Orange County Government, Florida

ORANGE COUNTY CONTINUES
TO GIVE BACK TO THE PUBLIC
WITHOUT RAISING TAXES

In an effort to create the infrastructure and resources necessary for a sustainable future, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners adopted a countywide $3.7 billion budget for fiscal year 2016‐2017 that provides necessary funding for important services and programs that meet the needs of our growing community.

The budget includes Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs’ INVEST in Our Home for Life initiative as the central element and provides a clear roadmap for the continuation of investment in Orange County’s future. The budget is balanced and leverages natural growth in revenue sources to avoid raising the countywide tax rate for the 27th year in a row.

The County’s unemployment rate has dropped significantly, from 11.3 percent in late 2010 to 4.3 percent today — outpacing both state and national unemployment rates. Since 2010, an astounding 112,044 jobs have been created.

Last year, the construction of 2,600 new homes catapulted our 2015 building permit valuations to $1.9 billion, a staggering 17 percent increase from the prior year. For the third year in a row, countywide property tax revenues are up, with more than $386 million generated in 2015.

ORANGE COUNTY’S CONTINUED
JOB GROWTH RANKS HIGH WITH
GALLUP, KPMG AND FORBES

As a result of the strategic and fiscally responsible management of Orange County’s finances and assets, Orange County helped sustain one of the strongest job-growth rates in the nation. The County’s well-defined plans and community initiatives will continue to enhance the region’s quality of life for future generations to come.

On a national scale, Orange County continues to build a strong and prosperous community for its citizens and guests to enjoy. Forbes ranked the metropolitan statistical area No. 3 on its list of The Best Big Cities for Jobs in 2016 and also named Orlando one of the “Top 10 Cities Americans Are Moving to Right Now.” Additionally, U.S. News & World Report named Orlando one of the Top 100 Places to Live in the nation. In December, the Milken Institute’s annual ranking of best-performing cities cited our metropolitan statistical area as one of the nation’s best performing regions for job growth in 2016.

JOBS ANNOUNCEMENTS
IN ORANGE COUNTY

Last year included two major announcements of 2,100 jobs in the healthcare and human resource sectors — a tribute to the County’s strategic efforts to diversify and grow the economy. Mayor Jacobs and Florida Gov. Rick Scott helped announce the creation of 1,600 new jobs at ADP’s new offices in Orange County and celebrated CVS Health’s new Caremark facility in the County, which is projected to bring 500 jobs to the region.

In January 2016, SMRxT, a company that makes smart pill bottles, announced it would move its headquarters to Orlando from New York. The transition is bringing 55 new jobs and making a $580,000 capital investment in the Central Florida community. SMRxT creates bottles with sensors at the base that captures patients' performance in real-time while also tracking the dosage and when the medication is consumed.

Also in January, VOXX International Corporation, a leading manufacturer and distributor of automotive, consumer accessories and premium audio products, announced the grand opening of its new manufacturing facility in Orlando. VOXX International chose Orlando for its expansion due to its local-based talent pool, proximity to major transportation hubs and business-friendly climate.

In March 2016, SquareTrade, a highly rated extended-warranty service provider, opened its second U.S. location in Orange County, which will be occupied by the company’s Customer Experience team. SquareTrade’s expansion in Orange County represents a $546,000 capital investment and 180 jobs. Gov. Scott, along with Mayor Jacobs and Orange County District 6 Commissioner Victoria Siplin, attended the March 28 ribbon cutting.

IAAPA RELOCATES GLOBAL HEADQUARTERS TO
ORANGE COUNTY

Last September, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAPPA) announced plans to move its headquarters to Orlando. As part of the announcement, IAPPA also committed to host its globally attended “IAPPA Attractions Expo” at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) through 2030. The economic impact of the 20-year agreement with the OCCC is estimated to bring an additional $1 billion economic impact to the region. Mayor Jacobs traveled to Barcelona, Spain, to express the County’s interest in welcoming the headquarters to Orlando and for the formal announcement of IAAPA’s headquarters relocation.

ECONOMIC SUMMIT TOUTS
STRONG JOB GROWTH AND
BOOMING TECHNOLOGY SECTOR

In January, Mayor Jacobs hosted a distinguished group of panelists, economists and guests at the Orange County Convention Center for the 2016 Economic Summit.

Now in its fourth year, the Economic Summit provides an annual update on the economy and highlights strong business sectors and growing industries in Central Florida. The Summit was attended by more than 650 citizens and community leaders eager to hear about the region's flourishing economy. The theme of the Summit centered on Orange County’s economic transformation as a global leader in digital media, optics and photonics, bio and life sciences, and modeling, simulation and training (MS&T).

Mayor Jacobs kicked off the Summit by touting the region's strong MS&T sector, as well as the exponential growth of Central Florida's digital and technology sectors. The MS&T sector contributes more than $6 billion to Florida's gross state product and directly employs more than 30,000 Floridians with an average annual salary of almost $79,000.

Nationally recognized economist Sean Snaith, Ph.D., director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Competitiveness, provided his annual economic forecast at the Summit. Snaith noted that the overall economy in 2015 ended on a strong note with job creation in high-paying sectors in addition to leisure and hospitality.

