Northwest: Striking Gold with Green
Alternative fuels and steady growth keep Northwest Florida's economy humming.
Demographics for the Northwest Region can be found at Business Florida's interactive map of Florida.
|Northwest Florida Resources:
But that’s just the start of things to like about this region. Northwest Florida is also home to three state universities, the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and a heavy military presence. The area’s seven military installations — one naval- and six aviation-related — are a strong draw for aerospace and defense contractors that want to be close to their clients. In northwest Florida, upwards of 37,000 people are employed by the aerospace or defense industry.
Northwest Florida has a solid transportation system, too, including four major commercial airports and three deepwater ports, two of which are designated Foreign Trade Zones.
Incubator opens: The new Gulf Coast Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship opened in May 2008 in downtown Pensacola. A joint venture between Pensacola Junior College (PJC) and the Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, the center is making available 15,000 square feet of space to start-up companies at PJC’s newly renovated downtown center. Blink MD, a Pensacola-based company specializing in electronic medical records and physician management software, is the incubator’s first tenant.
High-tech haven: The city of Pensacola, the Escambia County Board of Commissioners and the Pensacola/Escambia Promotion and Development Commission are teaming up to create a 9.5-acre technology campus in downtown Pensacola. with more than 500,000 square feet of office space for high-tech businesses.
The University of West Florida has broken ground on a four-story, $32-million Science and Engineering building; classes are expected to begin in the new facility in January 2010.
Business Expansions: Paul Life Sciences has begun a $26-million expansion on its Pensacola Membrane Technology Center; the 40,000-square-foot project will increase employment to 200 jobs.
Hixard Technologies Inc. has received an $18.5-million contract to provide software support for Eglin Air Force Base; three software engineers will be added immediately, with 10 to 15 more high-wage jobs ahead.
The cast and crew of FOX TV’s hit show “Prison Break” found the right scenic backdrop for filming at Pensacola Beach. Florida ranks 3rd in the U.S. for film production. [Photo: Brian Smith]