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October Economic Development Update

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Highlands County Economic Development
OCTOBER 2018
Connections - Highlands County Economic Development Updates
 
 

SOUTH FLORIDA STATE COLLEGE LAUNCHES NEW BUSINESS & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT TRAINING CLASSES

South Florida State College has launched a new catalog of corporate training classes. The courses award certificates of completion that are designed to increase employability skills and strengthen businesses. Course offerings include:

  • Soft Skills for Successful Employees
  • Leadership Training: Survival Skills for New Supervisors
  • Leadership, Lunch and Learn
  • Foundations of Business
  • Promoting Your Business with Social Media
  • Strategic Management for Health Care Professionals
  • Strategic Management and Leadership Development
  • Time Management
  • Conflict Management
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  • They also offer a variety of beginner and intermediate computer/information technology courses, including classes on Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Access, QuickBooks, PIXLR, and OneNote.
  • A number of online courses are also available on topics such as Grammar Refresher, Effective Business Writing, Speed Spanish, Microsoft Excel, Medical Terminology, and more.
Need customized training for your business or organization? The SFSC Corporate College can help. SFSC’s staff and faculty collaborate to offer solutions to meet your needs. They bring trainings to you at your business or at any of their campuses located in Highlands, Hardee and DeSoto counties. Call 863-784-7034 for details. SFSC also offers corporate education courses for Advanced Manufacturing, Construction and Utility Trades, Early Childhood Education, Health and Public Safety, Real Estate, and Transportation and Logistics. Visit www.southflorida.edu for details.
 
MEETINGS, WORKSHOPS & EVENTS
SBDC Marketing Your Business
6 to 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 16
South Florida State College Building H, Room 110
Fee: $25.00
Register 863-784-7405
(CRN 11254)
 
Take this class to uncover the characteristics that make up your business’s DNA and boost consumer loyalty and company profits. After answering the two most important questions in all of marketing, you’ll be ready to skillfully implement customer-winning strategies and face the competition. Full details here.


Highlands County Industrial Development Authority Meeting
7:30 a.m. / Wednesday, Oct. 10
Engineering Training Room
505 S. Commerce Ave., Sebring, FL 33870
Meeting Information


Florida Rural Economic Development Summit
"Retooling Florida's Rural Workforce"

Oct. 24 and Oct. 25
Embassy Suites Orlando - Lake Buena Vista South
This event is open to anyone interested in advancing economic development efforts in Florida's rural communities. The Highlands County Economic Development office is attending, and we encourage you all to join us. Event details here. 
 
NEWS & UPDATES
Photo News Sun - Courtesy Photo

HIGHLANDS SECOND IN CITRUS PRODUCTION FOR 2017-18, LOOKS TO NEW SEASON TO RECOVER
Highlands News-Sun  By: Phil Attinger 
Polk may have grabbed the top spot in Florida citrus production, but Highlands County came in right behind it. That’s the word from the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture numbers on the 2017-18 growing season, one that was decimated by Hurricane Irma.

“It looks like Highlands County, for the 2017-18 season, (picked) just shy of 8 million boxes of fruit, behind Polk County that picked 9 million,” said Ray Royce, executive director of the Highlands County Citrus Growers Association. 
Read more here.

 

SECAPEM DEFENSE TRAINING SOLUTIONS AT SEBRING AIRPORT
SDTS is purchasing retired ND339s, military fighter trainers, which will soon be housed at Sebring Regional Airport. Explained Beverly Glarner, Airport Executive Assistant, “SDTS will house parts as well as the aircraft in commercial hangar building 104.” SDTS will possibly be adding another hangar later. Eventually they plan to offer a flight training school with these aircraft. Read more here.

 
Solar Farm / Courtesy Photo / Duke Energy

SOLAR FARM IN LAKE PLACID FUTURE?
Highlands News-Sun  By: Kim Leatherman

A solar farm could be in the Lake Placid area’s near future. EDF Renewables has applied to the county’s Planning Department for a special exception for a solar farm. The decision on whether or not to grant a special exception will be made in a public meeting at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9 by the county’s Zoning Board of Adjustment. The property’s current land use is zoned for agriculture with mixed land use.The solar project would lease land from Cow Slough Inc. and Price Groves LLC located on U.S. 27. The properties are just to the north of the proposed new Town Hall and a parcel on St. John’s Road. A total of 616 acres would be included in the special exception. EDF Renewables estimates the project will generate enough power for 10,300 homes.  Read more here. 

