April 16, 2014

Business Florida 2014 - The Regions

South Central Florida

Lake Placid, Moore Haven, Okeechobee, Sebring

| 9/27/2013

QUALITY OF LIFE

Home-town charm Lots of places would like to call themselves "America’s Most Interesting Town"; Lake Placid, Florida, really is, according to Reader’s Digest, which bestowed this title upon the Highlands County town in January 2013. Among attractions cited: Toby’s Clown School, which has trained more than 1,500 professional clowns since 1993; the 44 hand-painted murals by local and visiting artists that adorn the facades of local businesses; and the 1,500 acres of pink-and-green leafy blooms that have earned Lake Placid its nickname "Caladium Capital of the World."

Eco-fun Getting back to nature is a favorite pastime in Florida’s heartland, which is home to Lake Okeechobee (the nation’s second largest freshwater lake), plus dozens of smaller lakes and one of Florida’s oldest parks, Highlands State Park, circa 1931. World-class fishing, bird watching, camping and small game hunting are popular region-wide activities.

NOTABLE ADDITIONS/EXPANSIONS

Composite manufacturing Illinois-based Charles Industries has purchased a 40,000-sq.-ft. building on five acres in Okeechobee County, with plans to establish its first Florida facility and bring 28 new jobs to the region. The new company, Charles Composites LLC, will manufacture and distribute composite enclosures for telecommunications and utility applications.

Concrete fabrication HenKay Precast, a division of Indiana-based S & S Precast, has expanded into a 50,000-sq.-ft. building near LaBelle in Hendry County. HenKay makes standard and custom precast concrete products for a variety of uses, including highway projects; 19 new jobs were created.

NOTABLE EMPLOYERS

Logistics
• Agero Inc. Sebring
• Walmart Distribution Center Arcadia
• Walpole Inc. Okeechobee

Agribusiness
• Larson Dairy Inc. Okeechobee
• Lykes Brothers Inc. Highlands, Glades and Okeechobee counties
• Peace River Citrus Products Arcadia
• Southern Gardens Citrus Clewiston
• United States Sugar Clewiston

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