Someone once said, “The road to success is always under construction.” It is certainly true in life and evidently equally true of those regions, like ours, that are working to produce successful, diversified, job-creating communities.
Recently, I had lunch with a consultant who had spent much of his life in the metro Detroit area. As he described The Motor City, his tone and body language went from upbeat to despairing. It reminded me of how much we have to be thankful for and the momentum we have to shape our tomorrow. Hopefully, Motown will be able to come back like the scorched landscape of California.
In our area, after losing almost 40 percent of our construction jobs during the “Great Recession,” cranes are moving again and new projects dot the landscape. Amazingly, 30 percent of Florida contractors say they plan to hire a minimum of 25 extra workers to cover increased construction activity in the coming year. Alarmingly, however, almost 75 percent of the construction workforce is 35 or older and 52 percent are over 45; so we have some workforce work to do.
In Florida, construction accounts for more than 480,000 jobs, with an average wage that tops $62,000. Women also fill more than 20 percent of those jobs. With a population projected to swell considerably in the next 10 years, this is a trend that will certainly continue.
Favorite Quotes From This Issue:
“We honor our relationships and the communities in which we operate, and we’re committed to this region. We have a strong foundation in Central Florida, and we look forward to continued growth in the hospitality, education, commercial and multi-family sectors…”
— Kevin Ream
“What attracted me to Coastal was the company’s emphasis and commitment to customer service. The company has a slogan, ‘It’s not just business…it’s personal,’ and that’s the way it approaches everything.”
— Robert Utsey
“You’ve heard the phrase, ‘All politics are local.’ In the same way, all economic development is local. Without empowered communities, counties and regions engaged, economic development conversations are largely academic.”
— Dale Brill