Special Edition OC Connect

On behalf of Orange County, thank you for joining us at the 2017 Economic Summit at the Orange County Convention Center, our Center of Hospitality.

Now in its fifth year, the annual Economic Summit provides a comprehensive summary on the region's economy, our booming industries and what's on the horizon for our thriving business sectors. This year's Summit was attended by more than 600 business leaders and citizens eager to hear the latest on how our regional partnerships, business strategies and synergies in education and research has positioned Central Florida as one of the most robust economies in the nation. Our panel of notable workforce experts also offered their perspective on how local certification programs can open doors to a multitude of opportunities for those seeking job training and technical skills outside the traditional four-year degree.

What began as an exploratory Job Summit Series when I first took office in 2011, has grown into one of the most highly attended business events in Central Florida. The Economic Summit was launched in 2013 following our series of nine economic and job summits focused on key geographic regions and growing industries.

The highly anticipated annual local and state economic forecast - presented by nationally renowned economist Sean Snaith, Ph.D., director of the University of Central Florida's (UCF) Institute for Economic Competitiveness - was the central highlight of the event. In his engaging forecast, Dr. Snaith indicated that Orange County's robust and job-focused economy is on-track to continue to outpace other regions across the state.

This year, the Summit featured a Workforce Development panel, which included Barbara Jenkins, Ed.D., superintendent of Orange County Public Schools; Thad Seymour, Ph.D., vice provost for UCF Downtown; Sanford "Sandy" Shugart, Ph.D., president of Valencia College; and Crystal Sircy, executive vice president of the Orlando Economic Development Commission. The panel discussed the importance of growing a diverse, educated and trained talent pool as companies in Central Florida continue to grow and expand beyond their current staffing levels. Vernet Lasrado, Ph.D., assistant director for research at the UCF, offered insight regarding the need for a pipeline of trained workers through the presentation of his study, Talent Supply for the 21st Century.

Immediately following the Economic Summit, and for the second year, I joined our technology community to host Florida TechMatch. The business matchmaking event paves the way for  local tech companies to build relationships, discuss contracts with national industry leaders  and  explore  possible  mentoring  opportunities together. TechMatch is a natural continuation of our Economic Summit series. Orange County is very proud of facilitating these strategic partnerships between our region's large and small-to-medium businesses to boost industry synergies and contribute to our continued and collective economic successes.

We have so much to be proud of as our community continues to nurture and cultivate our flourishing economy to attract the attention of high-profile businesses for growth and local expansions.

Thank you for attending and making the 2017 Economic Summit a success. I look forward to our work together in the future!


Teresa Jacobs
Orange County Mayor  
2017 Economic Summit Presentations | OCFL Update |  Newsroom Story | Photo Album
2017 Economic Summit OCFL Update
2017 Florida TechMatch OCFL Update
You may read Orange County's news feature, view the news conference highlights and download the photo album for the 2017 Economic Summit.
You may also access the presentations from the Summit and Florida TechMatch below.
2017 Economic Summit Media Coverage

News coverage of the 2017 Economic Summit was featured on WFTV,  News 13, Central Florida's TV 27 and the  Orlando Sentinel.