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October 9, 2015

2012 Florida Economic Yearbook

Treasure Coast Economic Indicators

Mike Vogel | 4/4/2012

Stuart/Martin County

Digital Domain
Digital Domain moved into its new 150,000-sq.-ft. facility this year in St. Lucie County. [Photo: Eric Hassert/Scripps Treasure Coast newspapers]

American Energy Innovations in Stuart was founded a year ago to make wind turbine blades for the small and community-based wind power market. Martin County wants more such manufacturing enterprises to lessen its dependence on retirees, real estate and snowbirds. Service, computer support and social media businesses predominate among startups; the building trades remain devastated. American Energy shows how far the county has to go. In January, managing member Phil Catsman was expecting to boost employment significantly above the 40 then working there. But by March it had a major layoff.

Martin Population: 149,984
Population Growth Rate (2008-12): 0.96%
Population by Age:
0-14 15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
13.92% 5.31% 17.63% 34.92% 28.22%
Per Capita Income: $59,546

Vero Beach/Indian River County

Vero Beach and Indian River County are second-home havens for wealthy retirees. Hopes for employment growth at major employer Piper Aircraft, now owned by the sultan of Brunei, haven't been realized. Information technology, however, is a growing sector, as are niche businesses such as boat maker Dragonfly Boatworks, which is winning attention with its paddleboard innovations. Founder Mark Castlow says the company employs 10 locally; he hopes to add a few more this summer. The county sees a few dozen new jobs coming from two newcomers, modular barricade company Boston Barricade and U.K.-based software and services company SMI Telecoms. Helene Caseltine, economic development director at the Indian River Chamber of Commerce, says company recruitment deals are in the pipeline.

Businesses to Watch

» INEOS Bio and New Planet Energy: A taxpayer-supported $130-million energy plant, a joint venture of INEOS Bio and New Planet Energy, is projected to be completed this year, producing 8 million gallons of ethanol and six megawatts of electricity per year, enough for 1,400 households, from yard, vegetative and household wastes. It will generate about 50 jobs once it is operational.

Indian River Population: 142,038
Population Growth Rate (2008-12): 1.04%
Population by Age:
0-14 15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
15.08% 5.63% 18.20% 32.97% 28.12%
Per Capita Income: $58,160

Tags: Treasure Coast

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