Florida Is Shining Bright

Changing lifestyle choices are helping Florida gain an edge against other states in the battle for awareness among corporation executives.

Florida Is Shining Bright

Changing lifestyle choices are helping Florida gain an edge against other states in the battle for awareness among corporation executives.


https://businessfacilities.com/2022/03/florida-is-shining-bright/
Changing lifestyle choices are helping Florida gain an edge against other states in the battle for awareness among corporation executives.
By the BF Staff
From the January/February 2022 Issue

The sun is shining bright on the Sunshine State. With more businesses seeking to satisfy the changing demands of their workers—particularly those hard-to-keep skilled employees—many are continuing to look to Florida as a great spot to set up shop for expansion or even corporate relocations.

The state is doing all it can to make the move easier for any company seeking the balmy winter weather and a more laid-back lifestyle. With no state income tax, low corporate taxes and a pro-business government, Florida is moving up on many corporate lists for consideration for future growth.

Florida corporate expansion
(Photo: Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance/Sublime Imagery Studios)

Interestingly, the battle is heating up between different communities and economic development groups within the state, with many stressing their own advantages and opportunities for corporations. In the words of one veteran economic development official in the state, “There are just so many different places that offer so much that we are often competing with each other more than with other states. It does keep all of us pretty sharp.”

Doing Business In Pasco County

As one of the fastest growing areas in the Tampa Bay region, Pasco County features a unique blend of undeveloped, open spaces in close proximity to modern, vibrant communities with ready access to major interstate highways, CSX Rail Line, Tampa International Airport, and Port Tampa Bay.

Pasco County government works cooperatively with business leaders and residents to balance economic growth and job creation, with planned growth that protects the environment and preserves Pasco’s beautiful green space. The resulting quality of life and a supportive environment for business and industry has helped Pasco County become one of the top 40 fastest growing counties in the U.S.

Workforce

The Pasco County K-12 schools recognize the importance of fostering young minds through 32 Career Technical Education programs and the state-of-the-art manufacturing Apprenticeship Program also known as AMSkills. The higher education schools in the region, including Saint Leo University, Pasco Hernando State College, University of South Florida and University of Tampa, all infuse educated workforce into the community.

The WorkforceConnect program, established in 2018, was developed to assist in producing better alignment between the supply and demand for workforce in Pasco County. The website provides a detailed and interactive asset mapping tool for employers to identify specific resources to aid them in finding the skilled workers they need. It also provides a robust catalog of other programs that can assist employers upskill and/or retain their workforces such as training grants and transportation programs.

WorkforceCONNECT is one of the first programs of its kind in the nation, designed with the needs of employers in mind, and driven by data. It was recently recognized with a Bronze Award for Specialty Purpose Website by the International Economic Development Council.

Recent Announcements

Florida’s Healthcare and Life Sciences industries are both growing at a record pace and companies focused on medical research, health product development and manufacturing are locating to Pasco County, to build and grow state-of-the-art facilities.

These attributes helped Moffitt Cancer Center’s decision to build an 800-acre research, development, manufacturing and office park along The Suncoast Parkway, Tampa’s quickly developing life sciences corridor. Considering an existing workforce pipeline augmented with more than 20,000 graduates annually, it is no surprise that Moffitt chose Pasco providing affirmation to decisions made by international healthcare companies such as Touchpoint Medical and fast-growing start-ups like Bravado Pharmaceuticals decision to invest in Pasco.

Moffitt’s expanded clinical and research facilities will accommodate growth in the Tampa Bay region of complementary third-party research, product manufacturing, clinical providers, and conferencing facilities. The campus will be a magnet for biotech and life sciences enterprises and innovation and will bring together new partners and collaborators. The entire campus is estimated to support more than 14,500 additional jobs in the area.

