The Orlando Economic Development Commission (EDC) saw its strongest year in the organization’s 39-year history during 2015-16 completing new location and expansion projects that are projected to create 5,646 new jobs in the region. The EDC exceeded its goals in job numbers by 57 percent, total payroll by 41 percent, and fully met office square-footage goals.
The EDC worked with 30 companies that will create jobs in the targeted industries of Advanced Manufacturing; Corporate Headquarters and Regional Offices; Aviation, Aerospace and Defense; Innovative Technologies; and Life Sciences and Healthcare.
A few EDC project highlights include:
- ADP with 1,600 projected new jobs;
- Asurion Mutual with 600 projected new jobs;
- CVS Caremark with 500 projected new jobs;
- Axium Healthcare Pharmacy with 225 projected new jobs;
- Thales USA with 173 projected new jobs; and
- Xerox Corporation with 500 projected new jobs.
The jobs will be created over the next 3-5 years.
“Our mission is to attract, retain and grow jobs in the region and we have certainly delivered this fiscal year with projects that include corporate and regional headquarters, and high-wage, high-skill jobs that grow our economy and help create prosperity in our community,” said Robert Utsey, chair of the Orlando EDC.
The EDC executed 67 national and local business development missions and events that included travel to target markets for company recruitment as well as conferences and trade shows. The EDC also implemented a robust business retention and expansion strategy in an effort to support existing companies in the region. The regional branding campaign, “Orlando. You don’t know the half of it.” secured leads through targeted advertising, media stories and other public relations efforts. Key editorial placements were seen in the New York Times, Worth Magazine, Politico, The Wall Street Journal, FOX News and Bloomberg.
“The strength of our business brand is helping to convince companies that Orlando is a serious location for business,” said EDC Vice Chair Ken Potrock. “Orlando is a top contender when companies look at our growing economy, strong infrastructure, and our talented and educated workforce.”
The Film Commission, a core function of the EDC, also saw a blockbuster year, shattering goals for film production with 745 permitted days, a 73 percent increase over last year, with 70 percent of the projects reporting over $10 million in local economic impact in the region. Some of the noteworthy productions that took place in the Orlando region include the humorous Chrysler Pacifica commercials starring comedian Jim Gaffigan filmed in Winter Park and the City of Orlando, a Vogue magazine spread featuring Orlando Pride superstar Alex Morgan shot in Seminole County by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz, a Chuck E. Cheese commercial featuring Alvin and the Chipmunks filmed in Lake County, and the Honey Nut Cheerios campaign shot in Osceola County.
EDC signature events drew the largest attendance in the history of the events with more than 700 guests at the 26th Annual James B. Greene Award dinner honoring recipient Lars Houmann, president and CEO of the Florida Division of Adventist Health System, and Chairman’s Award recipient Randy Berridge, president of the High Tech Corridor Council. The EDC BBQ on the Boulevard drew more than 1,000 registered attendees and featured the first ever “tech tent” with local companies exhibiting their innovative products.
In addition, EDC Investor Relations visited 51 companies and briefed more than 1,000 executive staff while providing information on key EDC activities.
The 2015-16 fiscal year ended on September 30, 2016.