Boca Raton Airportâ€™s New Customs Facility | Business and Professional Services | Innovative Drug Development Course
PA L M B E AC H C O U N T Y
A Quarterly Economic Development Publication
A Look at
Professional and Business Services Sector
Continues to Grow in Palm Beach County
Palm Beach Atlantic University
Engaging the Business Community
DSM Capital Partners
Sancilio & Company partners with FAU
New Customs Facility Under Construction at
Finds a New Home in Palm Beach Gardens to offer Drug Development Class
ON THE COVER Palm Beach Atlantic University students listen to a lecture from one of their professors.
Boca Raton Airport
and Quality Job Creation
News & Events
Transdermal Delivery Solutions Negotiates Licensing Agreement Baker Provides Update on County’s Accomplishments Relocations & Expansions
Welcome from the President TO OUR MEMBERS AND PARTNERS:
It takes hard work, careful planning and strong publicprivate partnerships to achieve success in today’s challenging economic development arena. We are fortunate to have that solid foundation in Palm Beach County, as we build a strong and sustainable future for our community. As the Business Development Board wraps up our 2015 – 2016 fiscal year, I am pleased to report that our team’s planning and efforts continue to result in major “wins” for Palm Beach County residents. In the past 12 months, we facilitated 27 relocation and expansion projects that resulted in 2,487 new and retained jobs, $100.7 million in new capital investment and 639,170 square feet of additional leased, constructed, or purchased real estate space. In recent years, our county’s population has grown, reaching the 1.4 million mark. Meanwhile, our unemployment rate has fallen and our average salary of $51,000 is the highest in Florida. We understand the importance of continuing to create and retain high-paying jobs in every sector of our economy.
To do so, we collaborate with our city, county, and state partners to leverage our county’s extraordinary assets to market Palm Beach County as a premier business destination. We also launched a new nonprofit, the BDB Foundation of Palm Beach County, Inc., to offer educational and programming activities that enhance the economic competitiveness and prosperity of our county. In the coming year, we will unveil several new initiatives designed to capitalize on our momentum. In the meantime, I invite you to read our 2015-2016 Annual Report posted on our website, bdb.org. Thank you for your contributions to our county, and we look forward to sharing more success stories with you in the coming year.
Kelly Smallridge President and CEO
Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, Inc. 310 Evernia Street | West Palm Beach, FL 33401 561.835.1008 | www.bdb.org Palm Beach County’s Economic Development Resource
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Palm Beach County’s
Professional and Business Services Sector Continues to Grow
Marty Cass, BDO
Brendan Lynch Plastridge Insurance Agency
Banking, accounting, insurance, legal and other professional service firms are flourishing in Florida and Palm Beach County. Statewide, the professional and business services sector added 53,400 jobs in the 12 months ending in July, as Florida’s total jobs grew 3.1 percent, outpacing California’s 2.3 percent and Texas’ 1.5 percent growth. During that same period, Palm Beach County added about 19,000 jobs, led by professional and business services (4,500 more jobs), leisure and hospitality (4,000 jobs), education and health services (3,600 jobs) and financial activities (1,600 jobs), according to CareerSource Palm Beach County. “Our business is growing dramatically in all sectors,” said Marty Cass, head of the southeast region for BDO’s private client services. “We have hired more than a dozen professionals in the past year, including specialists in taxes, trusts and estates, mergers and acquisitions and auditing. We have found very good people in the local talent pool, and we invest in training and leadership development in our organization.” Cass said start-ups, middle-market companies and large publicly traded corporations are expanding and growing as well. “We’ve also seen a lot more international activity in the past few years, and as the fifth largest global CPA firm, BDO is well-positioned to serve those clients,” he said. Plastridge Insurance Agency has added about five new salespeople in recent months, according to Brendan T. Lynch, vice president of the 110employee insurance firm. “We are seeing growth in the hospitality and health care sectors,” he said. “Many companies are also looking at cyber liability protection, as well.” Plastridge also insures condominium and homeowner associations, as
Establishes Palm Beach Office Fieldpoint Private, a fast-growing wealth advisory and private banking firm serving ultra-high net worth families and institutions, has entered the Palm Beach market. The new office is led by Joseph McCool, managing director and senior advisor. “We are gratified at the response we’ve received already, both from clients directly and from advisors who are looking for a more compelling home for their clients,” said Robert Matthews, president and CEO. “Our founders include some of the most respected names in American finance and business, including a number whose families reside in the Palm Beach area and across Florida.” Matthews said that McCool’s presence in Palm Beach “gives us an ideal professional to help reach even more families and entrepreneurs.” McCool, a nearly 30-year wealth advisory veteran, joins Fieldpoint Private following 13 years with Capital Group Private Client Services, where he advised families and business owners.
Headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut, Fieldpoint Private is a boutique financial firm providing personalized, confidential wealth planning and private banking services to highly successful individuals, families, businesses and institutions. The firm, which was established in 2008, has attracted widespread attention because of its high-profile founders who had served as chairmen and CEOs of firms such as Merrill Lynch, UBS Americas, TD Joseph McCool Ameritrade, The Home Depot, Time Inc. and Gillette, among others. “Fieldpoint Private was founded on the notion that size is the enemy of excellence,” said Matthews. “At just eight years old we are still a very young firm, but the founders’ goal of creating a wealth advisory and private banking boutique that would sit on the same side of the table with the client, providing unbiased, unconflicted advice across the balance sheet, seems to really be hitting a nerve.”
well as all types of commercial businesses. “When a company chooses to relocate to Palm Beach County, it often leaves its existing professional service relationships behind,” Lynch said. “The Business Development Board recognizes that issue and helps them connect with new legal, banking, accounting and insurance professionals during the transition process.” Palm Beach County is one of the nation’s strongest markets for financial services because “we are one of the best places to do business and raise a family,” said Fabiola Brumley, Palm Beach County president and SVP Southeast regional executive for commercial banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “Both the public and private sector have done a tremendous job working together to ensure that our market remains a competitive location to live, work and play.” Brumley has seen growing demand for advisory services in wealth management, trust and estate planning, workforce solutions, and commercial businesses. “Bank of America is also one of the top lenders to the agricultural industry, and we have seen tremendous interest from people looking to either set up businesses in the area or expand,” she said. “At the same time, small businesses remain one of the market’s most important economic forces and we are proud to be able to support their efforts through our lending programs.” To serve the regional market, BOA continues to grow its employee base, recruiting and retaining talented Palm Beach County professionals. The bank recently opened a new headquarters at the Esperante Corporate Center, uniting employees from both the bank and Merrill Lynch. “This fall, we will also unite our South County teams at One Boca Center,” she added. “This means greater synergy between all of our brands and ultimately better service and advice for our customers.”
Fabiola Brumley, BOA
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Palm Beach Atlantic:
Engaging the Business Community Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) is deeply engaged with the region’s business community with an evolving curriculum that reflects current workforce needs. “Today’s employers are looking for graduates with character, competence and work experience,” said William “Bill” Fleming, Jr., president of the West Palm Beach institution. “We find that our graduates are highly sought-after due to their high ethical standards, advanced technical skills and entrepreneurial spirit.” Students at the Rinker School of Business can choose from a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs in fields like accounting, finance, marketing and management. About 60 percent of business students also take part in internship and study-abroad opportunities that add real-work experience to their studies. “Employers really value the early training and experiences students receive in their internships,” Fleming said. “Our Career Development Office can provide area businesses with more information about our
internship program and help them connect with interested students.” PBA also has a dynamic mentoring program, now in its third year. “Our alumni enjoy giving back to the community by helping our students focus their interests and career skills,” Fleming said. In addition, the area’s business and professional leaders provide input on PBA’s curriculum through the school’s Rinker Advisory Board.
Attracting New Students With a new freshman class of 720 students, PBA’s undergraduate enrollment is at capacity, although new graduate programs are being added. Overall, PBA’s freshmen come from 40 states and 14 foreign countries. “They appreciate our urban setting in downtown West Palm Beach, where they can get around on a bike or a skateboard,” Fleming said. “They also like our proximity to the financial services industry, which makes it easy to make those professional connections as a student.”
From left, President Bill Fleming with State Senators Lizbeth Benacquisto and Joe Negron
This fall, PBA launched a master of accountancy degree program for students seeking a career as a certified public accountant (CPA). “That’s a growing need in our community, partly because of the great work the Business Development Board has done to attract and retain financial service companies,” Fleming said.
Launching a Franchising Center Next year, PBA will launch the Titus Franchising Center, following a $1.5 million commitment from Ray Titus, CEO of United Franchise Group (UFG). Beginning in fall 2017, the center will offer academic coursework on franchising, an internship program and opportunities for job shadowing and training at United Franchise Group, whose global headquarters is located in West Palm Beach. “Franchising captures the entrepreneurial spirit of Marshall E.