The multi-year, multi-phase project will include more than 1.4 million square feet of research lab/office, light industrial/manufacturing, general office, and clinical building space within the 800-acre site near the newly opened intersection of Suncoast Parkway and Ridge Road, which is a part of the Ridge Road Extension project which will eventually extend past the site to US Highway 41.

In addition to the growth along the Life Sciences Corridor, the county has recently had an increase in the Business and Professional Services industry with the addition of 875 new jobs from just one company, and two of the companies which are converting long vacant retail space to fit their needs.

Encompass Health Corporation purchased nearly six acres in the Bexley Community off of State Road 54 in Land O’ Lakes. The company brings 179 new jobs, and is building a 37,000 square foot facility to house its Central Business Office which provides medical billing and collections services to Encompass Health hospitals in 25 states and Puerto Rico.

Santander Consumer USA recently invested $22 million to upgrade and convert existing retail space off State Road 54 near the Suncoast Parkway. The company will create 875 new to Florida jobs over the next five years, with salaries exceeding 115 percent of the average county wage.

Ensurem invested $500,000 in tenant improvements and office equipment to upgrade and convert 10,000 square feet of existing retail space off U.S. Highway 19 in Port Richey. At full capacity, the facility will be home to 200 employees with salaries exceeding 156 percent of the average county wage.

Greater Fort Lauderdale: A Magnet For Talent And Business

The past two years have shown that more than ever, people are prioritizing their personal happiness and quality of life, a sea change that is driving talent to Greater Fort Lauderdale. LinkedIn News reported that the Miami/Fort Lauderdale metro area had the highest growth in net inflows in the nation, 16.8 percent, based on LinkedIn members changing their home cities on their profiles.

Year-round outdoor activities and a long list of cultural, shopping and dining options make Greater Fort Lauderdale an outstanding place to live, work and play. There are inviting residential options for just about everyone with downtown communities, family-friendly suburban areas, LGBT-friendly neighborhoods, waterfront buildings and expansive ranches.

Florida corporate expansion
Greater Fort Lauderdale skyline. (Photo: Greater Fort Lauderdale alliance/Sublime Imagery Studios)

With many miles of sandy beaches, hundreds of parks, golf courses and tennis courts, gardens, festivals, as well as miles of waterways and the Atlantic Ocean for boating, diving, paddleboarding and other waterborne activities, residents can enjoy the outdoors any time of the year. Located at the center of a cosmopolitan urban region, Greater Fort Lauderdale also offers an abundance of music, art, culture, sports, theater, dance and multicultural attractions. Greater Fort Lauderdale’s high quality of life and work-from-anywhere options appeal to talented professionals, executives and entrepreneurs of all ages.

“With our home in Greater Fort Lauderdale, we have access to an incredible talent pool. We’re positioned in the heart of a major vacation destination and close to one of the airline’s focus cities,” said Andres Barry, president of Dania Beach-based JetBlue Travel Products.

A high-quality talent pipeline is the single most important consideration for companies investing in new locations and expansions. Companies thoroughly assess a region’s workforce, educational resources, and talent attraction strategies as a component of community competitiveness. The region is home to more than 300,000 college students, who provide a robust talent pipeline in addition to the recent grads and established professionals who flock to the area.

Greater Fort Lauderdale is home to many headquarters operations, including AutoNation, JM Family Enterprises, Inc., Chewy, Citrix, Magic Leap, People’s Trust Insurance, Spirit Airlines, UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group) and Virgin Voyages. The area is also known nationwide as an excellent location to work. In 2021, UKG ranked #6 on Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For.” Other area companies on the Fortune “best” list included Publix; Baptist Health South Florida; Citrix; and JM Family Enterprises, Inc. which has been recognized for 23 years in a row. UKG, JM Family and Publix also ranked on Fortune’s “75 Best Large Workplaces for Millennials” list for 2021.

A robust communications infrastructure and convenient air connections make Greater Fort Lauderdale particularly attractive as a regional headquarters location for multinational companies from North America, Europe and the Pacific Rim. At the same time, the region provides a natural entry point for Latin American companies seeking to establish themselves in the U.S. marketplace.