The Summit also featured a Technology Entrepreneur Panel, which included Donna Mackenzie, executive director of FireSpring Fund; Josh Brown, founder and CEO of PowerDMS; Phil Dumas, founder of Unikey Technologies; and Richard Licursi, managing partner and co-founder of venVelo.

Immediately after the Economic Summit, guests convened at the Florida Tech Match event. Mayor Jacobs partnered with the Orlando Tech Association to host the inaugural Florida TechMatch, an event that helped pave the way for local technology companies to build relationships and partnerships with national industry leaders. During the event, more than 80 local technology vendors met with 30 corporate and national buyers, including Orlando Health, Universal Orlando Resort, Bright House Networks and Clean the World.

ORANGE COUNTY RECEIVES
MILLIONS IN FUNDING TO
GROW RESEARCH PARK

Through the collective efforts of Mayor Jacobs’ MS&T Blue Ribbon Commission, the National Center for Simulation (NCS) and its Metro Orlando Defense Task Force members, the University of Central Florida, The Corridor and other partners, another $14 million in state dollars is headed to Central Florida. These dollars represent the final stage of our three-year effort to help the Research Park keep up with its growth. Totaling $42 million, these funds will go toward purchasing buildings and offering space to the military at a lower cost. By investing in the co-location of our region’s MS&T and digital firms, Orange County is helping to create synergy — one of the driving forces of the region’s innovation economy.

FLORIDA SIMULATION SUMMIT HIGHLIGHTS HEALTHCARE AND
HUMAN PERFORMANCE
SIMULATION

To highlight Florida's multi-billion dollar MS&T industry and Orange County's thriving MS&T cluster, Mayor Jacobs and the National Center for Simulation (NCS) hosted the second annual Florida Simulation Summit in September 2016 at the Orange County Convention Center. The Summit focused on advancing human performance in life sciences, healthcare and sports through the use of simulation. The goal of the Summit is to raise awareness about the simulation industry’s vast impact on Central Florida. From the creation of simulated cutting-edge surgical procedures to sophisticated simulated medical applications, MS&T is a catalyst for jobs and capital investment in the region.

The Central Florida Research Park, located next to the University of Central Florida, is the epicenter of the MS&T industry and fosters collaboration, cooperation and partnership between academia, industry and government. By working with industry partners, including Orange County’s interdisciplinary MS&T Blue Ribbon Commission, The Corridor, Team Orlando, Central Florida Research Park, the National Center for Simulation and its Metro Orlando Defense Task Force and the OCPS Tech Centers, Central Florida is investing in the future of this high-tech, high-wage and high-value cluster.

INTERNATIONAL DRIVE VISIONING
AND TRANSFORMING THE
CONVENTION CENTER DISTRICT

At the center of the Convention Center Plaza District lies the Orange County Convention Center, a significant economic engine for the region’s strong hospitality sector, hosting more than 200 events a year and welcoming 1.4 million attendees who contribute more than $2 billion to the local economy. Additionally, 26,000 jobs rely on the synergy and success of the Convention Center District and International Drive (I-Drive).

As the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) enters the third year of its $187 million dollar capital investment project, Orange County continues to invest in fresh, high-tech meeting spaces and the world-class amenities that are necessary for providing a superior client experience. Central Florida is known as one of the top global meeting destinations. According to Cvent, Inc., for the fourth time in five years, Orlando once again ranked as the No. 1 domestic meeting destination!

For fiscal year 2015, Tourist Development Tax (TDT) collections were $226 million. TDT collections are up over 12 percent compared to fiscal year 2014. Year-to-date TDT collections in 2016 are also up by more than 5 percent over the 2015 collections.

Recognizing the importance of creating a shared vision for the International Drive Area, Mayor Jacobs appointed a Steering Review Group (SRG) composed of I-Drive-area stakeholders and landowners who are committed to maintaining I-Drive as the world’s premier global destination for tourism and family entertainment. The I-Drive 2040 Vision was accepted by the Board of County Commissioners on November 3, 2015. The proposed plan for the Convention Plaza District will create a vibrant, dynamic and safe pedestrian-centered environment with dedicated transit lanes and sidewalk enhancements for local residents, conventioneers and visitors alike.

DEVELOPMENT OF NEW
ORANGE CODE IS UNDERWAY

Through an innovative approach to sustainability and development, Orange County continues to move forward by bringing the County's 60-year-old land development code into the 21st century. Known as Orange Code, the new code process, which was announced at Mayor Jacobs’ 2016 State of the County Address, represents a radically simplified and sustainable way to govern how land is developed.

Through this new approach, Orange County is striving to create inviting places, spaces and neighborhoods, each with a distinct feeling. Whether it's neighborhoods with quaint restaurants and coffee shops within walking distance, or more developed areas, Orange Code will provide the tools needed to achieve these unique places. International Drive has been selected as the perfect place to debut Orange Code.

