Many details are being worked out for the upcoming FEDC Conference - look for updates next week to the Conference website about how to become an Exhibitor or contribute the the Silent Auction. Award submissions will open in early May - start thinking about your nominations for Economic Development Professional of the Year. If you still have not made your reservation for the Conference or Hotel, you can find that information on the Conference website:
We are offering sponsorship packages that will get you out in front of Florida's economic development community during the Conference - be sure to check out the various Sponsorship levels:
3802 Spectrum Blvd.
Register NOW for the 2015 FEDC Conference
Join economic developers from around Florida to discuss the most important issues in economic development today. Florida is well-positioned for a resurgence in job growth and prosperity. This conference will highlight the Pioneers, Leaders, Innovators, Entrepreneurs, and Catalysts that will drive Florida’s economic future. Learn and experience how Florida is Leading the Way.
Members $260 | Non-Members $425
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The online reservation system for the Walt Disney Swan Resort is NOW OPEN. Standard room rates are $199 and upgrades are available. You may make your reservation online or by calling 1-888-828-8850.
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Regional and State Unemployment Report – March 2015
Regional and state unemployment rates were little changed in March. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases from February, 12 states had increases, and 15 states had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The national jobless rate was unchanged from February at 5.5 percent and was 1.1 percentage points lower than in March 2014. Florida had the 6th lowest unemployment rate (5.7 percent), tied with New York and the second largest over-the-month increase in employment, behind California (+39,800 jobs). Florida had the fastest growth rate and ranked third in the number of new jobs. .
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In The News: Enterprise Zones
There continues to be significant coverage of Enterprise Zones in the news this week. The Florida News Service reports that on Tuesday, Senator Latvala R-Clearwater attached an amendment to SB1214 that would advance a $7 million-a-year package for improvements at Daytona International Speedway, the Miami Dolphins' home of Sun Life Stadium and EverBank Field in Jacksonville and for construction of a soccer stadium in Orlando. You can track progress on SB1214 on the Florida Senate's website: http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2015/1214/?Tab=BillHistory
Newspapers around the state have weighed in over the last few weeks with overwhelming support for the Enterprise Zones program:
SB1214 is currently pending reference review.
Venture Hive To Open Accelerator For Veteran-Owned Tech Startups
Venture Hive, the Miami-based entrepreneurship education company, is partnering with the city of Fort Walton Beach to launch a national accelerator for veteran-owned businesses. Venture Hive will provide selected veteran-owned tech businesses with business coaching, customized training and a relevant network to scale their ventures, driving the economic growth of the region. Fort Walton Beach has allocated $500,000 to the initiative and will provide renovated space to house the Venture Hive Fort Walton Beach Accelerator.
Venture Hive aims to help vetrepreneurs build large scale and global market companies that can take advantage of the innovative research already being conducted in the Fort Walton Beach area, said Susan Amat, founder of Venture Hive. Benefits of the program include a $25,000 non-equity grant, a curriculum of practical workshops and training sessions, access to a collaborative working space in Fort Walton Beach for a year, mentoring from a vetted network of local and global entrepreneurs and experts, exposure to investors and a Demo Day on Veteran’s Day. The first 12-week accelerator class, which will be free for the selected companies, will run from Aug. 17 – Nov. 11 in downtown Fort Walton Beach. Applications will be accepted until June 1.
The program is open to any business founded by a U.S. military veteran developing innovative web, mobile or technology product solutions to address a clear market need. To apply and learn more, visit http://veterans.venturehive.com
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Embry-Riddle Hosts Aerospace Conference
Plans to attract major aerospace companies to Volusia County could get a boost this week with more than 150 industry leaders in town for a conference at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. It’s the spring meeting for the Aerospace Alliance, which includes aerospace leaders from Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida. With the presence of big-name companies such as Airbus, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin — Florida’s largest industrial employer — and NASA, these states comprise one of the largest aerospace corridors in the world, employing millions throughout the region. The summit has focused on topics ranging from the manufacturing supply chain to federal policy impacting the sector in past years. This year the alliance will focus on the future of aerospace in the four-state region and particularly the region’s most critical and valuable asset — its educated workforce — and aligning the workforce to meet corporate needs.
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Florida Ranks Well for "Top Tech Talent"
Fort Lauderdale and Miami are among the 50 cities with top tech talent, says a new CBRE research report, and more millennials are the reason. Fort Lauderdale ranked 48th and Miami 50th, according to the report, “Scoring Tech Talent,” released Tuesday. Tampa ranked 36th and Orlando 47th.
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Submit a Nominaton for Florida Companies to Watch presented by GrowFL
Florida Companies to Watch celebrates growing second-stage companies headquartered in Florida and is a unique way to recognize and honor high performance in the marketplace with innovative strategies and processes, making them “worth watching.”
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