Friday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida manufacturers seek increased output — and clout
The desire to diversify Florida’s economic sectors — away from over-relying on real estate, development and tourism — is as old as a smokestack factory. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t working, albeit incrementally. Supporters of the Sunshine State’s manufacturing sector, for one, boast about several gains in that industry in recent years, detailed in a new report, From Grease & Grime to Technology & Talent. [Source: Business Observer]
Florida toll road projects: Roads to ruin or prosperity?
A hodgepodge of environmental and civic groups on Thursday said they’ve banded together to block construction of 300 miles of new toll roads — despite the state having already made a $45 million down payment on the project. Lawmakers last spring agreed to spend the money to draw up plans for a decade-long “corridor” project that will extend the Suncoast Parkway in Hillsborough County east to the Florida Turnpike and north to the Georgia state line. More from the Tallahassee Democrat and the Tampa Bay Times.
After scathing SunPass report, Florida transportation secretary asks for follow-up
Florida transportation Secretary Kevin Thibault said his inspector general is following up on a scathing report about the botched rollout of the overhauled SunPass system. Thibault said he asked his inspector general to review the report and come up with additional recommendations after Gov. Ron DeSantis’ chief inspector general, Melinda Miguel, faulted the department and private contractors for cost overruns and a lack of oversight of the nearly $350 million project. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
A high school class aims to alleviate South Florida’s industrial labor shortage
A multinational company is helping to alleviate the labor shortages plaguing South Florida’s industrial market by going back to high school. Prologis, a San Francisco-based real estate logistics and supply chain company, funded the four-year Global Logistics and Supply Chain Technology program at Miami Springs Senior High School. [Source: Miami Herald]
Florida’s Supreme Court is more conservative than ever. Here’s what it could do.
The most conservative Supreme Court in state history is poised to make decisions that could change Florida forever. Fights over abortion, Amendment 4 and new congressional maps are all on a crash course with the high court. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› The story behind LeBron James’ UNKNWN store and its journey to Wynwood
A lot can change in eight years. On the eve of UNKNWN’s grand opening in 2011, co-owners Frankie Walker Sr. and Jaron Kanfer were still building clothing racks, stocking shelves, price tagging items — tasks that should’ve been completed weeks in advance. Fast forward to 2019 and the two are visibly at ease that their second store opens in just three days.
› Gov. DeSantis budget would reward Florida hospitals with high ratings
Gov. Ron DeSantis has proposed creating a program that would increase funding for high-performing hospitals, a move that could mean more money for 66 hospitals across Florida, including Tampa General, according to an analysis by a statewide hospital association.
› Orlando Lockheed Martin’s $1 billion contract could help company add 1,000 jobs
A nearly $1 billion contract to develop a hypersonic missile for the U.S. Army could help Lockheed Martin meet its goal of adding 1,000 workers in Central Florida by 2023. A $23 million award that is part of that contract will allow it to design, test and prepare the high-speed weapon for production, with all of that work expected to be done in Orlando.
› This Palm Beach County business is front and center in fighting flooding
Savannah Trims, a decades-old company based in Lake Park, has seen a boost in recent years for requests to waterproof buildings against coastal assaults from violent hurricane storm surge to gurgling high tide flooding. Led by former Army combat engineer Gene Kennedy, who took over the firm in 2016, the burgeoning business also is getting requests from building owners in land-locked states where flash floods, swelling rivers and even melting snow can cause costly breaches.
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