May 20, 2024

community portrait

Palm Beach County

Duda Workers harvest celery in Belle Glade
Workers harvest celery on a Duda farm in Belle Glade. [Photo: John Bateman]


Economic Life

Economic activity in Palm Beach County is diverse, with strong presences in sectors ranging from aerospace-related research and engineering firms to bioscience, medical manufacturing, healthcare, construction and tourism. The county has two Urban Enterprise Zones.

Economic development officials say each area of the county has a dominant industry sector:

» A cluster of bioscience and aviation businesses, including biomedical research heavyweights Scripps Florida and Max Planck, and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne operate in and around Jupiter and the northern part of the county, which is also home to FPL, the state’s largest utility. In addition, BioFlorida, the statewide trade association founded to advance Florida’s bioscience industry, is headquartered in West Palm Beach.

Max Planck Institute
Research institute Max Planck is building a 100,000-sq.-ft. facility in Jupiter.
» The central and south county area, including Delray and Boca Raton, house a number of corporate headquarters, including ADT Worldwide and Tyco Fire & Security; IBM’s southern base; American Media (National Enquirer); Office Depot; Geo Group; Rexall Sundown; and Jarden Consumer Solutions (Sunbeam and Oster). Delray Beach is also home to a large number of in-patient, upscale alcohol and drug rehabilitation facilities.

» Many business, financial services, law and accounting firms, along with venture capital firms, while scattered throughout the county, are concentrated in the West Palm Beach area, including Intech Investment Management, a large-cap equity management firm.

» The county’s western region is dominated by small businesses, agriculture and the presence of agri-giants A. Duda and Sons, Florida Crystals and U.S. Sugar. The area is also home to several venues for polo and equestrian events.

Economic Engines

Port of Palm Beach: Florida’s fourth-largest container port; supports 2,500 jobs; has an economic impact of $261 million; half a million cruise passengers.

Convention Center: The 350,000-sq.-ft. Palm Beach County Convention Center includes a 100,000-sq.-ft. exhibit hall, a ballroom and 21,000 square feet of breakout space. The Related Cos. has been chosen to build a 15-story, 400-room hotel next to the center.

Palm Beach International Airport: Well-regarded smaller (28-gate) airport serves four-county area; 6 million passengers a year.

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