‘Doc’ Rinker, the business pioneer who founded Rinker Materials and who is the namesake of our business school,” said Fleming. “Our students will have great opportunities to develop their entrepreneurial skills through this one-of-a-kind program in Florida.”
Contributing to The Economy Along with helping to educate the next generation of professionals, PBA has a powerful economic impact on Palm Beach County. The university employs 450 people and contributes $395 million to the region, according to PBA’s most recent impact report. “But our most important contribution is educating the business leaders of tomorrow,” Fleming said. “We give our students the academic tools and practical experiences that will allow their talents to flourish so they can find fulfilling careers right here in Palm Beach County.”
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News Events Transdermal Delivery Solutions Corporation Negotiates Licensing Agreement
Transdermal Delivery Solutions Corporation (TDSC), a leader in the development of spray-on drug delivery systems, has signed a license agreement for development of a HypoSpraydelivered proprietary solution targeted at halting the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. “We are pleased to announce the finalization of our agreement for this product,” said Kenneth Kirby, president of TDSC, referring to the arrangement with ALZYN, LLC of St. Petersburg. ALZYN is a development stage company pursuing a unique approach to retard the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by employing compounds that were licensed from the Florida State Research Foundation. TDSC’s proprietary system enables medications to be delivered directly through the skin, for systemic or localized application, utilizing its rapid acting, patchless, spray-on technology.
For more information, please contact Kristen Boyd at 561.835.1008, ext. 4106 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Palm Beach County Continues to Add Jobs CareerSource Palm Beach County recently reported that the county’s unemployment rate for August 2016 was 5.1 percent, down from 5.5 percent in August 2015. “Palm Beach County gained 13,200 jobs over the year – a 2.3 percent increase,” said Steve Craig, president and chief executive officer of CareerSource Palm Beach County, the nonprofit organization chartered
by the state to lead workforce development in Palm Beach County. “With the approach of the fall season, businesses are hiring and job demand is rising at a rate that is considerably above that of other large states. Countywide tourism and hotel occupancy levels are setting records, and we anticipate greater demand for seasonal positions compared to last year.”
Baker Provides Update on County’s Accomplishments Palm Beach County is enjoying the benefits of a growing, diversified economy, according to Verdenia Baker, county administrator. “Our key sectors are in excellent shape,” said Baker at the Business Development Board’s quarterly luncheon on September 22 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. Civic and business leaders from throughout the county attended the sold-out luncheon, whose presenting sponsor was J.P. Morgan Chase. Kelly Smallridge, BDB president and CEO, highlighted the many economic development accomplishments of the past 12 months (see column on page 3). “We are recognized as one of the most efficient and productive economic development organizations in the state, thanks to the strong alignment of our government, education and business leaders on advancing our county.” BDB members also elected three new at-large directors: John Couris, Jupiter Medical Center; Brian Seymour, Gunster; and Evan Wyant, BB&T. Chairperson Gina Melby, who hosted the luncheon, accepted a second year’s term in that role. Verdenia Baker
Relocations & Expansions Halo Technologies Halo Technologies, a 3D printing and 3D scanning provider, has opened its office at 226 Datura Street in downtown West Palm Beach. The company will hire 50 new employees by 2018 and make a capital investment of $300,000 with a warehouse expansion in early 2017. “The Halo team is excited to continue our growth right here in downtown West Palm Beach,” said President John Calloway. “By bringing innovative and interactive technology and engineering solutions to the community, we hope to have both a social and economic impact in the region that will propel South Florida into being a leader nationwide in a variety of industries, including manufacturing and technology.” Halo’s 3D scanning analyzes a real-world object or environment to collect data on its shape and appearance (e.g. color). The collected data can then be used to construct digital three-dimensional models. The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes. In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the entire object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object. The BDB assisted Halo Technologies in obtaining working capital through a referral to the Center for Enterprise Opportunity, and introductions to local economic development partners including CareerSource Palm Beach County, the city of West Palm Beach, and the Small Business Development Center. Kelly Smallridge, BDB president and CEO, said, “Halo is the
perfect example of the many start-up tech companies taking root in Palm Beach County. Young and talented engineers at innovative companies like Halo are attracted to walkable, vibrant cities like West Palm Beach.”
