Demand for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) employees in Florida was up 15.2 percent year over year in January. STEM jobs pay higher than average wages, so new demand for this type of work indicates growth in the quality of jobs being created. More from the Jacksonville Business Journal, the Orlando Business Journal and STEM Florida.
Shaquille O'Neal tells us why he loves Orlando, how he almost became undersheriff in Lake County and his law school ambitions.
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» I’ve always wanted to own a law firm, so I’m thinking about going to law school. Not to be a lawyer, but just to own a law firm so when I hire other lawyers I can have educated conversations with them and not just be the guy who owns the building.
Scott is preparing to give his third state of the state address on Tuesday, and while the major theme — jobs — will still be the same, Scott has undergone a transformation. He’s cozying up to teachers instead of antagonizing them, he’s learned the art of compromise with the Legislature and he’s even cooperating with the federal government to put the president’s health care plan into place. More from the AP and the Times/Herald.
Head's up if you own a business in Florida: bogus bills have been sent out in the mail recently that you don't need to pay. The letter that Cape Coral attorney Eric Feichthaler got in the mail Saturday looks legit. It's from a company called Compliance Services out of Tallahassee. The letter says it's an 'annual minutes requirement statement' and asks you to send back a $125 dollar check. Read more from WFTX and Florida's Division of Corporations.
As the Common Core State Standards get put in place Florida, a key concern remains over whether the state's schools can handle the load that new computerized tests will place on them. Senate Education Committee chairman John Legg has filed legislation that would give the schools some security that they won't be pushed ahead of their readiness. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Arison is top South Floridian on Forbes’ richest list [Miami Herald]
Miami Heat owner and Carnival Cruise Chairman Micky Arison was the highest ranking South Floridian on the list, tying for the 211 slot with $5.7 billion; his sister, Shari Arison, who lives in Israel, ranked No. 308 with $4.2 billion.
› Tech Data battles to keep pace with the mobile evolution [Tampa Bay Times]
The global mobile revolution is happening so fast that it's hard for even front-line competitors like Tech Data Corp. to keep up. The Clearwater-based IT products distributor – Tampa Bay's largest public company by revenue – missed earning targets Monday, triggering a hit to its stock price.
› Northrop Grumman plans huge expansion for Brevard County [Florida Today]
The company said it is designating five centers of design and integration excellence in support of its Aerospace Systems sector's manned aircraft, unmanned systems and electronic attack businesses. Melbourne is one of the sites chosen.
› AutoNation outperforming industry [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
For the 12th month in a row, Fort Lauderdale-based AutoNation has outperformed its industry in retail sales of new vehicles. The country's largest vehicle retailer announced Monday that its February retail sales rose 6 percent. That's better than the national average of 2 percent growth.
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› Cities look to annex businesses near Miami International Airport [Miami Herald]
Miami Springs, Medley and Virginia Gardens are moving fast to annex land. Back in 2010, the Miami Dade County Planning Advisory Board voted unanimously against annexation proposals from each city. The three cities have since regrouped and are ready to give it another shot.
› Army's top chaplain-school officer questions training simulations for chaplains [Orlando Sentinel]
The chief of the U.S. Army's chaplain school has raised a caution flag about a new high-tech system under development in Orlando that uses computer-game simulations to train chaplains for ministering to soldiers on the battlefield.
› Women's Council honors Office Depot [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Office Depot was named to the 14th annual list of top companies for women-owned businesses on Friday by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council. Office Depot is one of 32 corporations that have developed best practices resulting in partnerships with women business owners.
› Huge, aggressive mosquito may be abundant in Florida this summer [UF News]
If mosquitoes were motorcycles, the species known as Psorophora ciliata would be a Harley-Davidson — big, bold, American-made and likely to be abundant in Florida this summer.