The Orlando Economic Partnership begins the 2017-2018 fiscal year on strong ground after seeing significant results in the area of business development. The Partnership recorded 27 company project wins in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2017 stimulating more than $770 million in capital investments and 4,271 projected new jobs. Company relocations and expansions created 2.4 million square feet of newly constructed space added to the region.
“The results in capital investment are the strongest in our entire history of doing economic development in the region and we saw the second strongest results in the amount of square footage occupied by the companies we worked with,” said President and CEO Tim Giuliani. “We are extremely proud of the work of our staff, our board of directors, investors and partners who all played an important role in attaining these outstanding results.”
The Partnership’s work is focused on building broad-based prosperity in the region by not only helping companies expand but assisting them in the creation of jobs that offer a path to success for employees. This can include positions that provide compensation packages with tuition reimbursement, health insurance and career training.
Of the 27 project wins, 19 were new-to-market companies and eight were expansions of existing companies in Orlando. Here are some project highlights in the Partnership’s targeted industries:
- Arrow Sky Media LLC, a digital technology firm, relocated its headquarters from Nashville to Orlando. The company plans to create 114 new, high-wage jobs and make a $2.9 million capital investment over the next three years. The company will become an anchor tenant in downtown Orlando’s Creative Village.
- Constant Aviation, a company that specializes in airframe and engine maintenance, major repairs, avionics, interior refurbishment, paint, parts distribution and accessory services, is locating in Seminole County adding 75 new jobs and making a capital investment of $1.9 million in the region.
- Holiday Retirement relocated its headquarters from Oregon to the Orlando region creating 157 new, high-wage jobs. Holiday Retirement operates more than 300 retirement home communities across the U.S.
- KPMG LLC is building a 55-acre, 800,000-square-foot learning, development, and innovation facility in Lake Nona in the City of Orlando. KPMG expects to create 80 new, high wage jobs in Orlando and make a $430 million capital investment – the company’s largest capital investment ever.
Financial incentives were approved for 11 projects (less than half) of the companies assisted by the Partnership. The remaining companies received expedited permitting and workforce hiring assistance. Among them was Amazon.com, Inc., which will open a new fulfillment center in Orlando creating 1,500 new, full-time jobs. The 850,000 square-foot fulfillment center will feature Amazon Robotics. The site, located in Lake Nona, is under construction and will open in 2018.
Amazon offers a benefits package with the potential to improve employees’ career paths by offering 95 percent tuition reimbursement upfront for its team members to go to college and a comprehensive health plan. “This is an example of a company contributing to the region’s broad-based prosperity by offering exceptional entry-level opportunities that offer future growth for an employee,” said Sean DeMartino, the Partnership’s Co-Chair (FY ’16-’17).
The region’s diverse workforce, talent pipeline, strong infrastructure, collaborative approach to community building, and the ease and low cost of doing business were among the top factors cited by company executives who chose Orlando.
“I think we can credit the Partnership’s award-winning regional business brand, “Orlando. You don’t know the half of it.” for our results,” said Co-Chair Robert Utsey. “Our message that Orlando is a great place to do business is being heard by executives around the nation and the world.”