Greater Fort Lauderdale’s other assets that attract corporate headquarters and other operations include a large, skilled multilingual workforce, excellent school system, and leadership with a pro-business attitude. A recent Chief Executive magazine survey once again ranked Florida as the number two best state for business in its “Best and Worst States for Business in 2021” rankings and the Tax Foundation ranked Florida as the fourth best state business tax climate for 2021.

U.S. and international companies appreciate Greater Fort Lauderdale’s strategic location and convenient access to global markets, a multilingual and multicultural professional workforce, and numerous education and workforce training programs. Aviation, technology, business, financial and professional services, life sciences, manufacturing and other knowledge-based companies benefit from the region’s large and growing pool of skilled, college-educated workers.

For example, $23.2 billion in tech sector economic impact is generated from South Florida, according to the 2021 Cyberstates report by CompTIA. Amid the pandemic, thousands of new residents were freed from their traditional offices and chose warmer, more welcoming and less costly climates. Countless tech execs and IT talent chose Greater Fort Lauderdale, which today employs more than 150,000 tech workers. For employers scouting reasons to relocate to South Florida, amenities are many. The generally low cost of living and lack of any state or local personal income tax effectively gives labor a significant pay raise. Collaborative, progressive, diverse and inclusive, the Financial Times called these attributes “Florida’s feelgood factor.”

With a high quality of life, including a wide array of housing choices, excellent schools, and year-round golf, boating and other outdoor activities, Greater Fort Lauderdale offers an ideal location for CEOs, mid-level executives, entrepreneurs, Millennials and Gen Zs to “work in the cloud and live in the sun.” It’s an attractive region where life is less taxing—for many reasons.

St. Lucie County: Industrial Development Stays Hot

What do Amazon, FedEx Ground, Cheney Brothers, the Sansone Group, the Silverman Group, Seefried Industrial Properties, JBL Asset Management, Stonemont Financial Group, Hope Commercial Holdings, the Tambone Companies and others have in common? All have discovered the unmatched benefits of siting industrial facilities in St. Lucie County.

Located midway between Miami and Orlando and within a three-hour drive of 70% of Florida’s cities, St. Lucie County offers, by far, southeastern Florida’s lowest industrial land cost, unmatched speed-to-market, and seven commerce parks with more than 5 million square feet of speculative industrial facility space coming out of the ground. The industrial sites have excellent access to Interstate 95 and Florida’s Turnpike, as well as options for rail, ocean and air transit.

St. Lucie County and its municipalities, Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie (Florida’s seventh largest city), are known for the ability to provide exceptional speed-to-market. In the past few years, for example, a 106,000-square-foot expansion with environmental considerations was approved in 41 days and 1.1 million square feet of new construction in 89 days.

“Successful economic development truly is a team sport,” said Pete Tesch, president of the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County (EDC). “In addition to our location, land availability, low costs, and workforce, our county, municipalities and the EDC work closely together to ensure companies interested in creating jobs here receive expedited review, tax incentives if qualified, and the kind of sincere welcome not often experienced elsewhere.”   

Industrial and commerce parks with speculative facility construction or permitting currently underway include:

  • Interstate Commerce Center by JBL Asset Management, up to 225,000 square feet ready for occupancy 2023;
  • Interstate Crossroads Business Center by SL Industrial Partners, up to 1.133 million square feet, ready for occupancy fourth quarter 2022;
  • Kings Logistics Center by Seefried Industrial Properties, 300,000-658,000 square feet for Class A cross-dock facility ready for occupancy fourth quarter 2022;
  • Legacy Park at Tradition by the Sansone Group, 168,000- and 520,000-square-foot industrial facilities slated for spring 2022 occupancy, plus 5.4 million square feet of development-ready vacant land;
  • St. Lucie Commerce Center by Hope Commercial Holdings, up to 1.1 million square feet;
  • South Florida Logistics Center 95 by Stonemont Financial Group, 1.1-million-square-foot and 200,200-square-foot industrial facilities; plus Warehomes Precision LLC at Tradition Center for Commerce, is planning for up to 414,000 square feet of industrial development or up to 276,000 square feet of research and development, office or retail.

