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In 2018, Central Florida was ranked first in the nation for job growth, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Additionally, Forbes magazine ranked the metro Orlando region No. 1 to invest in a home with an estimated 84,000 building permits issued in Orange County valued at $2.3 billion. Orange County also earned the highest AAA credit rating from Moody's Investors Service, recognizing its fiscal reliability and continued quality-of-life enhancements.
Mayor Teresa Jacobs delivered her 2014 State of the County Address at the historic Ballroom on Church Street today, June 6, before an audience of more than 600 citizens, community leaders, and special guests. During her 30-minute speech, Mayor Jacobs took citizens on a journey highlighting the outstanding achievements of the region and the many milestones the community has accomplished together making Orange County the best place in the world to live, learn, work, and raise a family.
The state of Orange County is strong and prosperous and continues to transform as we collectively excel and grow in a competitive global economy. Construction is up 5 percent, unemployment is down from 11.3 percent when Mayor Jacobs took office, to 5.3 percent with 77,042 new jobs recently created. The region is also now a magnet for life science and high tech companies, as well as for tourist with 59 million visitors coming to the region in 2013 generating $187 million in tourist development taxes.
Mayor Jacobs illustrated how the campaign, “Orlando, you don’t know the half of it,” will aggressively raise awareness and transform the way the world perceives the region. The growth and transformation of central Florida’s infrastructure and transportation was a key portion of the address, which showcased SunRail and the continuing work on an Osceola County and Lynx connection, as well as the All Aboard Florida project that may someday tie into a new multi-modal hub at Orlando International Airport.
Mayor Jacobs’ vision for a new future for our children centered on the transformation seen in entertainment, sports and culture. The Dr. Phillips Center (DPC) will open by Thanksgiving, ushering in a new era of creativity. Attendees participated in a sneak peek of the venue by taking part in a walking tour of the construction site and DPC offices. The tour came just days after a ceremonial beam rising at the Citrus Bowl, which is currently at the mid-way point of its renovations. Mayor Jacobs also explained how central Florida is becoming a sports Mecca with the new MLS soccer stadium coming to Orlando as well as the US Tennis Association headquarters planned for Lake Nona.
The messages of this year’s State of the County were spread on social media through a group of Social Media Ambassadors who have more than 50,000 followers on Twitter alone.
The Ambassadors live-tweeted and used Facebook and Instagram throughout the speech. Additionally, Google Glass recorded and shared live from the eyes of one of the Ambassadors. This outreach—the first of its kind in the state—furthered Mayor Jacobs commitment to public engagement by involving the online community and highlighting the unique entrepreneurial talent that continues to create jobs and opportunities.
You may stay connected with Orange County through the new online Newsroom and through your mobile device by downloading the new OCFL News app, ( Android | Apple) which was unveiled during Mayor Jacobs’ remarks at the State of the County.
Citizens are invited to download OCFL Alert, (Android | Apple) the first-of-its-kind emergency notification app for mobile devices and OCFL 311, (Android | Apple) a mobile app that assists Orange County citizens in reporting non-emergency community issues efficiently and conveniently from their Android and Apple devices.