Business

Kissimmee

Creating a Future of Opportunities

Embracing Innovation & Diverse Job Growth

There are few, if any, communities in the state, or even the nation, that have made the kind of investment Kissimmee has to ensure all its residents enjoy the opportunities associated with a vibrant lifestyle, access to healthcare, a diversity of jobs and educational benefits. Kissimmee believes the foundation of change and growth is to invest in its infrastructure, and it has aggressively pursued this strategy. When a community consistently invests in itself, positive things follow.

Celebrating the Past, Enhancing the Present, Creating the Future.

“Sensors are the future of technology.” – Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO

And that technology will be developed in Kissimmee’s backyard!

Kissimmee’s nickname is “Kowtown,” as its roots lie deep in the cattle industry. Over time, the community has diversified its employment clusters to include the tourism boom of the ‘70s — when Walt Disney opened the doors to the Magic Kingdom — to the current evolving medical community and this decade’s greatest Central Florida investment — NeoCity.

NeoCity is a 500-acre business park whose purpose is to establish a state–of–the–art manufacturing research and incubation facility — specifically focused on sensor and nano technology development.    

Ultimately, products developed will provide manufacturing solutions to industry partners that will accelerate the commercialization of their new technologies. The objective leverages business and economic development to generate unprecedented growth to partnering companies, while also increasing high-tech jobs in Florida.

As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said at a September 2017 convention in Orlando, “Sensors are the future of technology.” And that technology will be developed in Kissimmee’s backyard!

The community also hopes the advancements at NeoCity foster synergistic opportunities for the Kissimmee Gateway Airport. With aviation representing another emerging employment industry in Central Florida, the close proximity between Kissimmee Gateway Airport and NeoCity offers great potential.

Soaring to New Heights

In the next 20 years, more than one million additional aviation jobs will be created just to keep up with the travel demands in this country.

Central Florida is home to the world’s premier theme parks and resorts, with more than 68 million visitors arriving annually to enjoy our hospitality. Millions of these visitors arrive by plane to Orlando International Airport. The demand for aviation employees is tremendous, and Kissimmee Gateway Airport is proud to offer certifications in aviation vocations that are in demand within the industry, in this area and around the world.

Avionics, Airframe & Powerplant (A&P) mechanics, along with pilot’s licenses, are all career tracks in high demand. The Avionics Technician Program offered at Avionica of Orlando, located at Kissimmee Gateway Airport, is of shorter duration than traditional university timeframes and costs a fraction of the price. Completing this program and getting important licenses associated with these tracks leads to securing high-value, high-salary jobs within the aviation industry.

In the next 20 years, more than one million additional aviation jobs will be created just to keep up with the travel demands in this country. This, coupled with Orlando International’s enthusiastic approach to growing its international market share, will ensure there is always a strong demand for aviation employees in Central Florida. The academic tracks located at Kissimmee Gateway Airport will serve as the pipeline for the industry and its high-wage jobs.        

“Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” – George Washington Carver

Understanding that 80 percent of the U.S. economy is driven by small businesses, the City of Kissimmee works towards assisting in the creation and expansion of small businesses. One specific program ties Kissimmee with the University of Central Florida to operate one of UCF’s Business Incubation Programs at offices located in the heart of downtown Kissimmee.

Since 2010, this program has helped early-stage companies develop into financially stable, high-impact enterprises by providing resources and services that facilitate smarter, faster growth. The UCF Downtown Kissimmee Incubator has yielded many successful small businesses, such as Avionica and its Avionics Technician Program.

Another up-and-coming Incubator business is Underground Refuse Systems, whose trailblazing efforts are leading an innovative waste collection system into the U.S. market.    

Invisible Waste

Every municipality in the United States is looking for ways to make its communities more livable, aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly. One issue not going away, whether in a large metropolitan city or a quaint small town, is how to deal with rubbish in public spaces. One of the most innovative solutions to this challenge has come right out of Central Florida and was first deployed in the city of Kissimmee.

Jay Wheeler started Underground Refuse Systems Inc. in 2015 and coined the phrase the “Art of Invisible Waste.” The company has developed an in-ground system that is attracting attention nationwide. Two years after launching, Ron Howse became an equal partner and Kissimmee became the first city in the United States to deploy this futuristic solid waste containment and collection system. Since becoming fully operational in April 2017, dozens of cities from all over the country have been to Kissimmee for a system demonstration.

This revolutionary technology poses an exciting option from the unsightly, malodorous and animal-infested options currently in use nationwide. It is a first step towards improving the sustainability of neighborhoods and represents the future, which includes smarter solutions for solid waste containment and collection.

Better Collection, Better Living Environment

In 2017 Underground Refuse Systems bought the first mold from Europe to start fabricating the 5-ton concrete vaults. These vaults seal the containers, which keep anything from leaking into groundwater. In
2018-2020 the company plans to expand American manufacturing of more components. In fact, manufacturing in the United States is a primary business goal.   

Both underground and above-ground containers are aesthetically pleasing, take up less space and are graffiti proof. They eliminate traditional dumpsters and dumpster enclosures from parking lots. Also, units can be creatively wrapped using art work or advertising. A key/locking mechanism comes with all units to curb illegal dumping and dumpster diving.   

This represents the most animal proof solid waste system in the United States. Bears, rats and people cannot get into these containers. If you take a food source away from animals such as bears and raccoons, they relocate, and when you reduce food sources for rats, their population declines, consequently improving public health and safety.

Underground Refuse Systems is a UCF Business Incubator client and one of its great successes. Jim Bowie, manager of the UCF Business Incubator Kissimmee, commented, “The incubator accepted Underground Refuse Systems into the program and helped the company establish a solid business foundation. It has allowed the company to focus on growing its sales revenue. It represents the type of client company the UCF Business Incubator was intended to help. Today, Underground Refuse Systems is growing jobs in the Kissimmee/ Osceola area.”

Underground Refuse Systems’ technology is currently in use in countries like France, Italy, Spain, Argentina and Turkey. This solid waste containment and collection system has earned a solid reputation for efficiency, reliability and reducing environmental impact for more than 20 years. Kissimmee is the first North American city to utilize this superior solid waste technology.

By increasing recycling, increasing organics/composting and reducing loud noises, this system reduces noise pollution, contains odors and is even effective with high water tables. It is simply a better collection concept that ultimately results in an improved living environment.

Underground Refuse Systems is the exclusive agent for Nord Engineering. For more information go to undergroundrefuse.com or contact Jay Wheeler directly at
407-944-9000 or jay@undergroundrefuse.com.

Kissimmee Medical Arts

The art of invisible waste obviously offers a myriad of advantages, but in our fast-growing world, the greatest asset is the ability to maximize space when developing sites. This is especially true when building out medical facilities, where additional parking is preferred over unsightly dumpsters.

This new system is especially helpful within the Kissimmee Medical Arts District. The city has two wonderful community assets with Florida Hospital Kissimmee and Osceola Regional Medical Center — both of which are within one and a half miles of each other. Both hospitals are also in expansion mode and are investing nearly $200 million collectively in expansions and improvements.

This growth has offered the city’s economic development office the opportunity to create a medical arts district. Capitalizing on the synergy these medical assets create, the city is working to attract additional medical companies and practices. The growth of this industry not only improves the availability of medical services, it increases the number of high-wage medical jobs located within the community.        

About the author

i4 Business

i4 Business

i4 Business magazine has become one of the most trusted voices for and about the Central Florida business community. Each month through our print and digital platforms, we provide access to meet, to learn from and to learn about some of the incredible entrepreneurs and business leaders, along with economic trends that are shaping our region.

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