Many of the projects offer frontage along Interstate 95 or Florida’s Turnpike, or both. More information about these developments is available at youredc.com/interactive_map.

St. Lucie County offers a dynamic workforce of 156,060, with the lowest average labor costs in southeast Florida. A March 2021 study on commuting patterns by the State of Florida noted that 62.4% of the county’s workforce currently out-commutes, highlighting the opportunity to draw these commuters to new local jobs.

Robust career and technical training programs are offered by St. Lucie Public Schools and Indian River State College (IRSC). The college was ranked as the nation’s No. 1 state college in 2019 and operates six campuses in the region. In addition to offering associate and bachelor’s degrees, IRSC provides short-term, in-demand career certifications and is constructing a new 50,000-square-foot Advanced Workforce Training Center. With a 98% high school graduation rate and more than 35 career and technical education programs, St. Lucie’s non-college-bound youth also have many options to help them prepare for successful careers in targeted industries.

With housing costs 8.9% under the national average and significant residential single-family and multi-tenant development—more than 3,800 single-family home permits were issued in 2020 and more than 5,000 in 2021—St. Lucie is southeast Florida’s most affordable county.

In addition to direct access via Interstate 95 and Florida’s Turnpike, Highway 70 connects St. Lucie County to Florida’s west coast. Florida East Coast Railroad runs through the county along U.S. 1 and the 3,660-acre Treasure Coast International airport in Fort Pierce has U.S. Customs officials onsite and a full-service FBO. The county’s deepwater seaport is undergoing revitalization and is home to Derecktor Ft. Pierce, America’s first shipyard designed and built specifically for megayachts featuring the world’s largest mobile hoist.

Last but far from least, St. Lucie County is located in a spectacular setting with enviable natural resources—more than 21 miles of pristine coastline and beaches, more than 20,000 acres of public parks and natural preserves, and miles of rivers and waterways.

Jill Marasa, the EDC’s vice president of business retention and expansion, can be reached at [email protected] or 772-336-6257. For more information, visit www.youredc.com.

Lake County: Real Florida, Real Close

At the heart of Florida, Lake County provides easy access to interstates, highways, seaports and international airports, where local businesses are able to service clients throughout the nation and the world. Small-town character combined with the amenities of the Orlando metro area, makes Lake County an attractive destination for the best and brightest employment candidates to live, work and enjoy life.

According to the latest U.S. Census data released April 1, 2020, Lake County’s population is 383,956 and is the 17th fastest growing county in the State of Florida. As Orlando’s urban core continues to approach build-out, Lake County will experience even more growth over the coming decades, with forecasts predicting the population will be 450,300 in 2030 and 510,300 in 2040.

A pro-business attitude and diverse workforce make Lake County an ideal location for companies in any industry. While the focus has been on target industries like aviation and aerospace, life sciences and medical services, agri-tech, and manufacturing; the existing industry base is varied ranging from local, single-owner shops to multi-national corporations. The local economy continues to grow every year as increasingly more companies discover Lake County, FL is the ideal place to locate a business.

Elevate Lake, Lake County’s economic development organization, has identified four major strategic corridors that will serve as significant economic drivers within the County:

Wellness Way will capitalize on the human performance training, nutrition, sports medicine and health sciences work being done at the National Training Center, South Lake Hospital and Lake-Sumter State College, while protecting existing natural resources through effective master planning. Including approximately 15,500 acres located between Interstate-4, Florida’s Turnpike, and U.S. Highway 27, this strategic corridor will house upwards of 19,000 housing units and over 11 million square feet of non-residential development.

