What you need to know about Florida Today
When Republicans hold their national convention in Tampa next week, it will be on completely different political terrain than in 1972, when both the GOP and Democrats nominated their presidential candidates in Miami Beach. But one thing hasn't changed over the past four decades: Florida remains the largest state never to have had a presidential or vice presidential nominee for a major party. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
» GOP convention shines spotlight on Fla.
» RNC officials: Convention stage will "blow people's minds"
» Officials, media starting to arrive
» RNC protesters have to sleep sometime, but where?
» Online media will star at the conventions
Florida students may not even realize it, but when 2.6 million of them return to school, they will venture into what is sure to be a landmark year in American public education. Beginning with kindergarten and first-grade students this year, Florida over the next three years will transition to tougher new education standards that will change teaching in the classroom, bring an end to the FCAT and, for the first time, allow parents and politicians to measure how well Florida students stack up against those in other states. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
A state program created to redevelop polluted areas is doling out tax breaks for companies that lease offices in downtown high-rises, build on pastureland and open restaurants on busy highways, even when there is no proof they are on contaminated land. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Figuring out why companies move to, or from, Florida has obvious value to those in the economic development business. And so last month the Florida Chamber of Commerce released the results of a new survey that measures opinions about the state's business environment. The survey's respondents were 19 business organizations that either moved to Florida or left the state in the first half of 2011. Read more from the Lakeland Ledger and see the study results from the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
Entrepreneurial grit and small-business smarts were alive and well in Florida during the meanest years of this deep recession. Young companies most likely to prosper and grow quickly in such economic times concentrated on IT services, online services (including cloud computing and Web applications), tech support for the military, medical services, HR services and staffing services. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Colleges offer more courses aimed at job market
High unemployment and battered household finances have colleges working harder to tie their classroom offerings to job offers. From creating courses to accommodate a new industry to customizing a curriculum to a specific employer’s hiring criteria, schools are pushing to narrow the gap between academia and the real world.
› Fort Myers business consultants help local firms grow
Approximately 90 businesses have received in-depth, confidential business assistance and strategic planning at no cost to the business through the Growth Acceleration Program, a counseling program the Small Business Development Center at FGCU launched in January 2011.
› Jacksonville company in the middle of a project to bring natural gas to vehicles
The plan is nothing if not ambitious: Build 1,000 compressed natural gas fueling stations across the United States. That’s $1 million each for a total cost of $1 billion. Keystone Consulting Group of Jacksonville is part of that partnership dedicated to compressed natural gas, known as CNG, the fuel that many are counting on to help ease U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
» Related: Natural Compressed Gas stations on edge of ‘fuel revolution’
› iDevices inspire inventors
Though it has no official presence — yet — on the Space Coast, Apple Inc. is creating jobs there and stirring up the economy nonetheless. Same with Android. Samsung, too. If these names sound familiar, they are. Just check your smart phone or tablet computer.
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