REGION WELCOMES 66.1
MILLION GUESTS; 105 MILLION
VISIT FLORIDA IN 2015

Visit Orlando announced a new all-time record for the region in 2015, with 66.1 million people visiting greater Orange County, solidifying the region’s position as the most-visited destination in the nation.

In February 2016, Gov. Scott, in conjunction with Visit Florida, announced that Florida set another record in tourism by welcoming 105 million visitors in 2015. This is the fifth consecutive record year for visitation to Florida, exceeding the previous high of 98.5 million in 2014 by 6.6 percent. The average number of direct travel-related jobs in 2015 also set a record high, with 1,199,200 Floridians employed in the tourism industry — up 53,400 or 4.7 percent over 2014.

ORANGE COUNTY HOSTS COPA AMERICA CENTENARIO GAMES

Orange County continues to be the nation’s premier destination for soccer and hosted the 2016 Copa America Centenario Tournament in June. The year 2016 marked Copa America's 100th anniversary and the first time the tournament has been hosted outside of South America. Orlando was one of 10 U.S. host cities and the only city in the South to host Copa America. Camping World Stadium held three group matches on June 4, 6 and 8. The tournament was estimated to have an economic impact of $30 million with approximately 40,000 room nights at local hotels.

ORANGE COUNTY PROUDLY WELCOMES NFL PRO BOWL
IN 2017

In June, the National Football League (NFL) announced that Camping World Stadium would host the NFL Pro Bowl in 2017. The annual all-star game will be played on January 29, 2017, and will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes! In conjunction with the spirit of the Pro Bowl game, the NFL will celebrate its brightest stars of today and tomorrow with new Pro Bowl Week festivities in 2017. The June 1 announcement was made at Walt Disney World Resort’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, site of the Pro Bowl team practices, and host to unprecedented new youth-focused football activities.

ORANGE COUNTY WELCOMES
WWE WRESTLEMANIA 33 TO
CAMPING WORLD STADIUM

Camping World Stadium will host WWE's pop-culture extravaganza, WrestleMania, on April 2, 2017. For four consecutive years, WrestleMania has generated more than $100 million in economic impact for its host region. Full Sail University also produces WWE’s live “NXT” TV show every month. Over the past three years, NXT has awarded $250,000 in scholarships to Full Sail University students.

WrestleMania is not just a one-day event, it's a week-long celebration that will stretch throughout Orange County. In addition to WrestleMania, other activities will include WrestleMania Axxess — WWE's four-day interactive fan festival — at the Orange County Convention Center; the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Amway Center; Monday Night Raw at the Amway Center; and Be a STAR anti-bullying rallies, hospital visits and other community outreach initiatives designed to give back to the host community.

The WWE Network and Pay-Per-View will broadcast the event live in more than 180 countries. WrestleMania was previously hosted at the Citrus Bowl in 2008 with 75,000 in attendance.

UCF AND FULL SAIL EARN
TOP RANKINGS

The University of Central Florida (UCF) tied for first place with Florida Atlantic University on the Florida Board of Governors State University System’s performance ranking list. The Board of Governors’ performance funding model ranks the state's 11 public universities based on 10 student-centric metrics, such as graduation and retention rates, and services offered to students. For UCF, the award will mean additional funding that could be used to hire more faculty and pay for other needs at the school. Full Sail University has earned national rankings on The Princeton Review's lists saluting the top 25 graduate schools and the top 50 undergraduate schools to study game design for 2016.

HISPANIC CHAMBER OF
COMMERCE CELEBRATES
ACHIEVEMENTS

Mayor Jacobs joined 600 local business owners and Hispanic leaders at the Annual Installation Luncheon for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando (HCCMO). The annual event, hosted at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, recognizes the dedication and accomplishments of the current HCCMO board, while also welcoming the new board of directors.

Mayor Jacobs expressed her support of the Hispanic community in Central Florida, and the success this community has brought to the County. As the region continues to grow, so does the diversity of the community. As of 2011, one out of five businesses in the Orlando area is Hispanic-owned and 30 percent of Orange County's population is of Hispanic heritage.

ORANGE COUNTY HOSTS
ORLANDO CONSULAR CORPS

In September, Mayor Jacobs hosted the Orlando Consular Corps Luncheon, which provided an opportunity for Central Florida consuls representing all parts of the world to discuss tourism, trade, culture and the economy in Orange County. Consuls representing Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Namibia, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Switzerland and the Czech Republic joined partners from Orange County’s Office of Economic Development, the Central Florida International Trade Office, Orlando Economic Development Commission, the City of Orlando and the Orlando International Airport for the annual meeting.

ORANGE COUNTY WELCOMES DELEGATION FROM DUBAI

The Central Florida International Trade Office hosted the Dubai Government Mission, a delegation of leaders from business organizations in the United Arab Emirates visiting Orange County. Mayor Jacobs welcomed the delegation, which included representatives from the Dubai Investment Development Agency, Dubai South, Tecom Group, Emirates Airlines, the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, the U.A.E. Embassy to the United States and the U.S. Commercial Service for a Dubai-USA Government Mission. The goal of the mission was to expand relationships with business leaders in Orange County and to advance economic development, trade opportunities and investment between Dubai and Central Florida.