Wolf Branch Innovation District will be a significant employment center situated on approximately 1,300 acres along the Wekiva Parkway extension into Mount Dora. Located along the final leg of the beltway around Orlando, it will create significant economic development opportunities in Northeast Lake County. Elevate Lake and the City of Mount Dora have completed an implementation plan that will guide the development of this strategic corridor to include a wide range of commercial, light industrial and retail land uses.

Minneola Interchange spans roughly 4,000 acres located at the epicenter of the City of Minneola’s CRA, with direct access to Florida’s Turnpike, 25 minutes from downtown Orlando, and 35 minutes from the Orlando International Airport.  It will be home to 8,000 planned housing units and four mixed use projects with approved land uses for commercial, medical, office, and industrial spaces.

Christopher C. Ford Commerce Park is Lake County’s largest existing industrial park strategically located on U.S. Highway 27 at the crossroads of State Road 19 and Florida’s Turnpike. Capitalizing on market access, it has become a hub for manufacturing and distribution businesses. It is the home of Kroger’s customer fulfillment center, Amazon’s last mile delivery station, Carroll Fulmer Logistics Corporation, Dunkin Donuts Distribution, Niagara Water Bottling Company and Domino’s Distribution.

Kroger & Ocado’ Customer Fulfillment Center in Groveland has leveraged advanced robotics technology and creative solutions, which redefined the grocery experience in Central Florida by providing customers with anything, anytime and anywhere. Since the grand opening in July of 2021, the company has created 600 jobs which surpassed initial projections. The breadth of job creation is felt throughout the state of Florida, as the Groveland facility is the hub for distribution to both Jacksonville and Tampa facilities. Both cities have already experienced an increase in approximately 200 jobs each, which is a total of 1,000 jobs to Florida’s economy.

Amazon Logistics’ last mile delivery station in Groveland opened in June of 2021 and generated an estimated 150-200 job opportunities for the local workforce. Amazon’s presence also created more than 250 additional job opportunities through 3rd party delivery service providers. It is one of Amazon’s largest last mile facilities in volume and employment and has considerably sped up deliveries for customers in the Lake County area. The available workforce, central location and proximity to highways led to Amazon’s decision to choose Lake County.

Hanover Capital Partners announced intentions in November 2020 to build one of the first Class A facilities in the Christopher C. Ford Commerce Park to bring new jobs, commerce, and spur business activity to the area. Land clearing and groundbreaking began in July 2021.  The 425,000-square-foot distribution center, known as the American Way Distribution Center, is a speculative building and completion is projected for March 2022.

Key stakeholders moving their distribution centers to Lake County demonstrates the attractive business climate and accessibility of the community. Elevate Lake continues to focus on fostering a robust and healthy economy for Lake County’s citizens and businesses by working on key strategic initiatives that support existing businesses, workforce development, site development, and business retention and attraction efforts. With Lake County’s Board of County Commissioners focused on providing a friendly business environment, a wealth of available land, an attractive tax climate, numerous commerce parks and an unparalleled quality of life, starting a business or relocating to Lake County, FL has never been easier or more promising.

Hollywood, FL: A Mindset For Smart Growth

Every successful city knows the key to achieving a strong, long-lasting, sustainable future is to secure new economic activity today. New growth, whether it be the construction of a new office building or condominium project, or the expansion of an existing business, creates opportunities for jobs and adds to the tax base allowing for the robust services residents and business owners want and expect. As a world-class, full-service city, Hollywood understands this delicate equation and has a plan for balance with a mindset of smart growth. The city of Hollywood’s “business first” attitude is one of the reasons more than $1.45 billion in private investment is planned or currently under construction, following the city’s approximately $600 million investment in new roadways and infrastructure improvements city-wide.   