Granite Telecom Granite Telecommunications, LLC, a Quincy, Mass.-based communications service provider for multi-location businesses, will expand its sales and technical support team in Palm Beach County. Granite’s new office is located at 400 S. Australian Avenue in West Palm Beach. The company will increase its footprint to 15,800 square feet and make a capital investment of $600,000. Granite plans to add 50 employees or more to its existing workforce of 66. “Granite has seen tremendous growth and record sales across the country, with Florida being a top market for growth,” said COO Rand Currier. “In West Palm Beach, that growth prompted us to increase the number of our sales and technical support personnel there. We are proud of the work that our Florida-based teammates have contributed to the company already, and are banking on an even larger role for them in the future as we expand in Florida.” The BDB assisted Granite through the incentive process. The company received a Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund (QTI) incentive of $250,000, with $200,000 from the State of Florida, a $25,000 contribution from West Palm Beach, and a Job Growth Incentive Grant (JGI) of $25,000 from Palm Beach County.
In her talk as featured speaker, Baker touched on the county’s low unemployment rate, high AAA bond rating, and the region’s dynamic small business community. She also emphasized the importance of a yes vote on November 8 for the 1 percent sales tax for county, city and school district infrastructure needs. “Our tourism industry is expecting to welcome 7.2 million visitors this year, up about 300,000 from 2015,” Baker said. “That direct visitor spending contributes $4.6 billion to our economy and supports about 100,000 direct and indirect jobs for our community.” Baker added that three new hotels opened last year and five more will open by year-end 2016. “This investment in the hospitality sector makes us more competitive in recruiting meetings, conventions and other business events,” she said. Other improvements include new service from Palm Beach International Airport to Minneapolis/St. Paul in December, and extending the berthing capacity for ships at the Port of Palm Beach. In agriculture, Palm Beach County leads the nation in production of sugarcane, fresh sweet corn and other vegetables, Baker said. She added that the sugarcane harvest was also very successful last year, and the county’s total agricultural sales reached a record $1.6 billion in 2015-16. Baker also emphasized the need to address the challenge of affordable middle-class housing. “Our residential market is strong, with stable value,” she said. “But we will need your help for us to remain a viable and sustainable community.” Gina Melby, BDB Chair
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Finds a New Home in Palm Beach Gardens With its low taxes and high quality of life, Palm Beach County DSM Capital Partners has clients all over the world, so continues to attract financial services firms from the there was no need to maintain a physical office in the Northeast, Northeast United States. Last year, DSM Capital Memishian added. The firm has about $7 billion in Partners decided to relocate from Mount Kisco, assets under management, and attracts corporate N.Y., and the 15-year-old equity investment pension plans, foundations, endowments and highcompany recently settled into its new home in net-worth individuals. Palm Beach Gardens. DSM Capital Partners is a growth stock firm “We’ve received a very warm welcome from with an intermediate to long-term investment the community, and really appreciate all that the horizon. “We search for growing businesses with Business Development Board has done to attractive returns, solid business fundamentals and facilitate our move,” said Steve Memishian, who intelligent management,” Memishian said. “To find co-founded the firm with Dan Strickberger in these companies, our investment team combines 2001. “We have moved most of our employees intensive fundamental research with a rigorous and their families here, and now have 19 team valuation methodology that we believe reduces members at our new headquarters.” risk and enhances long-term returns.” Memishian said Florida’s positive tax climate Looking back on the move, Memishian thanked – including no local or state income tax, and Gary Hines, BDB senior vice president, for his no state inheritance tax – was the primary Stephen Memishian special assistance. “Once we found a building, Gary consideration behind the move. “If you are looking co-founder of DSM Capital Partners helped us through the real estate and construction to reduce your tax burden, then Palm Beach County deserves process,” he said. “He also organized and led a school trip for our serious consideration,” Memishian said. “The housing stock is families and introduced them to professionals who could answer excellent, there is superb high-speed data connectivity (an office their relocation questions. I never thought an economic can be anywhere), the roads and airport infrastructure are in development organization could be so helpful and effective, and great shape, and the climate is of course attractive.” we appreciate all of the BDB’s support.”
