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

President's Message

Good afternoon,

This week FEDC Board, along with Enterprise Florida, Florida SBDC, Space Florida, CareerSource Florida and others met at the Future of Florida Forum in Orlando for 2 ½ days of energizing meetings looking at where Florida has been, where we are now and how we move Florida forward faster. The Forum was attended by more than 500 stakeholders across Florida. Many of our members were present and I’m sure they would echo my sentiment in saying that truly, Florida is moving in the right direction.

One of the best presentations given was from Florida’s CFO, Jeff Atwater. CFO Atwater in four slides did an incredible job telling the story of how Florida, in comparison to the United States, has moved the meter forward with 4th grade reading scores while maintaining fiscal responsibility. When this presentation becomes available next week, we will look to bring it to you.

Today we are launching registration for the Winter Symposium! Space is limited and we expect the hotel to sell out quickly. If you are planning on attending the symposium to hear what Site Consultants are saying and to have a winning community, please register immediately. In the weeks to come, we will be profiling each of the consultants. Register now!

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

USF 38th Annual Basic Economic Development Course, November 3-6, 2014 in Tampa

FEDC is proud to announce that we will be awarding three scholarships for the USF 38th Annual Basic Economic Development Course (BEDC), November 3-6, 2014 in Tampa. If you are interested in advancing your career in economic development or if you are going to become certified, this is a great opportunity and is a required element to qualify for the International Economic Development Council’s Certification (CEcD) exam. The scholarships, each valued at $655, will cover registration fees only and will provide entrance to these 4 days of training. Please fill out the application and return to Amy Evancho, no later than TODAY Friday, October 3rd at 5PM. The review committee will notify you by Friday, October 10th if you have been awarded a scholarship.

Details of the Basic Course
Mickie Birdsall Scholarship Application

2014 Florida Rural Economic Development Summit – Nov 5-7

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. Registration deadline is Friday, October 3, 2014.

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Orlando EDC Joins Elite Top 1 Percent Of EDOs Nationwide

Of the 4,400 economic development organizations in North America, the Orlando EDC joins the top 1 percent of economic development organizations that are accredited by IEDC as an Accredited Economic Development Organization (AEDO). "The Orlando EDC and its team led by Rick Weddle display the professionalism, commitment and technical expertise that is deserving of this honor," said IEDC President and CEO Jeff Finkle.

"The Orlando EDC is proud to be recognized by IEDC and for the opportunity to highlight its work in the Orlando region recruiting higher-wage jobs and mission-critical strategic jobs initiatives for our community," said Rick Weddle, President and CEO of the Orlando EDC, and the first Chairman of the Board of IEDC in 2002. "As we’re working to become the nation’s preeminent economic development organization, we are honored by the IEDC’s accreditation."

Earning the AEDO accreditation tells the community and business prospects that the Orlando EDC has attained a measure of excellence assuring that their trust is well-placed and their business is in good hands.

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Enterprise Florida Wants To Speed Up Incentives To Help Land Apple-like Firm

Enterprise Florida President and Chief Executive Officer Gray Swoope told the agency’s board members Tuesday that Apple is the kind of manufacturer desired by Florida. However, he said, state laws might hinder such economic-development efforts because of the length of time needed to get approval for incentives as firms try to open facilities quickly.

Under the Quick Action Closing Fund, a joint House and Senate panel known as the Legislative Budget Commission is required to approve incentives packages over a $5 million threshold. The commission meets periodically throughout the year.

"I see this as a competitive disadvantage that we need to figure out," Swoope said. "I’m not saying that we need to do away with Senate approval or House leadership approval, because this is $10 million that we’re accountable for. But the approval process needs to be tightened. It needs to be tightened so when a company like Apple says ‘Hey,’ in September, ‘by the end of this year we want product coming out the door …. This is what I need for you to make it happen.’"

Enterprise Florida Vice Chairman Brett Couch said the desire to speed the process is primarily to help keep projects confidential. "The longer you wait, it’s just inevitable that something is going to leak," Couch said. And leaks, officials contend, could allow a competing state to outbid Florida for a company and its desired jobs.

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FSBDC at UCF’s Jill McLaughlin Recognized as 2014 Florida Star of the Year

Jill McLaughlin, International Trade Specialist for the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida and the Florida Star of the Year, was recently recognized at the 2014 America’s SBDC national conference in Grapevine, Texas. McLaughlin was recognized among State Star recipients from SBDCs across the country at a special reception at the 34th annual conference, which was held in September.

The State Star award, the highest accolade achievable by SBDC employees, recognizes extraordinary performers who have made strong contributions to their state network. “We are pleased to recognize Jill for her accomplishments,” said Michael Myhre, CEO and Network State Director for the Florida SBDC. “Her passion and enthusiasm for serving small businesses in Central Florida is an inspiration. She is most deserving of this recognition.”

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UCF Business Incubation Program Celebrates 15 Years of Success

Since its launch 15 years ago, the UCF Business Incubation Program has helped more than 250 early stage companies on their road toward financially stability and transformation into potentially high-growth/impact enterprises. Utilizing the tools, training and infrastructure provided by the University’s incubation program, these companies have sustained more than 3,600 total jobs in the Central Florida region and have had a total impact of $1.51B on regional sales and $2.48B on regional economic output.

"This is a celebration of what can happen when a community get together to make a difference. The invaluable contributions that the partners in this program make to support emerging companies, stimulate job growth and strengthen local economies enable us to fortify the region’s innovation culture by providing ready access to our incubation services," said Tom O’Neal, Ph.D., founder and executive director of the UCF Business Incubation Program (UCFBIP).