Florida corporate expansion
Hollywood, FL shines at night. (Photo: City of Hollywood, FL)

Private development projects in downtown Hollywood include the recently completed $160 million mixed-use Hollywood Circle, and the $80 million 1818 Park project now leasing, as well as the  $10 million Icon Office Building project which is nearing the topping-off stage. On the southeastern portion of the city’s iconic Young Circle, demolition has now cleared the way for a new proposal 363 unit luxury residential building with retail on the ground floor. Additional residential, office and commercial projects are also slated for Hollywood Beach and along the city’s thriving western corridor that boasts the Seminole Hard Rock Casino and Resort with its landmark Guitar Hotel. CentrePointe Offices at Oakwood Plaza is a transformational development project that offers one of the best locations in all of South Florida. Designed for the Next-Gen user, this project will create a combined live-work-play community with over 1,000,000 RSF of office space, multifamily residential, restaurant, specialty retail, and on-site hospitality.

Three public-private partnership projects are currently under consideration by the city including the renovation and revitalization of Orangebrook Golf and Country Club, the 1301 S. Ocean Drive Community Center, Open Space and Residential Project and the University Station Transit Oriented Development project. These signature projects are helping to reshape Hollywood’s landscape and skyline, thereby ensuring a bright, sustainable future.

Major corporations have planted solid roots in Hollywood as their chosen home to headquarter, including aerospace and aviation leader HEICO Corporation. Peer industry leaders also headquartered in Hollywood include Sintavia, LLC, and Lufthansa Technik. The Boring Company, the transportation infrastructure and tunnel construction arm of Elon Musk’s conglomerate, also has plans to relocate to South Florida. Online pet supply retailer Chewy.com, and one of the largest public healthcare systems in the nation, Memorial Healthcare have also invested their future with Hollywood, ensuring diverse opportunities for economic advancement.

Hollywood is steadily growing into a dynamic business hub in South Florida, with more than 10,000 companies city-wide. Centrally located on Florida’s east coast between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood provides easy access to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport and Miami International Airport, Port Everglades and multiple important rail and road transportation routes. With nearly 7 miles of breathtaking beaches, Hollywood is the perfect location to grow and compete in today’s global marketplace.

Hollywood is also home to two federally-designated Opportunity Zones that await businesses interested in preferential tax treatment, and is primed for smart growth through zoning that encourages revitalization along key commercial corridors. Hollywood is also home to two commercial and industrial parks and has a growing niche in Professional Services, Healthcare and the Marine Industry. Sintavia chose Hollywood’s Port 95 Commerce Park to open its 55,000-square-foot high-tech additive manufacturing facility. The company invested more than $25 million in its state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing equipment which has allowed the company to quadruple its production capacity of superior, lightweight precision parts for aviation and aeronautics.

Florida’s Hollywood is also committed to helping businesses succeed and grow through a streamlined development review process for high-impact and target industries relocating or expanding in Hollywood. Its designation as a ‘Platinum City’ for permitting by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance ensures businesses have a first-rate experience when it comes to locating in the city. And, the city’s Economic Development Team helps support the business community with one-on-one concierge service to assist with individual business needs.

With robust investment opportunities comes a talented and diverse workforce, along with the neighborhoods they live in. Hollywood offers affordable starter homes to luxury waterfront living with property values outpacing other South Florida communities. Within Hollywood’s walkable, tree-lined neighborhoods, residents find easy access to beautiful parks, bike paths, and recreational amenities.

Historic Downtown Hollywood offers diverse restaurants, galleries and shops along with popular cultural attractions like the Hollywood Hot Glass Studio and Art and Culture Center/Hollywood. The Downtown Hollywood Mural Project featuring more than two dozen wall-sized outdoor murals is a must-see stop for any art enthusiast. Hollywood’s upcoming centennial celebration in 2025 will be a time to recognize the city’s past, acknowledge the positive growth opportunities of today, and celebrate a very bright tomorrow.