BlinkBio Relocates to Jupiter, joining Scripps in Fostering Collaborative R&D BlinkBio Inc., a privately held biotechnology company, has relocated from Long Island, N.Y., to Palm Beach County and has entered into a use agreement with The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI). Over time, BlinkBio anticipates making a capital investment of over $1.65 million and expects to hire 25 new employees with an average wage of $94,880. “The Scripps team laid out a compelling case for its strong institutional commitment to supporting an emerging biotech cluster,” said Colin Goddard, chairman and CEO of BlinkBio. “The impressive achievements of local and state governments in recruiting both TSRI and Max Planck, two world-class research institutes, and the existing core biotech infrastructure present an additional compelling basis to consider relocation.” BlinkBio was formed to exploit Bioorthogonal Linker (“BLink”) chemistries for the discovery and development of novel drug conjugate therapeutics in the treatment of cancer and other diseases. Over the last several years the company has demonstrated the favorable
characteristics of its proprietary silicon-based linker chemistries in the development of a unique SiLinker and Payload Cassette platform for incorporation into novel drug conjugates. Kelly Smallridge, BDB president and CEO, said, “BlinkBio is committed to creating new therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and other life-threatening conditions including autoimmune diseases, and the agreement with TSRI provides access to the Institute’s worldclass facilities and services and creates an ideal environment for the exploration of the kind of win-win collaborative partnerships that can lead to value-creating transactions and new company formation.” BlinkBio Inc. is a great example of the type of company the Town of Jupiter had in mind when it first created its economic development fund in 2006, said Mayor Todd Wodraska. “Its impressive research and progress in the cancer treatment space, strong and experienced management team, and relationship with TSRI all make them a perfect fit for the Jupiter bioscience community.”
Sancilio & Company
partners with FAU to offer Drug Development Class
Sancilio & Company, Inc. (SCI) has partnered with Florida Atlantic University (FAU) to offer a new fall-semester class on “Drug Development and Regulations.” The three-credit master’s level course, also open to undergraduates, is being taught on FAU’s Honors Campus in Jupiter and is webcast to FAU’s Boca Raton campus. “This is a major milestone in the advancement of our vision to create a biopharmaceutical hub in Palm Beach County,” said Alex Sancilio, owner. “Having FAU and Sancilio working together to align the university’s focus with the growth of pharmaceutical research in the county will create new highpaying jobs and enormous opportunities.” Jason D. Legassie, Ph.D., director, Formulation Development for Sancilio, said “SCI is providing the personnel for the classes, free of charge. The course covers all aspects of the pharmaceutical industry, and will be followed by several additional courses that will provide a deeper focus on the pharmaceutical business, science and regulations.” “We believe it is important to build the pool of life science professionals in Palm Beach County,” Legassie said. “We want to supplement the core scientific material in FAU’s regular classes with information specific to the pharmaceutical industry, such as manufacturing, quality control and documentation practices.” About a dozen students are taking the “Drug Development and Regulation” course, which is being taught by several Sancilio professionals with 15 to 20 years of experience in the industry. “Pharmaceutical development is a long and complex process,” said Legassie. “We start at the discovery stage, move through the laboratories studies and then into clinical trials.” Sancilio & Company, Inc. is a fully integrated, specialty pharmaceutical company based in Riviera Beach that focuses on developing, manufacturing and commercializing pharmaceutical products, including its proprietary Advanced Lipid Technologies™ (ALT™) platform. Sancilio is pursuing treatments for sickle cell disease, short bowel syndrome and severe hypertriglyceridemia.
SCI’s Ocean Liu, right, talks with students in the lab.
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New Customs Facility Under Construction at Boca Raton Airport
Shorter travel times, safer flights and easier access to international destinations are among the benefits of a new U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility now under construction at Boca Raton Airport (BCT). “There has been a lot of interest in this project from the business community, as it will make Boca Raton a more convenient destination for international travelers,” said Clara Bennett, executive director. “Our aircraft owners and pilots, two fixed-base operators (FBOs) and other tenants are also looking forward to completion of this project.” West Construction Inc., which is based in Lake Worth, is building the $4.3 million, 4,700-square-foot facility. Ricondo & Associates, the airport’s aviation consultant of record, is overseeing the project, which includes new sewer, water, storm drainage, site electrical and lighting, as well as a new entrance road and parking area improvements. A grant from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is funding 80 percent of the project, with the remainder coming from Boca Raton Airport Authority funds. Ground was broken in July, and completion is expected in summer 2017. “The new facility will be an important addition to our airport infrastructure,” said Bennett. “Currently, when our aircraft return from an international destination, they have to make a stop at an international airport for customs clearance, then make a short hop to Boca Raton. That’s inconvenient for the companies and people who live and work here. It also adds to their air travel operating costs and creates additional flights over our region with its heavy volume of daily air traffic.” Bennett said an important part of the project planning was involving and engaging the residential communities surrounding the airport. “It is very important for us to be a good neighbor, and we want to be sure everyone understands the purpose of the customs facility and how it will help to minimize extra flights for international arrivals.” Boca Raton Airport now has about 65,000 total takeoffs and landings every year, including 700 to 750 international flights. Currently, 236 single-engine, multi-engine and jet aircraft are based at the airport, as well as several helicopters. Several flight training programs use the airport, along with fuel and maintenance companies that service the two FBOs. “Our facility is a gateway to Boca Raton,” said Devin Lawrence, general manager, Atlantic Aviation, the airport’s largest FBO. “We offer a welcoming environment for air travelers, pilots and crew, with ground support for their aircraft.”