In addition to facilitating and enhancing the growth and success of local companies, the UCF Business Incubation Program offers a unique opportunity for international businesses, as well as domestic companies headquartered outside of the area, to enter Central Florida, one of the top entrepreneurial markets in the United States. The incubation program’s Soft Landing Program provides these companies with a number of tools, research and infrastructure opportunities to facilitate the expansion of their businesses into this market.

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Laura DiBella Appointed As Nassau County EDB’s New Executive Director

The Nassau County Economic Development Board (NCEDB), a local nonprofit corporation committed to encouraging economic growth and vitality in Nassau County, announced today that Laura DiBella has been appointed as the new Executive Director effective October 1, 2014. She replaces Steve Rieck, who retires from seven years of service with the NCEDB. In her new role, Ms. DiBella will work closely with the Board and its investors to further their mission of promoting economic development in Nassau County through its Nassau Tomorrow strategic plan.

Read More »

GE Oil & Gas to Create 500 Jobs, Invest $50 million in Duval County

GE Oil & Gas will open a new advanced manufacturing facility in Jacksonville. The project will create at least 500 jobs over the next three years and a capital investment of more than $50 million in Duval County

This project was created with the help of close partnerships between Enterprise Florida, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, CareerSource Florida, the City of Jacksonville and JAXUSA. Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Jesse Panuccio said, "Once again, effective business-friendly policy has won for the state Florida. The new facility for GE Oil & Gas in Jacksonville means 500 more jobs will be created in Florida, many of which will be in the STEM related fields. We are excited to have General Electric contributing greatly to Florida’s resurgent economy."

Read More »

BDB of Palm Beach Creates/Retains Record Number of Jobs

The BDB will complete its 2013-2014 fiscal year on September 30. To date, the BDB facilitated a total of 10 relocations and 11 retention/expansion projects which created/retained a record number of jobs totaling 3,850. Combined, these relocations and expansions will directly invest $55,000,000 and occupy 367,457 square feet in additional real estate.

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Florida Tax Watch Comments on Northwest Florida’s Opportunities For Growth

A recent Florida TaxWatch report titled Ready for Takeoff: Florida Can Lead the Nation in Aircraft Manufacturing showed that the Panhandle is home to many Florida aviation manufacturing and service companies and six industrial air parks, all of which could benefit from opening of the Airbus facility in nearby Mobile in 2015.

Florida’s Northwest region has many other assets that can be used for further developing and diversifying the region’s economy. There are substantial military personnel, a well-developed infrastructure, cooperation between the state and local governments, economic development professionals, and private companies that are working to help the area become more economically diverse. These assets can also be used to provide new jobs to keep military retirees and graduates of Florida colleges and universities in Florida, thus providing higher returns to taxpayers on their educational investments.

Creative economic development professionals have been instrumental in the development of unique sites such as Florida’s only distribution industrial park (located in Marianna), where a 1.2 million square foot Family Dollar distribution center is located. The community and its economic development professionals partnered with Enterprise Florida and used several available economic development programs to out-compete 117 other communities that were considered for this project.

Read More »

Lynda Weatherman on Sustaining Success

Only a few years ago, Brevard County faced the most daunting of economic development challenges. With direct job losses estimated at 10,000 from the shuttle retirement, concurrent with the deepest and longest recession in our nation’s history and sequestration, it is likely no other community in our country faced such immediate and severe economic calamities.

Yet, we now know that a community with strong, committed partners and a focused and disciplined economic development program can positively impact economic conditions. Though our recent successes did not come easily or readily, we must continue this momentum, as our nation is littered with examples of communities which relied on initial successes, assuming momentum would continue.

Lynda Weatherman proposes three ways we can sustan and continue our success. Read More »

OSM Aviation Expands its Presence in Fort Lauderdale

OSM Aviation, Inc. (OSM), a provider of crew employment and crew management services, is expanding its Fort Lauderdale operations with the hire of an additional 58 cabin crew members. The company had previously hired 104 crew members beginning in October 2013. The current round of hiring will bring the number of new flight attendants hired in the Greater Fort Lauderdale area to 162 since October 2013. Based in Fort Lauderdale, OSM Aviation offers a broad range of services, including employment and management of both flight deck and cabin crew.

Recruitment and training efforts for the new employees were aided by The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, CareerSource Broward, Broward College and the City of Fort Lauderdale. Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance President and CEO Bob Swindell added, "We are very happy that OSM Aviation is hiring additional flight attendants in the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County area. The company's decision to expand in our region is a good indicator that our efforts in growing Broward County"s Aviation/Aerospace cluster continue to pay off. We thank the Alliance’s Business Development team for working with the company along with the City of Fort Lauderdale and Broward College for their assistance."

Read More »

Job Links

City of St. Petersburg
Economic Development Analyst

Lee County
Manager of Business Development

City of Coral Springs
Economic Development Manager

Central Florida Development Council
Manager of Investor Relations & Development

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


North Florida Economic Development Academy

Sept 15 & 16 + Oct 9 & 10 at Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in Tallahassee
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Export Development Mission to Panama

October 5-7, 2014
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HBIF Success Stories Luncheon: West Coast

October 8, 2014 @ 11:30AM, Tampa Mariott Waterside
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Gulf Power Economic Symposium

October 12-14, 2014
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Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast Annual Meeting

October 15, 2014
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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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Mickie Birdsall Scholarship Application

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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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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SAVE THE DATE: January 15-16 2015

FEDC 2nd Annual Winter Symposium
More Information Coming Soon!


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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