Indian River County: Central To Where Your Business Needs To Be

Indian River County—Vero Beach, Sebastian, Fellsmere—strikes a perfect balance between business and pleasure. Those who live, work or visit Florida’s Central East Coast experience a safe and affordable community that’s rich in history and natural resources, with year-round mild temperatures and the azure waters of the Atlantic Ocean providing a variety of outdoor activities. From paddle-boarding on the Indian River Lagoon to bass fishing in Cypress Lake, or just some quiet time with a book on the beach, the county offers something for everyone. Corporate executives locate their companies to the area because of their positive vacation experience, plus many have winter homes in Vero Beach.

Visitors to Indian River County, including business executives, are coming from areas throughout the Northeast and Midwest. With a variety of hotel experiences, from beachside resorts to those with convenient interstate access, Indian River County can accommodate families, romantic couples’ weekends and get-togethers with friends.

Located midway between West Palm Beach and Cape Canaveral, Indian River County is within three hours of over 18 million consumers, or 90% of Florida’s population. It has easy access to markets but is far from urban sprawl, traffic and congestion. The county was recently awarded a Bronze-level recognition as a Bicycle Friendly Community from the League of American Bicyclists.

The county’s superb quality of life also attracts innovative businesses and talented professionals from around the country and throughout the world. Advanced industries from aviation to aquaculture and emerging tech to healthcare benefit from a low cost of doing business and some of the lowest taxes in the nation. The area offers easy access to markets with none of the urban sprawl, traffic or congestion. Commute times within the county are no more than 30 minutes, and less than an hour within the tri-county region.

It’s also a cost-competitive place to locate or expand your business. The Indian River Chamber participates in the national ACCRA Cost of Living survey, comparing a variety of cost factors with 300 other markets throughout the country. Year-after-year, the Vero Beach-Sebastian area is typically on par, or slightly lower, than the national average.

Indian River County has hundreds of acres of low-cost land available for development, much of it located near I-95, a major north-south transportation route along the east coast—perfect for warehouse/distribution operations. The county offers competitive property tax rates, local incentives, and no state income tax.

The Opportunity Zone initiative provides investors an even greater reason to consider Indian River County, as all properties west of I-95 in the county are designated as an Opportunity Zone.  This includes the City of Fellsmere, a rural community in the northwestern portion of the county with thousands of acres of developable land and quick access to I-95.

Air transportation in the area is served by two general aviation airports which primarily cater to private and corporate aircraft. Sebastian Airport is home to Whelen Aerospace Technologies, a global leader in high-end lighting products for the aerospace industry. Vero Beach Regional Airport is home to Piper Aircraft, an internationally recognized manufacturer of small personal aircraft. The Vero Beach Airport is a full service Fixed Base Operator with a 7,000-foot runway. Both airports have plenty of airside and non-aviation land available for future development.

An available and trainable workforce of approximately 638,000 within an hour’s drive time adds to the county’s appeal as a desirable location. Indian River State College (IRSC) has five campuses located throughout the region, offering 2-year and 4-year degrees as well as a number of industrial and technical certifications. IRSC is quite successful in securing training grants for local employers.

The Indian River Chamber partnered with the local school district and CareerSource Research Coast, the region’s workforce organization, to launch a Manufacturing Boot Camp program. The program provides high school students who are not college-bound an opportunity to see the types of jobs and skills needed within the manufacturing industry—building up that workforce pipeline.

Because location is central to success, Indian River County isn’t just where you want to be—it’s central to where you and your business ought to be. For more information on locating your company to Indian River County, FL, contact Helene Caseltine, Economic Development Director with the Indian River Chamber of Commerce, at 772-567-3491 or [email protected]. Visit the website at www.indianrivered.com. For more information on visitor experiences, check out www.visitindianrivercounty.com.

Considering Florida for your company’s relocation or expansion project? Check out all the latest news related to Florida economic development, corporate relocation, corporate expansion and site selection.

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