Top 10 Takeaways: Orange County Economic Summit 2015

1. We are headed in the right direction.

  • According to Forbes Magazine Orlando is tops in the nation for job growth at 3.7 percent, twice the national average.
  • The Florida housing market continues its recovery.
  • “Policy and partnerships are bearing fruit in Orlando. It’s sort of a mind-blower to see how all the different parts, both public and private have come together to create our success.” –Sean Snaith, Director, UCF Institute for Economic Competitiveness.

2. We’re not out of the woods yet.

  • We are not yet at full potential in the labor market. “5.8 percent headline unemployment does not tell the full story.” –Snaith
  • Dropping oil prices are a mixed bag; many industries rely on strong oil prices. For consumers low prices are an economic bonus, increasing disposable income by .25 percent.

3. Our export economy is one of the strongest in the nation, but there is room for improvement.

  • Florida is #1 by far in the United States in manufacturing export intensity at 49 percent.
  • “Orlando is an important player in the export business, but we could do much better. We can’t afford to stand still.” – Manuel Mencia, Senior VP, International Trade and Business Development, Enterprise Florida

4. Familiarity is the first stepping-stone to investment.

  • Visitors arrive as tourists, fall in love with all that we have to offer and return as investors.
  • “Tourism begets trade, which begets investment,” Mencia.

5. Orlando will continue to be a big player in the field of Modeling, Simulation & Training.

  • Orlando’s MS&T Blue Ribbon Commission is working to finalize the date for the first-ever MS&T Commercialization Summit.

6. Orlando is prepping to harness the power of digital technology.

  • The first-ever Orlando iX event is coming in October 2015, playing host to more than 50,000 digital innovators from around the globe.
  • UCF’s plans to build a downtown campus will create a permanent home for digital technology education in Orlando.
  • The Creative Village will further push the boundaries of Orlando’s high-tech digital presence.

7. As we grow, we must not forget about our green spaces.

  • “Our future economically, can’t be separated from our future environmentally.” -Jim Bacchus, Chair, Global Practice, Greenberg Traurig

8. Orlando is a Top 10 city in the U.S for infrastructure.

  • All Aboard Florida
  • SunRail
  • I-4 Ultimate
  • Top-rated Orlando International Airport

9. Health care in Orlando is hitting a high mark.

  • Florida Hospital for Women is set to open in 2015.
  • The VA Hospital in Lake Nona is set to accept patients in 2015.
  • “Health care will continue to grow, if you don’t believe it, drive out to Lake Nona and have a look for yourself.” -Snaith

10. Orlando. You Don’t Know The Half Of It.

  • The EDC’s new branding campaign is giving all of us something to be proud of by highlighting the industries, technology, educational opportunities and small businesses that make Orlando unique.
  • “This branding campaign is going to change how the world sees us, and how we see ourselves.” – Mayor Teresa Jacobs