 

HIGHLANDS NEWS-SUN NAMES WOMEN IN BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
The Highlands News-Sun hosted it Second Annual Women in Business celebration in September. Congratulations to the winners:

  • Community Service Award: Harriet Porter, co-founder of the Lake Placid Mural Society
  • Avon Park Businesswoman of the Year: Karla Renee Bennett of Management Experts
  • Lake Placid Businesswomen of the Year: Tracee Smoak, Kym Smoak and Samantha Smoak Price, owners of The Blueberry Patch
  • Sebring Businesswomen of the Year: Karen Lanier and Krystal Turner, who own Grateful Hearts
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Connie Delaney
 

CONSTRUCTION ON HARDER HALL PROJECT SCHEDULED TO BEGIN SOON
Highlands News-Sun  By: Melissa Main
Construction of a senior living facility at Harder Hall could begin as soon as the end of November, according to Vice President of South Florida Senior Living Paul Ruby. The senior living facility — complete with 75 independent living units, 64 assisted living units and 23 memory care units — is scheduled to close on IDA bonds the middle of November, with construction starting a week or two later, Ruby said. “Once we have these funds, we will have all the money needed for construction, and it will be safe to begin,” Ruby said. “Construction will go on for 20-21 months,” Ruby said. Read more here. 

 

SEBRING WILL BE CENTER OF RACING WORLD
Highlands News-Sun
One of the greatest weekends of SportsCar racing ever in the United States will take place March 13-16, 2019 with the doubleheader of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts and the FIA WEC 1000 Miles of Sebring. Tickets go on sale Monday, Sept. 17. “Sebring 2019 will rank as one of the greatest sports car racing weekends ever seen in North America,” said Sebring Raceway President and General Manager Wayne Estes. “To have the FIA WEC join our traditional race weekend is truly an honor for us and a bonus for our fans.” Read more here. 

 

COUNTY AND STATE ADD MANUFACTURING JOBS
Manufacturing job growth in Florida intensified over the past 12 months, according to data collected by Manufacturers' News Inc. (MNI). MNI reports manufacturers in Florida added 3,921 jobs from March 2017 to March 2018 – double the number of jobs gained over the 2016-2017 survey period. This marks the fifth straight year Florida has added industrial jobs. Currently, the state is home to 13,674 manufacturers employing 478,248 workers. "Florida gets high marks for a number of site-selection factors, including an abundance of business incentives and capital, and also benefits from some of the most solid infrastructure in the nation," says Tom Dubin, MNI president.
Read more here.

  • Highlands County's manufacturing industry is home to more than 75 businesses, and the industry currently employs more than 800 individuals. Over the past five years, the county's average annual change in manufacturing employment has been 2.8%, which is equal to the state's rate and more than double the national rate of 0.8%
 
FL Ranks 4 for Tax Climate

FLORIDA RANKS IN TOP 4 FOR BUSINESS TAX CLIMATE
The Tax Foundation just released its 2019 State Business Tax Climate Index and Florida grabbed the No. 4 spot nationwide and top ranking in the Southeast.
Read more here.

 

FUELED BY MORE PEOPLE, FLORIDA’S ECONOMIC PROSPECTS LOOK GOOD OVER NEXT 30 YEARS
Tampa Bay Times By: Graham Brink
Florida’s economy should be in good shape 30 years from now. There will be bumps, including four to five recessions, if history is a guide. And not everyone will get an equal share of the prosperity. But thanks largely to a steadily growing population, the state’s financial fortunes look rosy. By 2047, the state will be home to more than 29 million residents, up from about 21 million today.  Read more here.

 
MONTHLY METRICS
Aug 2018 Unemployment 5.4
Unemployment Rate
 
August Real Estate Stats
Residential Real
Estate Activity
 
August Residential Construction Activity
Residential
Construction Activity
Highlands County Economic Development
www.Highlandsbusiness.com
863-402-6882
501 S. Commerce Ave.
Sebring, FL 33870
Copyright © 2018 Highlands County Economic Development, All rights reserved.

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OUR MISSION

Enhance the quality of life in Highlands County by attracting a diversity of new businesses; increasing industrial investment while facilitating the retention and successful expansion of existing business and industry.

Keep In Touch

Economic Development
Highlands County Board of County Commissioners
(E)
economicdevelopment@hcbcc.org
(P) 863.402.6906
(F) 863.402.6651