Ground-breaking ceremony for the new U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility.
Children and parents talk with World War II veterans at Wings of Freedom event.
An artist’s rendering of the new facility
Founded in 1929, Atlantic Aviation has a national network of 70 FBOs from Los Angeles to New York City to Alaska. The company acquired its Boca facility from Galaxy in 2014, and employs about 33 workers. “Many people don’t realize the business advantages of being able to take off and go at any time,” said Lawrence. “If you need to get several managers to a customer’s location, it may be simpler to fly them directly to the site, rather than try to book everyone on a scheduled flight. Or you could make sales calls at three or four Florida cities in one day, rather than spending two or three days arranging flights.” Signature Flight Support, BCT’s second FBO, has a 17,000-squarefoot terminal and 75,000 square feet of hangar space. “We take care of business and corporate flyers as well as their aircraft,” said Garry Madolid, general manager of the 22-employee center. “For instance, we facilitated travel for several National Football League (NFL) owners who came to South Florida for their annual meeting earlier this year.” Signature also has an international network of FBOs throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa, providing consistent service for domestic and overseas flights. The FBOs and the airport authority are activity involved with local schools and charitable organizations, raising funds for organizations like Vital Flight, which provides free air transport for children needing special medical treatment. The airport also draws large crowds for the annual “Wings of Freedom” exhibit featuring World War II planes and the veteran pilots who flew them in combat. A recent study by FDOT, looking at all aspects of the airport’s operations, found there were 1,426 full-time employees (or equivalents) at the airport and a total payroll of $49.75 million. That includes the seven-person staff of the Boca Raton Aviation Authority, the maintenance, ground support and flight training companies, as well as retail and hospitality users who lease space along access roads. “We are a great economic development asset for the city and the county,” Bennett said. “Air travel is an important consideration for companies of all sizes, and we are here to support their aviation needs.”
From left, Devin Lawrence, Clara Bennett and Garry Madolid.
Vintage World War II aircraft in flight.
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Economic Development and Quality
How does Palm Beach County transform its economy and find ways to ensure broadly shared prosperity? From my perspective as County Administrator, it is through economic development and quality job creation. But this work requires careful focus on promoting sustainable growth in industries that will thrive in our local economy, including industries which build on our traditional strengths as well as those new ventures in emerging sectors. It is a balance between addressing the county’s immediate needs while also ensuring our investments fuel vibrant economic growth. The Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners relies on the work of the Department of Economic Sustainability to seek out opportunities for the county to invest in economic development and job creation. While this work has become increasingly complex, one thing has remained relatively straightforward - a focus on quality jobs. Quality jobs matter because they benefit the people, companies and communities of Palm Beach County. Our collective prosperity grows in Palm Beach County when employees are provided with prospects for self-sufficiency, economic security and ways to raise their standards of living. In addition, capitalizing on a strong and skilled workforce is critical to a business’s
ability to prosper and grow. In fact, access to a strong and skilled workforce is one of the highest priorities among businesses looking to relocate to or expand in Palm Beach County. Offering quality jobs greatly enhances a company’s ability to attract and retain qualified employees who are motivated to perform. Having employees in quality jobs can result in greater profitability, lower rates of employee turnover, higher quality and lower costs - all of which can create a competitive business advantage. Quality jobs also benefit our Palm Beach County economy. Although definitions of “quality” jobs vary, higher wages are consistently a benchmark of quality. The higher wages paid to employees in quality jobs cycle through our economy in many forms, including a higher quality of life. In short, Palm Beach County takes an economic development approach that focuses on the creation of quality jobs because quality jobs are more likely to provide broadly distributed benefits to Palm Beach County’s residents, businesses and communities.
Verdenia C. Baker County Administrator
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