The Duke Energy Foundation has awarded the Orlando Economic Development Commission (EDC) $50,000 toward new efforts to research key industries and educate businesses and residents about Orlando's economic development landscape.
Duke Energy, which has partnered with the Orlando EDC since 1978 (previously as Progress Energy) in its mission to attract, retain and grow jobs for the region, announced it would provide the grant to the EDC Foundation for Education, Inc., which offers educational programs on economic topics for government and business leaders, residents and the media.
"Duke Energy plays a critical role in supporting our region's business community and working alongside the Orlando EDC with companies looking to expand or locate here," said Rick Weddle, President and CEO of the Orlando EDC, which oversees the Foundation. "We're pleased with their continued support and look forward to partnering to better educate residents and current and prospective businesses of Orlando's assets."
"Our partnership with the Orlando EDC on this initiative underscores our shared focus and commitment to bringing new jobs and capital investment to this area," said Laura Boisvert, Vice President, Community Relations and Economic Development with Duke Energy. "The work the EDC is doing will help ensure Orlando is top of mind for competitive economic development projects."
The Orlando EDC will use the grant for industry-specific research into targeted sectors with a growing presence in the region, such as Business Services, Advanced Technologies, Film & Digital Media, Life Sciences & Healthcare, and Aviation, Aerospace & Defense.
This data and other reports generated with support from the grant will also be made available on the Orlando EDC's website (http://orlandoedc.com) for public access. The grant award coincides with the launch of a new regional business brand geared toward educating residents and out-of-market industry leaders about Orlando as a premier business location.
Duke Energy, along with Orange and Osceola counties, Florida Hospital, Orlando Magic, Walt Disney World, Florida Blue, Greenberg Traurig, CNL, OUC-The Reliable One and several other business leaders, are supporters of the new regional branding campaign with the platform, "Orlando. You don't know the half of it."
Recently named one of the year's top 10 utility companies in economic development by Site Selection magazine, Duke Energy also serves on the Orlando EDC's Regional Economic Developers Team, which is made up of economic development professionals from the Orlando EDC's member counties and the City of Orlando, higher educational institutions, utility companies, workforce development organizations and other partners to strengthen and improve the region's economic development delivery system.