This week FEDC held a regional event in the Tampa Bay Region: Economic Development and Elected Officials. The event was attended by 66 people including elected officials from cities, counties and the state level. The event was a huge success with thanks to FEDC Regional Director, Suzanne Christman and those who helped prepare for the event. A very special thank you to the sponsors, Florida High Tech Corridor Council, Tampa Bay Partnership and Duke Energy! Your continued support is wonderful! Please look for events coming to your region in the next several months.
On another note, we have been updating our membership database to reflect any changes in members. Please take a moment now to look at your organizations’ members and make any changes in address, phone numbers or members. You can go into the database and make changes or you can email
and we can help as well.
Palm Beach and Broward County featured in National Association of Counties Workforce Publication
There is mounting agreement among economists, policymakers and researchers that in order for local communities, counties and regions to stay competitive in a global economy, workers need to be educated, highly skilled and quickly adaptable to fast-paced economic trends. Such a workforce will help support current and future business and industry needs while enhancing employment opportunities and quality of life for residents. This National Association of Counties Workforce Publication showcases county-level strategies in workforce development by highlighting four counties (including Palm Beach and Broward counties) that are aligning workforce development with economic development efforts to sustain a competitive and healthy economy.
Download the National Association of Counties Workforce Publication
GE Energy Management Powers Growth In Clearwater
GE’s Energy Management business will invest $50 million in a 190,000-square-foot manufacturing Center of Excellence in Clearwater. The project will create 250 jobs, an announcement from Gov. Rick Scott said. Pinellas County Economic Development worked with the city of Clearwater and Enterprise Florida to incent 143 of the 250 jobs through a Qualified Target Industry tax refund, said Stacey Swank, business development manager for Pinellas County Economic Development. Other partners on the project were Duke Energy and the Department of Economic Opportunity. The Center of Excellence will include an existing transformer facility, as well as new manufacturing operations for capacitors, the announcement said.
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Naples, Cape Coral and Port St. Lucie Ranked Among The 10 Places Expected To Have The Fastest Job Growth Over The Next Three Years
Three Florida metros ranked among the 10 places expected to have the fastest job growth over the next three years and seven among the top 25.Naples leads the way with a projected average annual rate of 4.1%. Unemployment peaked in Naples in January 2010 at 12.2%, but was just 5.4% last month and is expected to stay low. Joining Naples among the top spots for job growth are fellow southern Florida locales Cape Coral and Port St. Lucie.
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Growth Outlook Positive For Florida’s Middle-Market Companies
Most middle market companies in Florida are expecting both revenue and employee growth, according to a survey by the National Center for Middle Market. The survey, in collaboration with Ohio State University and GE Capital, covered executives at companies with annual revenue ranging from $10 million to $1 billion. In Florida, 74 percent of those executives expect revenue growth over the next 12 months, with the average increase at 6 percent. In addition, 58 percent projected an employment increase at their companies. That’s more positive than the national survey, for which 70 percent of executives expected growth and 47 percent predicted they would add workers. Florida executives said the biggest challenge facing their businesses was the cost of health care, followed by government uncertainly, the ability to maintain margins, the ability to grow revenue and the general cost of doing business.
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Beacon Council's One Community One Goal Progress Report
A fashion incubator and other workforce talent development programs were put on the fast track, as the Beacon Council reported Wednesday on the latest developments in its One Community One Goal initiative. The program, launched in 2012, has drawn business and education leaders from across Miami-Dade County to map out future economic development. Between inception and 2014, local jobs in the target industries grew by 17,000, said economist Antonio Villamil. During the same period, the total number of news jobs in the county increased by more than 48,000. The initiative’s stated five-year goal is 27,000 new jobs in the targeted industries and 75,000 overall. "We must work to be the place that creates the jobs of tomorrow," said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, a One Community One Goal co-chair.
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Six Martin County Companies Selected As First Round Finalists For 2014 Florida Companies To Watch
The Business Development Board of Martin County (BDBMC) is proud to announce that six local companies have been selected as finalist for the 2014 Florida Companies to Watch. In its fourth year of celebrating entrepreneurship, the annual Florida Companies to Watch awards program is presented by GrowFL, in association with the Edward Lowe Foundation. Chosen from a pool of more than 150 second-stage growth companies, these finalists represent nearly $600 million in annual revenue and employ more than 2,800 full-time equivalent employees. Developed by the Edward Lowe Foundation, Florida Companies to Watch is a distinctive awards program that is specifically designed to seek out second-stage businesses from a wide range of industries representing all areas of the state, not just those in major metropolitan areas. In addition to an evaluation on past growth and projected success, applicant companies are judged according to their special strengths and impact in their markets, communities and within the state – deeming them “worth watching.”
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Camp Blanding Tour Gives Officials A Peek Behind The Curtain
Many Clay County residents know Camp Blanding is a military base, but many do not the encampment is also a place of opportunity. Camp Blanding recently opened its doors to a select group of about 25 local business and political leaders in Clay County. The tour included stops at the post headquarters, virtual shooting ranges, live shooting ranges and the Camp Blanding museum on July 16. "Everyone who came is well connected and plugged in to the county," said Bill Garrison, president of the Clay County Economic Development Corp., a new nonprofi t that spearheads economic development efforts in the county. "Our goal was to raise awareness about Camp Blanding. It makes up 18 percent of our county, and a lot of people don’t know about it. We want people to fully appreciate what is going on out there."
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FEDC 2015 Business Plan Available for Download
Established in 1964, The Florida Economic Development Council is a statewide membership association that includes economic, workforce and community developers. Its membership of nearly 400 public and private professionals includes representation from Florida s sixty-seven counties, more than 400 cities, 24 regional workforce regions, 28 colleges, 12 universities as well as utilities, ports, airports and industrial authorities. Through conferences, workshops, and other events, membership provides an opportunity to promote networking and professional development opportunities as well as collaboration and alignment among state, regional and local entities toward the state’s economic vision.
Download the 2015 FEDC Business Plan