Palm Coast, Bunnell, Marineland and the Flagler Beaches are located in Flagler County, along the east coast of Florida. Nestled between the well-known tourism communities of Daytona Beach and St. Augustine, Flagler County is predominantly a residential/business community. The County has 19 miles of pristine, cinnamon-colored beaches, breathtaking scenery, tranquil waterways, and an unrivaled county-wide park system. Our 108,000+ residents have the benefit of short commutes to work/school each morning and world-class golfing, surfing, boating, biking, or horseback riding in the evening. In Flagler County, we truly live a resort-style life.
However, we’re more than just miles of tranquil beaches, acres of beautiful parks and hundreds of days of sunshine. Situated in the center of the strongest economic corridor in the State of Florida, Flagler County provides the perfect blend of business and beaches. Residents enjoy all of the metropolitan advantages without the typical urban headaches. Our commutes are measured in minutes, not miles; our workforce pipeline is nurtured locally but attracts nationally; and our economic development is focused on job creation and diversification while maintaining an environmentally sustainable, high-quality-of-life. As a result, we have seen year-over-year employment growth at a rate of 3.8%, an annual economic impact of $80M, and an estimated private sector capital investment of $11M+.
The catalyst to Flagler County’s successful growth is the unprecedented collaborative nature of the public, private and not-for-profit entities. We pride ourselves on the local, regional and state partnerships that have been developed. Participants will have the opportunity to meet with key stakeholders in the community and discuss the unique ways in which Flagler County has benefited from unconventional approaches and unique opportunities related to our key industries.
EDUCATION AND OPPORTUNITY - WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT AND ATTRACTION
Nothing is more important to community and business success than an experienced available workforce. Our geography provides access to 450,000+ highly-skilled potential employees. Additionally, we have a number of innovative and award-winning programs that have been implemented to ensure the continued economic success of the area. One such program, the FLAGSHIP ACADEMIES, is offered by the schools. It creates an educational pipeline through the partnership between the Department of Economic Opportunity, the Flagler Schools and the private sector.
The focus of each Flagship Academy is strategically tailored to align with the Target Industries that Flagler County is actively recruiting and expanding. Students are offered hands-on learning in the areas of Agriculture, Aerospace/Aviation, Green Technology, Health Science, Engineering and Computer Science, Marine Research, Finance and Business, Leadership, and the Arts. Flagships provide enrichment and relevance to the regular school curriculums, while focusing on skills and opportunities that lead to career readiness. With the added benefit of school choice, students have the opportunity to attend whichever school meets their desired educational objectives. In many cases, the individual academies offer industry certifications and/or dual college enrollment that allow the students to enter the workforce in a career-related field while earning their degrees.
REGIONAL INDUSTRY: EDUCATION, INFRASTRUCTURE AND VISION
AVIATION: RESEARCH AND MANUFACTURING
Centrally located along the I-95 Aerospace Corridor, Flagler County is a prime location for the aviation-related industry. The educational partnership with the Flagler Schools includes a dual enrollment agreement with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The University has been ranked by U.S. New & World Report as a best college and included on the Forbes’ List of America’s Top Colleges. High school students attend university classes as part of the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Aerospace Career Academy.
As an added incentive for aviation-related industry, Flagler County has invested in excess of $50M in infrastructure improvements and site planning of the Flagler County Executive Airport and Commerce Park. The airport accommodates every type of general aviation aircraft, and has two 5,500 foot runways, a 3,000 foot water runway, and two heliports and now boasts a 90-acre industrial park that is pad-ready and positioned for growth.
HIGH-TECH: INFRASTRUCTURE AND CONNECTIVITY
LIFE SCIENCE: RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
As a pioneer, Palm Coast was one of the first cities in Florida to install a fiber optic network capable of delivering unlimited bandwidth to high-tech businesses. This foresight positioned Flagler County to take advantage of the evolving global economy. Today, unlike in many cities across the United States, Flagler County businesses have multiple providers for high speed internet to choose from. As a result, Flagler County has seen a rise in technology-based businesses where employees are driven by quality-of-life. Coastal Cloud, a growing tech company in Flagler County, is the perfect example of the “Live at the Beach, Work in the Cloud” philosophy.
Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience is a full-time University of Florida research center for biomedical research and biotechnology. Founded in 1974, the Whitney Lab is dedicated to using marine model animals for studying fundamental problems in biology and applying that knowledge to issues of human health, natural resources and the environment.
ADVANCED MANUFACTURING: WORKFORCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Flagler County’s proximity to highways, railways and port has allowed manufacturers to flourish in the area. Challenged only by the availability of workforce, public/private partners collaborated to develop an award-winning Talent Recruitment Program and Site-Specific Workforce Training Program tailored to the need of the industry. Today, regional businesses produce and distribute a diverse array of products, including: agricultural products; alcohol/spirits; aviation LED lights; architectural elements; automobile parts and accessories; awnings; cabinetry; chemical-private labeling; confectionary & chocolates; canvas products; electrical connectors and switches; electrical and fiber optic connections; luxury boats; machine manufacturing; medical equipment; metal fabricating; metalized poly-propylene capacitors, and AC capacitors; performance wheels; plastic components; precision grinding machines; pyrotechnics; railroad wheels; water treatment systems; wire for electronic, medical, and audio use and more.
AMERICAS COMPETITIVENESS EXCHANGE