Our fifth annual Best Companies report features lists, profiles and a look at what employees like most at their companies. Today we begin a series of reports that will showcase some companies from the 100 winners.
To identify Florida’s best employers, Florida Trend partners with the Best Companies Group, which surveyed firms that chose to participate. Any firm with at least 15 employees in Florida, including firms based outside the state, could participate at no cost. See the full list of winners - for large, midsized and small firms - here.
In a cavernous plant that once hummed with shuttle workers, CEO Carol Craig wants to build a manufacturing center. Craig, who has three engineering degrees, has built her engineering services company to $40 million in annual revenue and 340 employees in 20 states. See the full profile.
Almost 70 banks failed in Florida during the last five years. Most executives say the failures were not their fault. They blame a tanking economy. Or meddling government officials. Or people who borrowed more than they could afford while the market was cooking hot. But these bankers are wrong. Read the investigative report from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
The number of students attending private schools on tax-credit scholarships jumped 27 percent last year, reaching a record high of 51,075 kids, according to the state Department of Education. The dramatic spike was the result of 2012 legislation increasing the amount of tax credits available. The bill prompted corporations to donate more money. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Restaurant inspectors who search for vermin and unsafe food handling practices may cut back or increase surprise visits to Florida's restaurants, caterers and food trucks to comply with a new state law that takes effect next year. It hasn't been determined how some of the state's 47,804 licensed food operations could have their current, twice-yearly inspection schedule changed. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Alternative medicine grabs complementary role [Gainesville Sun]
Imagine going into your local pharmacy and asking for something to "calm your spirit" or "transform your phlegm." The pharmacist might raise an eyebrow, but there's a place in Gainesville where treating such conditions is the norm.
› Spaniards are the latest addition to Miami’s Latin social fabric [Miami Herald]
With the jobless rate close to 28 percent in Spain, many people are leaving the country in search of better fortune. Miami is among their destinations.
› Historic Coast latest in a growing number of Florida coastal monikers [Florida Times-Union]
The coastal waters surrounding Florida support a lot more than just beaches and fishing. In the past few decades, the proliferation of coastal monikers has grown significantly with multiple regions of the state seeking their share of the tourism pie.
› Jupiter: South Florida’s nexus for neuroscience [South Florida Business-Journal]
The promise of a new life science cluster in north Palm Beach County was envisioned nearly 10 years ago when the La Jolla, Calif.-based Scripps Research Institute decided to open an East Coast facility alongside Florida Atlantic University’s Honors College in Abacoa.
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› Hospitals hire 'navigators' to help patients wade through complex health system [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Experts in guiding patients through the tricky maze of doctor's appointments, tests and treatments, navigators are what one hospital official called "the wave of the future" in health care, holding the patient's hand from diagnosis to recovery — and saving time and money along the way.
› Orlando hotels boost both price and occupancy [Orlando Sentinel]
Orlando's hotels logged a strong start to this year's summer season. The area's hospitality industry filled a higher percentage of rooms in June than it had a year earlier, even as it increased the average daily price of those rooms.
› Miami-Dade County to consider big changes to taxi industry [Miami Herald]
The way some Miami-Dade politicians tell it, this fall they will drive the county’s taxicab and car-service industries into the 21st century, allowing passengers to pay for airport and seaport taxi rides using credit cards and to summon sedans from their cellphones. But cabbies, long protected by county regulations and struggling to scrape by, hope to put the brakes on the proposals.
› Despite promise of extra cash, teachers want out of tough schools [Tampa Bay Times]
For five schools in Pinellas facing restructuring for chronic low performance, hiring and keeping good teachers is a never-ending battle. Despite the lure of extra cash, teachers aren't fighting to get into some of the county's lowest-performing schools. In many cases, they're trying to get out.