. I would like to introduce you to the FEDC Board of Directors that have so graciously agreed to help drive our
The FEDC Board and staff are excited about the many opportunities for you to participate through working groups, committees, education and advocacy activities around the state. Stay tuned!
On a another and wonderful note, we are thrilled to announce that we are revamping our Young Professionals (YP) group! The YP group is an outlet for future leaders in economic and workforce development to connect, share resources, expand their networks and continue their professional growth. We have a lot of exciting plans for networking and educational opportunities in the works. This will be headed up by FEDC board member Scarlett Phanuef. If you, or someone you know within your organization is interested in joining a group of dynamic professionals under age 40, please email Scarlett Phaneuf at
July 2014 National Employment Statistics Released
This morning, the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released information covering national employment and unemployment estimates for July 2014
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Hydro-Dyne Engineering Announces Expansion, New Facility In Pinellas Park
Hydro-Dyne© Engineering, Inc. has announced its purchase of a more than 100,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Pinellas County, Florida. The new facility will dramatically expand Hydro-Dyne's manufacturing, service, research and design capacity, and will allow the company to take advantage of the Tampa Bay region’s strong workforce and broad intermodal logistics network. The company has increased its employee base by 70 percent during the past 12 months and plans to hire a number of new employees company-wide in the next 12 to 24 months. Capital investments totaling more than $1 million will be made in manufacturing equipment, computer systems and building renovations.
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Chile mission presents export opportunities for Tampa Bay businesses
If you’re a small business owner in the Tampa Bay region looking for a reason to break into a foreign market, Chile just might be the country you’re looking for, according to representatives from the U.S. International Trade Administration and U.S. Commercial Service. The mission, scheduled December 1-5, is open to Hillsborough and Pinellas county businesses that have a viable product or service to export to Chile. It offers business owners the opportunity to meet with key individuals that will be essential to breaking into the Chilean export market. Those interested in participating must contact Lorrie Belovich, Director of International Business Development at the Tampa Hillsborough EDC, to start the application. Deadline to apply is September 15 for the Gold Key package, or October 15 for the Delegate package.
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How To Create A Startup Hub
It’s fun to launch a startup if you’ve got lots of company in your community from other entrepreneurs and can bump into them at Meetups and local cafes. And the cross-pollination of ideas can make your business stronger. But if you’re starting a business in a town or city that isn’t known for creating the next Snapchat or Oculus VR, it can get a little lonely. So how do you actually pull off the advice in Brad Feld’s popular book on the subject, Startup Communities? Read the interview about creating a start-up hub in Orlando with Rick Weddle, president of the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission (EDC). In addition to running the EDC, he is president of the International Association of Science Parks (IASP) and previously was the president and CEO of the Research Triangle Park (RTP) in North Carolina for seven years. "Orlando has long been known for its tourism, but many people aren’t aware that its second largest industry is tech. "It is really at the tipping point and beginning to be a really significant economic driver." Orlando’s technology scene didn’t evolve into $14 billion industry by accident. Weddle and other business leaders have made an active effort to encourage startups.
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Design Firms’ Increasingly Integrated Role in Facility Development Projects
When a community is vying for a coveted relocation or expansion project, economic development leaders form a robust team of partners that work in concert to build the best business case. Architecture and engineering firms are routinely part of this team. But in a changing business landscape that is currently ripe for industrial progress, these same design firms are coming to the table as part of the conversation, yet, with a new seat location. The process of client engagement for design firms is evolving from a late-stage entry into the game by RFP response to a proactive approach that includes crucial due diligence factors that come before any facility design can even be conceptualized. Project development elements like site selection, master planning, and business climate analysis have become design firm buzzwords considered in the same light as blueprint, AutoCAD, and sustainability. Beth Kirkland, a career economic development professional who has served on both the private industry and community sides of the profession, talks to Brian Curtin, president of BRPH, an international architecture, engineering, and construction services firm, on the trending role of site selection in the design process, how firms can adapt to the changing landscape, and how the seamless process benefits growing companies.
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Florida Exports Up 10.4% in May
The latest international trade numbers show that $5.22 billion worth of goods left Florida for international markets in May, an increase of 10.4 percent from April, according to Durham, Hew Hampshire-based e-forecasting.com. The May data is the most recent available. Exports of manufactured goods contributed significantly to the state’s international trade, accounting for 76 percent of all state exports in May. Exports from state manufacturers increased in May by 16.8 percent from the previous month to $3.95 billion. However, exports of non-manufactured goods went down 5.8 percent in May to $1.26.9 billion. This group of foreign sales consists of agricultural goods, mining products and re-exports — foreign goods that entered the state as imports and are exported in substantially the same condition. Florida ranked 42nd among the 50 states during the first five months of this year. Compared to the same period in 2013, foreign sales from Florida’s companies, seasonally adjusted, decreased by an annual rate of 7.4 percent.
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Tampa Bay Leads State Medical Device Manufacturers By Producing One Third of the Industry’s Revenue
The state of Florida is one of the most rich medical technology manufacturers in the nation. According to the Florida Medical Manufacturers Consortium, a Tampa Bay-based organization, Florida is home to one of the largest medical device economies in the entire United States. With more than 528 device manufacturers that employ more than 20,000 Floridians, Florida ranks as the No. 2 state with the most FDA-regulated medical device establishments. In fact, Tampa Bay’s robust medical device industry produces a whopping $1.2 billion in revenue, making up one third of the state’s profits. In addition, Pinellas County solely contributes one fifth of the state's medical device revenue with 70 percent of the more than 10,000 medical technology jobs located in Pinellas. On May 19-20, Florida’s medical device industry will gather in St. Petersburg for its annual Florida Medical Device Symposium. This premiere event will showcase nationally recognized speakers, expert panels on regulatory issues and industry trends, legislative updates and quality networking opportunities.
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The Florida Economic Development Council Honors One Community One Goal Co-Chairs
More than 450 business, academic and civic leaders attended The Beacon Council One Community One Goal report to the community event on July 23. The Florida Economic Development Council honored One Community One Goal Co-Chairs Art Torno and George Foyo for their contributions. The Florida Economic Development Council Southeast Region Volunteer of the Year Awards were presented by Robert "Bob" C. Swindell, Chairman of the Florida Economic Development Council.
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Port Tampa Bay Receives Major Seaport Security Grant Funding From FEMA
Port Tampa Bay is pleased to announce that its application for grant funding for three projects through FEMA’s Seaport Security Grant Program has been fully funded for the amount of $1,688,475. This important grant award will fund three projects at the port that will allow the port to advance its security with upgraded and new equipment. Port Tampa Bay is Florida’s largest port and the largest economic engine in west central Florida, supporting nearly 80,000 jobs and generating almost $15 billion in annual economic impact. In addition to being a top 10 U.S. cruise port, the port handles a wide array of bulk, break bulk, containers and roll-on/roll-off cargoes, and is a major shipbuilding and repair center. The port was recently voted “Simply the Best” for world-class customer service in a Logistics Management Magazine reader poll.
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