Last December I participated in an Economic Development Commission Past Presidents Meeting at the Eau Gallie Yacht Club, which I served on in 1996. I was both honored and humbled to be sitting at the table with a former Space Shuttle Astronaut, a Retired General, as well as other incredible leaders who have each contributed to making Brevard County the awesome place it is today.
I thought back to the Fall of 2011 when my family visited Washington, DC. The Space Shuttle program had just ended resulting in massive job losses. Congress had just passed the Budget Control Act which would greatly decrease both defense and non-defense spending by the U.S. Government. As I exited the Metro at the Pentagon on my way to see the 9/11 Memorial, I saw advertisements from Harris, DRS, Northrup Grumman and quickly realized the negative effects this could have on Brevard County.
To say that I was concerned about Brevard’s economy was an understatement…
Fast forward to 2016… Our Space Coast is alive, thriving and exceeding the expectations of all who live and work here and perhaps those who would like to do business here. Companies such as Boeing, SpaceX, DRS, GE, Blue Origin, Knights Armament, Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, Raytheon, Embraer, Thales and Rockwell Collins each have a major presence in our marketplace along with Harris Corporation who chose to maintain Melbourne as their World Headquarters. We are incredibly blessed for a community our size.
The economic engine that is Port Canaveral sees over 4,000,000 cruise passengers a year and is second in the industry only to the Port of Miami. With growing cargo operations, it serves the community as a resource for economic opportunities in job creation and generates millions of state and local tax dollars.
Viera is growing into the great Master Planned Community it was intended to be with thousands of new residents, homes under construction and commercial projects. As the beating heart of the county, it is vibrant with a centralized government area, shopping and restaurants, sports stadium, top performing schools and recreational amenities.
With the strong economy, great employers and many new high paying jobs coming to Brevard, I believe that “onward, upward, higher and higher” will be what we will enjoy for 2017 and beyond!