida is going, especially compared to our peer states, there is no comparing. We are running away from most of our competitor states."  

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4 Reasons Orlando Is Set To Become A 'Top Five Market Nationally For Millennials'

Have you ever wondered what a site selection consultant thinks of Orlando? John Boyd Jr. is principal of The Boyd Co. Inc., which is headquartered in Princeton, N.J. Boyd helps companies land economic development deals to move into new markets.

"This is one of the hottest markets nationally right now," Boyd said. "This urban trend is very exciting for Orlando. Orlando is set to become a top five market nationally for millennials." Why?
  • A new Major League Soccer stadium in downtown Orlando
  • A University of Central Florida campus possibly coming to downtown Orlando
  • New mixed-use developments in downtown being discussed, like the possible Orlando Sentinel redevelopment and Creative Village
  • Hospital projects north and south of downtown, as well as Medical City in Lake Nona, that could take advantage of a regional push for medical tourism
"There’s a sense that Florida and Texas are really the major engines of economic growth nationally," Boyd said.  

Read More »

Embraer Adding 600 New Hires On the Space Coast

nother milestone for a luxury aircraft maker on the Space Coast; an expansion that will add hundreds of jobs and jets over the coming years. Officials say they plan to add 600 new hires onto the 400 Embraer employees already working at the Melbourne International Airport site, essentially more than doubling the company’s presence on the Space Coast.

Embraer has already built 80 smaller jets in the past three years, producing $300 million in revenue. They expect to construct 50-60 aircraft per year once the expansion is complete. An effort will be made to hire former shuttle workers who may still be looking for a high-paying, highly-skilled position even three years after the program shutdown. Salaries will average around $70,000 a year. "It's great to see Embraer taking advantage of that. And help employees find a place to work and be part of a great global company," says Gray Swoope, head of Enterprise Florida.  

Read More »

Florida Job Growth Slowed in September

The Sunshine State’s job growth slowed in September compared with the previous month, according to data released by human resources firm and payroll processor ADP and economists at Moody’s Analytics Inc. There were 12,560 private-sector positions created last month, down 43 percent from nearly 18,000 in August. That August tally had been double the performance of July. Florida gained 10,750 new service-producing jobs and 1,810 new good-producing jobs.

The most recent data available for Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties showed a 6.5 percent jobless rate in August, flat from July and down from the 7.3 percent a year ago, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. Manatee was the only local county with a change in its jobless rate, from 6.6 percent in July to 6.8 percent in August. Sarasota County’s jobless rate was flat, at 6.2 percent, and Charlotte’s was steady, at 6.7 percent.

Read More »

100 New Corporate Headquarter Jobs to Be Created in Tampa Bay with LabTech Expansion

LabTech, a remote monitoring and management (RMM) platform developed for IT service providers will expand their operations in Tampa. The expansion will create 100 new corporate headquarters jobs in the local area. The list of available positions created by LabTech will include software developers, sales representatives, client support specialists and marketing strategists. This expansion will also generate more than $640,000 in capital investment in Hillsborough County.

In a press release by the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Matt Nachtrab, CEO, LabTech Software, was quoted saying, "We’re excited that LabTech Software is able to contribute to the continued expansion of IT jobs in the Tampa Bay area." In recent national rankings, Florida was 2nd in the nation for tech job growth. Over the past 5 years, this trend for increasing IT jobs has outpaced the average job growth rate by nearly double. With this uphill trend, data analysis has shown an increase of more than 10 percent within the next 5 years.

Tampa Bay is excited to welcome LabTech Software to their expanding list of thriving IT companies. This list includes companies such as, Tribridge, Peak 10, ConnectWise, Cardinal Solutions Group, DTCC and OpenText.

Job Links

City of Hollywood
Vice President, Economic Development – Rural Communities

Palm Beach Business Development Board
Corridor Redevelopment Manager

City of St. Petersburg
Economic Development Analyst

Lee County
Manager of Business Development

City of Coral Springs
Economic Development Manager

Business Development Board of Palm Beach County
Vice President, Business Recruitment

City of Boynton Beach
Manager of Economic Development

St. Johns Chamber of Commerce
Vice President of Economic Development

Nassau County Economic Development Board
Executive Director

Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency
Economic Development Director

Enterprise Florida
Manager, Business Development

City of Eustis
Economic Development Director

Hillsborough County Economic Development Department
Coordinator, Competitive Site Analysis

Lake Wales Area Chamber of Commerce:
Executive Director

City of Leesburg
Economic Development Director

City of Longwood
Economic Development/Special Projects Manager

Marion County
Economic Development Liason

Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce
Associate Director of Economic Development Initiatives

Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce
Associate Director of Finance & Operations

Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce
Associate Director of Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations

Tampa Hillsborough EDC
Business Development Manager, Business Retention and Expansion

Team Volusia EDC
Marketing and Communications Specialist

Director of Economic Development


Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast Annual Meeting

October 15, 2014
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Tech Talk with Steve Schuetz

October 14, 2014 @ Tampa Bay Innovation Center

Beacon Council Annual Meeting

October 15, 2014
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IEDC 2014 Conference

October 19 - 22, 2014 Fort Worth, TX
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2014 Alliance Annual Meeting and Dinner

October 23, 2014 @ Signature Grand in Davie
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Florida Companies to Watch

October 23, 2014 @ 5:30PM - 9:00PM at Hard Rock Live
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2014 Martin County Business Appreciation Luncheon

October 29, 2014 @ 11:30AM - 1:30PM at Hutchinson Island Marriott
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38th Annual Basic Economic Development Course

November 3-6, 2014, USF Tampa Campus
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Business And Trade Development Mission To Sao Paulo And Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

November 11-19, 2014 - REGISTRATION DEADLINE: OCTOBER 2, 2014
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HBIF Success Stories Luncheon: South Florida

November 12, 2014 @ 11:30AM, The Biltmore, Coral Gables
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Space Coast Startup Weekend

November 14-16th, 2014 @ FIT Center for Aeronautics and Innovation Building.
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Tampa Bay Partnership Annual Community Update

November 21st, 2014 @ Hotel Carillon, St. Petersburg
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FEDC 2nd Annual Winter Symposium

January 15th & 16th, 2015 @ Lago Mar
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28th Annual Government Small Business Conference hosted by SBDC TampaBay
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Enterprise Florida

Florida High Tech Corridor

Florida Trend



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