Monday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida’s aerospace industry booming, but faces competition, capacity challenges
Florida’s 15-year-old space agency has secured its first tenant for a 400-acre industrial park ringing Cape Canaveral’s former space shuttle runway and has doubled partnerships with commercial aerospace companies with $2.8 billion in contracts “in the pipeline,” state officials told a Senate panel Wednesday. But Space Florida Vice President Todd Romberger warned the Senate Military & Veterans Affairs, Space and Domestic Security Committee that Florida faces competition from other states, noting Florida only ranks seventh nationally – down from fifth three years ago – in aerospace jobs. [Source: The Center Square]
Florida-based Trulieve becomes largest marijuana retailer in U.S.
Trulieve, the state’s largest medical marijuana operator, is now the nation’s biggest cannabis retailer, after closing on a $2.1 billion deal to acquire former competitor Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. The transaction marks a major development in Florida, where Harvest held one of 22 licenses to cultivate, process and sell medical marijuana to a growing patient population, and in the nation’s rapidly expanding pot industry. [Source: Orlando Sentinel ]
Hurricane center tracks system near Florida as Hurricane Sam, Tropical Depression Victor lose strength
Hurricane Sam finally devolved from a major hurricane Sunday after spending more than a week over Category 3 status. Meanwhile, Tropical Depression Victor continued to fall apart, but the National Hurricane Center began investigating a system closer to Florida. Located over the southeastern Bahamas near southwestern Atlantic waters is a large area of disorganized cloudiness and showers associated with a surface trough that could form into the next tropical depression or storm, according to the 2 p.m. update from the NHC. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Commentary: Florida's minimum wage hike, combined with COVID, could prepare state for the future
In the early days of the campaign to raise Florida’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, the predictions were dire: This move would send small businesses cartwheeling toward insolvency. The state would miss out on recruiting big employers and could lose corporate mainstays to other states. Workers would face layoffs and slashed hours, and the price of consumer goods and restaurant meals would shoot skyward. Then COVID happened. [Source: Daytona Beach News Journal]
With Florida minimum wage now $10 hour, lawmaker refiles 2021 bid for training wage
About 125,000 Florida minimum-wage workers received a $1.44 raise in their hourly pay Thursday as a voter-improved constitutional amendment went into effect. Under Amendment 2, passed last November by a 60.8% margin, Florida’s $8.56 an hour minimum wage goes to $10 an hour and then increases $1 annually through 2026 when it will be $15 an hour. But one Florida lawmaker is reviving his failed 2021 attempt to create a “minimum training wage” below the state’s minimum wage which he says will help teens and low-skilled workers enter the workforce. [Source: The Center Square]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› St. Petersburg model walks the runways in Europe
Ten years ago, Kate Cummins hid in the back of the room to watch her 12-year-old son, Atticus Rodda, model for a Beall’s department store ad. His cropped hair, chic glasses and confident swagger were on point. “He nailed it,” she said. “He was so cute.” These days, she travels to Europe to watch him walk the runways of some of the world’s most renowned fashion houses.
› Tech Trail: Miami tech has the buzz, but does it have the jobs?
The Miami-Dade County data show advanced industry occupations, including what the U.S. government calls computer systems design and software publishing, constituted 6.5% of the county’s labor force as of the first quarter of 2021, or approximately 62,000 workers out of a workforce of more than 952,000. That is up from 5.3%, or nearly 43,000 out of 802,000, in 2010. (The advanced industry sector also includes manufacturing.)
› Ride-share company expands to Ocala, other Florida areas for distance travel
Taking a day trip to Orlando? Flying out of the Tampa International Airport? Cheering on the Gators at a football game in Gainesville? Ride-share company Hitch has expanded to Ocala and wants you to hitch a ride with a driver already headed to your destination, and for a cost lower than traditional ride-hailing companies.
› Emerald Coast Ultra Pure Water makes splash nationally
Emerald Coast Ultra Pure Water, Florida’s only women owned bottled water brand, is now just a click away. Thanks to its recent partnership with leading online retailer Walmart.com, anyone can order Pensacola-based Emerald Coast Ultra Pure Water, at any time, and any place.
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