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Thursday's Daily Pulse

Growing labor shortage worries construction firms

A national survey of construction firms found 74 percent were having problems finding qualified workers amid growing labor shortages in the industry. The survey by Associated General Contractors of America comes as similar concerns have been raised among builders in Southwest Florida, with the new homes market ramping up and a tight inventory of existing homes. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

At hurricane season's midpoint, forecasters perplexed

Remember those predictions of an extremely active hurricane season? Water temperatures were high. There would be no El Niño to thwart hurricane development. All signs pointed to an ominous season. Yet on Sept. 1, for only the sixth time since 1950, not a single hurricane had formed in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea or Gulf of Mexico. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

There's good money to be had in some two-year degrees

Shelling out more money for a four-year college degree doesn't always mean you'll land a job with a better salary, a recent report found. In fact, graduates of many two-year associates and occupational certificate programs earn just as much as workers with traditional four-year degrees -- if not more in some cases. More from the Orlando Sentinel and CNN Money.

In Florida, life without air conditioning can be suffocating

t is no coincidence that Florida's population didn't start to skyrocket until air conditioning began to proliferate in the 1960s. We go from our air-conditioned homes to our air-conditioned cars to our air-conditioned jobs. We go outside to take out the trash and then run back indoors. So, in essence, air conditioning invented Florida. Full story and video from the Orlando Sentinel.

Florida springs to receive nearly $37 million

Florida is going to spend nearly $37 million to help improve the water quality of several springs across the state. Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday announced the list of the projects that will receive a combination of state and local funding. The state is putting in slightly more than $11 million. More from the AP, the WMBB and the Gainesville Sun.


› Synergy Health moves regional headquarters to downtown Tampa
British firm Synergy Health is moving its corporate headquarters for the Americas region from north Tampa to the SunTrust building in downtown Tampa, economic development leaders said Wednesday.

› Glades not coming back for a fifth season
A brutal season for South Florida television has gotten a little grimmer. The Glades, an A&E crime series set in the Everglades and filmed in Broward County, won’t be coming back for a fifth season.

› Carnival investing $180 million in clean-air technology
Carnival Corp. is pouring more than $180 million into new technology to clean fuel exhaust on roughly a third of its fleet in an effort to meet strict air pollution standards off North American coasts that go into effect in 2015.

› Orlando Predators lose their Amway Center lease
As of next week, the Arena Football League's Orlando Predators will no longer have an arena. City Hall has notified the Orlando Predators that the team has defaulted on its lease at the Amway Center. The reason: Not enough fans showed up during the 2013 season.

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› Boca Raton quilt store featured in Quilt Sampler magazine
StitchCraft's rapid growth since opening in 2010 and unique designs and patterns have landed the shop on the cover of a Better Homes and Gardens publication. The Quilt Sampler hits newsstands nationwide this week featuring a quilt designed by the owner that readers can replicate.

› Report: Orlando residents are not 'house rich'
The term "house rich" doesn't really apply to residents of Metro Orlando, which has one of the country's lowest rates of homeowners who own a substantial chunk of their houses, a new report shows.

› Labor Dept. will start over with bidding for Job Corps contract
After awarding and then canceling two bids for different operators to take over the Gainesville Job Corps Center, the U.S. Department of Labor has thrown out the entire process and decided to start over.

› IAP World Services receives $11.5 million add-on deal to manage naval bases
Cape Canaveral-based IAP World Services Inc. has landed an add-on Navy deal worth $11.5 million to extend its work providing base-operating services to several major naval installations in Maryland.