Written By: David J. Volk, Esq. | September 28, 2016
Those of us who grew up or have lived here a long time have seen this fine community slowly but surely expand and develop into a very vibrant business area. If you are not paying attention, you should realize just how great Brevard County is as a place to do business. It has been improving steadily and there is more to come. We survived a real estate crash and the shutdown of the Shuttle program and are now in a boom time. Don’t believe me? Checked real estate prices lately?
Activity going back to the 60’s through today at the Space Center attracted a lot of very smart people and that has had a commercial ripple effect. How did we bounce back so quickly from loss of the Shuttle program? And, how are we attracting high tech employers to locate or expand businesses here? Those two are connected by the talented workforce that came here for space program activities and got the ball rolling. That workforce is attracting other aerospace expansion. Space activity is now growing through the increasing private sector involvement in the field. SpaceX, Blue Origin, Northrop Grumman, and Embraer are examples of a revolution rolling through our County. Aerospace talent attracts more aerospace talent. And, that talent needs homes and restaurants and stores and professionals like lawyers and CPAs and good schools to patronize. Creation of good jobs have that ripple effect. Manufacturing and engineering jobs have a big ripple effect.
We should give a shout out to the Economic Development Commission (EDC) of Florida’s Space Coast and its public and private sector supporters. The EDC serves as a central business development service for Brevard County, Florida to attract jobs to our area and to encourage employers to stay here and to expand. The EDC team is enthusiastic and we would not have landed a number of the big projects our community has captured over the last few years without EDC efforts. That includes pursuing and helping land those critically important manufacturing and engineering jobs. ‘Made in Brevard County’ has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
Without further ado, some eye opening statistics.
#1 - Highest average number of patents per 10,000 workers in Florida, The Brookings Institution, 2013
#1 - Largest share of science, technology, engineering and math-related jobs in Florida, The Brookings Institution, 2013
#5 - Most concentrated high-tech workforce in the U.S., TechAmerica Foundation, 2013
#1- Eastern Florida State College voted best Community Colleges for Workforce Training in Florida, Southern Business & Development Magazine, 2015
#1- Best school quality of all large public school districts in the U.S., The Brookings Institution, 2013
#4 - Edgewood Jr/Sr High School among top high schools in Florida, U.S. News & World Report Best High School Rankings, 2016
#7 - Florida Institute of Technology ranked top 10 in Florida, Forbes America’s Top Colleges, 2015
#8 - Westshore Junior/Senior High School among top high schools in Florida, U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools Rankings, 2016
#10 - University of Central Florida top 10 in Florida, Forbes America’s Top Colleges, 2015
FIT - One of the top tier National Universities, 5th consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report, 2014
FIT - One of the Top 50 Most Entrepreneurial Universities, Forbes Startup Schools: America’s Most Entrepreneurial Universities, 2015
Top 50 - Melbourne, FL among best medium size cities to live in, U.S. News, 2016
#1 - Best infrastructure in Florida, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 2014
#2 - Palm Bay, best city for millennial job seekers in Florida, Nerdwallet, 2015
#7 - Top 2016 ENERGY STAR mid-size cities for buildings that earned ENERGY STAR certification in 2015, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA), 2016
#7 - Best medium-sized metro area for home ownership in the U.S., Nerdwallet, 2014
#1 - Melbourne voted Best Tech Hub in Florida, Southern Business & Development Magazine, 2015
#1 - Most concentrated high-tech economy in Florida, and #10 in U.S., Miliken Institute, 2015
#2 - Florida Space Coast voted best aerospace location in Florida, Southern Business & Development Magazine, 2015
#2 -Top cruise port in the U.S. per passengers, America Association of Port Authorities, 2013
#4 - Melbourne ranked in Top Small Cities to Start a Business in Florida, Nerdwallet, 2015
#7 - Port Canaveral among top water born total cargo value in Florida, Florida Business Journals, 2016
#7 - Highest advanced industry share of total employment in the U.S., The Brookings Institution, 2015
Compiled by Space Coast Economic Development Commission
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