Florida's Treasure Coast
» Okeechobee County welcomed an Applebee’s last year and has attracted several new industrial developments this year. Joe Charles, founder of Charles Industries in Illinois and owner of Florida’s River Forest Yachting Centers in Stuart and LaBelle, opened an outdoor shooting range in Okeechobee last year. Now the company has purchased an industrial building in Okeechobee to expand its U.S. manufacturing operations. Charles Composites will be its first Florida manufacturing plant and will be used to make enclosures for telecommunication and utility applications. In addition, U.S. EcoGen will build one of three biomass plants in Okeechobee. In January, the company signed a contract with FPL and envisions growing a species of non-invasive eucalyptus and harvesting it as a source of renewable energy for FPL’s electric customers.
» Agribusiness remains the key economic driver in the county, says Terry Burroughs, Okeechobee Chamber of Commerce president. He says the chamber is focused on creating more manufacturing jobs for county residents.
|Okeechobee Population: 40,456|
|Population Growth Rate (2009-13): 0.35%|
|Population by Age:|
|Per Capita Income: $30,988|