Wednesday, February 25 2015
High concentration of high technology, engineering workforce positions Space Coast at #7
Brevard County, FL -- In a recently released Brookings Institute report focused on the next generation workforce, Brevard County took the #7 spot on the list of metropolitans with the greatest share of Advanced Industries employment. The Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville metro was listed in impressive company with heavy technology hitters like San Jose, Seattle, San Francisco and it beat out Boston, Houston and San Diego to round out the top ten.
In the Brookings report, America’s Advanced Industries: What They Are, Where They Are, and Why They Matter, the Advanced Industries sector is noted as encompassing 50 industries ranging from manufacturing such as automotive and aerospace to high-tech services such as computer software and computer system design. It’s also deeply engrained with technology research and development (R&D) and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) areas where Brevard maintains a strong foothold.
“Advanced industries power our national and regional economies, but their preeminence is in no way assured — and in fact it’s challenged,” said Mark Muro, Brookings senior fellow and director of policy at the Metropolitan Policy Program. “America’s advanced industries are going to be critical to restoring broad-based prosperity in U.S. regions and in the nation. We should work hard and in new ways to enlarge them and increase their vitality.”
The fifty industries within this sector directly employ 12.2 million Americans and, factoring in both direct and indirect employment, supports over one-quarter of all U.S. jobs. The average advanced industry worker earns nearly twice as much as the average worker in other industries — nearly $90,000. In Brevard County, Advanced Industries employ nearly 26,570 workers and contribute $3.9B in economic expenditures.
“Being measured against the largest metropolitan areas in the country is a recognition that solidifies the effort and focus we have placed on growing a stronger, more competitive Advanced Industries sector,” said Lynda Weatherman, president and chief executive officer, Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast. “Even today, the skill sets required for these STEM related jobs continue to evolve which is why we continue to partner with higher education institutions, public schools and even industry to grow awareness of careers in this growing sector.”
With a high technology focus and high concentration of innovative workforce, the Space Coast is routinely included in a number of rankings and lists focusing on high tech talent including recent recognition from Forbes Magazine, the Milken Institute, Area Development Magazine and more.
“The Space Coast’s innovation stock is rising, and is rivaling some of the bigger cities in the nation for the top spot of technologically-advanced locations,” said Dr. Abram Walton, EDC Innovation Council Chair and Associate Professor - College of Business at the Florida Institute of Technology. “This ranking, combined with the additional attention we have received from similar studies, are combining to make the region a leading choice for companies in search of and looking to relocate to an area with an advanced workforce and flourishing industrial base.”
About the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast (EDC)