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President's Report

President's Report

Joe Catrambone, Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce President/CEO

Recently the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish reported on recent job numbers and how Florida continues to diversify its economy. Overall, job creation in Florida is up, with 178,400 jobs created year-over-year. Florida's job growth rate is at 2.1 percent compared to the U.S. growth rate of 1.6 percent and the unemployment rate remains steady at 3.9 percent, the same since September 2017.

Manufacturing continues to be a leader in helping Florida diversify its economy and create new jobs. Florida’s manufacturing has grown 3.4 percent over the last year. The last four years, manufacturing has continued to grow at a rate more than three times higher than the nation overall.

A recent article by Chief Executive Magazine reports the Orlando area is the “nation’s foremost hub for optics technology and advanced manufacturing.” While growth in manufacturing statewide is important, businesses are still faced with a workforce and skills gap, sentiments echoed by business leaders throughout the State and reinforced by many chamber members who tell us their number one concern is finding the right talent for their businesses.


For these reason we continue to support and encourage our Legislators to fund education and training programs that attracts and retains businesses and supports funding for additional post-secondary education preparing  a high skill/high wage workforce to meet the economic development and employment demands of Martin County. Our 2018 Legislative Agenda  supported and urged continued expansion and increased funding for postsecondary education and training programs that provide professional advancement opportunities for Floridians, assist local communities with business recruitment and retention, and most importantly, prepare a high skill/high wage workforce to meet the economic development and employment demands within Martin County. A priority in our 2018 Legislative Session included securing capital outlay funding to complete the Treasure Coast Advanced Manufacturing Center at Indian River State College ($14.8M). Unfortunately our efforts fell on “deaf ears”. Perhaps we will be more successful in the 2019 Legislative Session!

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1650 S Kanner Highway
Stuart, FL 34994


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