Monday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Facing a worker shortage, Florida hotels and builders are revamping training programs
Construction and leisure/hospitality are the two industries leading job creation statewide, according to employment figures released Friday. But these two industries also share a growing problem: they can’t find enough workers. As a result, they're revamping training programs and investing in available lower-skilled workers as a long-term solution to the worsening labor shortage. Expanding apprenticeship programs and 529 plans are being looked at as part of the solution. [Source: Tampa Bay Times] Also read more in this news release from the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.
Florida's year-round daylight saving time law on hold in Congress
The “Sunshine Protection Act” that went into effect in Florida on Sunday would make daylight saving time year-round in the state — but so far the required congressional approval to make it happen has languished in the U.S. Capitol halls. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Feds launch audit of Keys debris contract
One year after Governor Rick Scott responded to the devastation of Hurricane Irma by ignoring the debris removal contracts already in place in the Florida Keys and opting instead to hire more expensive companies to do the work, the Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security is launching his own investigation into what happened. More from CBS Miami and the Tampa Bay Times.
Feds to offer loans for businesses hurt by red tide
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is making disaster loans available for businesses in Pinellas County affected by red tide, the agency announced Friday. Qualifying businesses can obtain an Economic Injury Disaster Loan up to $2 million with a maximum interest rate of 3.385 percent for a term up to 30 years to help with financial obligations that cannot be met as a result of the disaster. See the news release from the SBA, here. Also read more at Florida Politics.
State plummets to record low homeownership
While Gov. Rick Scott campaigns on the strength of Florida’s economy, there is no mention of a bleak milestone the state just reached — a record-low homeownership rate. From the soaring pre-recession days, when easy credit pushed housing numbers to new highs, the percentage of Florida households owning homes has plunged to the lowest level ever seen, with data going back more than three decades. In the "State of Florida: Long-Range Financial Outlook" document, it says:
Countervailing some of the recent and expected improvements in the existing home market is the fact that the homeownership rate is still below normal. The 2016 percentage of 64.3 was well below the long-term average for Florida. Final data for 2017 shows a further decline to 64.1 percent. This rate is below the lowest homeownership rate previously recorded in Florida (64.4 percent in 1989) during the 34-year history of the series. However, preliminary data for the first half of the 2018 calendar year is showing some improvement.
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
›BCB Homes still coming on strong after 25 years
Joe Smallwood started BCB Homes with a bang. His first home with his new company was a 10,000-square-foot house in Port Royal. “So we came out of the gates strong,” said Smallwood, CEO of BCB Homes.
› Program will spread orchids around Miami's Coconut Grove
Orchids will soon be afoot again in Miami's Coconut Grove neighborhood. On Monday, government officials, botanists from Fairchild Botanical Garden and volunteers will mount 250 rare and endangered orchid seedlings onto tree trunks in the central part of the neighborhood.
› Celebration tech firm raises $16 million from investors for dental platform
A Celebration-based tech company has raised $16 million from investors to build out its cloud-based platform, which helps dental practices across the U.S. track clinical, financial and administrative records.
› Walmart is teaming with a Seminole Heights chef to promote locally grown mushrooms
It might seem like an unlikely match from the outside: A distinguished chef with a restaurant known for inventive plates using produce shoppers can find at… Walmart?
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