Florida Chamber Bottom Line: Clint Bullock on Orlando’s Renewable Energy
The latest Florida Chamber Bottom Line features Clint Bullock, Chief Executive Officer of Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC), discussing the innovations that OUC is implementing to help their communities move into the future.
“It was an honor to have the mayor on-site to show him some of the innovation that we are doing,” said Bullock. “One of the projects we are very excited about is community charging stations… we are going to have more community charging stations to advance electrification in the community.”
Join the Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition
The Florida Chamber Infrastructure Coalition is dedicated to creating long-term investments in Florida’s energy, water, transportation, telecommunications, and rural infrastructure. Click HERE to join the Florida Chamber Infrastructure Coalition and learn how we are doubling down on efforts to maximize Florida’s economic growth opportunities through infrastructure investments.
Take 2 Minutes to Support Your Infrastructure Bill
Contact the Senate Infrastructure Committee Today and Ask Them to Vote “Yes” on SB 7068
On March 5, 2019, the Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee will hear a Florida Chamber-backed infrastructure and growth bill (SB 7068) that mirrors much of the Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition Infrastructure Report.
SB 7068 outlines Senate President Bill Galvano’s “Innovation in Infrastructure” plan. Specifically, it looks to expand multi-use corridors from Polk County to Collier County, Suncoast Parkway Extension to Georgia, and Northern Turnpike Connector (Florida Turnpike northwest to the Suncoast Parkway). As part of a larger plan that includes not only traditional transportation elements like roads, bridges and sea/airports, but also includes utility and communication resources, clean water and reliable broadband connectivity.
We Need Your Support
The Florida Chamber supports SB 7068 but we need your help to ensure Florida’s infrastructure doesn’t get left behind. Contact members of the Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee TODAY and urge them to vote yes on SB 7068.
- Senator Tom Lee (Chair)
- Senator Keith Perry (Vice Chair)
- Senator Aaron Bean
- Senator Ed Hooper
- Senator Travis Hutson
- Senator Janet Cruz
- Senator Linda Stewart
- Senator Annette Taddeo
Making Florida More Competitive is Essential for Jobs and Economic Growth
The 2019 Legislative Session begins in earnest next week, and as we prepare to enter this 60-day event, we are reminded that choices matter. The Florida Chamber of Commerce’s annual jobs and competitiveness policy agenda, commonly referred to as the Florida Business Agenda, is a set of priorities that will help grow private sector jobs, continue to create economic opportunity in Florida and further diversify our economy.
Year after year, the Florida Chamber has been on the front lines of solving issues that impact the competitiveness and future of Florida’s business climate. While time passes, our focus remains the same – to be the driving force in uniting Florida’s business community, creating economic opportunities and growing private-sector jobs.
In many ways, Florida is moving in the right direction; but the truth is, things are fragile. Political inaction and uncertainty, changing demographics and unprecedented amounts of out-of-state special interests pose a threat to Florida’s sustainability and competitiveness.
Making Florida more competitive is essential for economic growth and job creation, which is why the Florida Chamber is calling on lawmakers to reduce the cost of living, reduce the cost of doing business and to prepare for Florida’s future growth.
For more than eight years, Florida has outpaced the U.S. economy in job growth. Growing at just under 900 new residents daily, Florida Chamber Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish predicts that Florida will create 150,000 new jobs in 2019 and that the Sunshine State has a very low probability of recession.
I’ve often said that if Florida was a stock, I’d buy all the stock I could. While Florida’s economic outlook for 2019 is positive, it’s not without risks, which is why passing the Florida Chamber’s Jobs Agenda is so important.
Reducing the Cost of Living
When it comes to reducing the cost of living, the Florida Legislature should put consumers ahead of trial lawyers and finally end Assignment of Benefits (AOB) scams that the Wall Street Journal and others have consistently written about. I encourage you to learn more about AOB fraud and abuse by reading this Pensacola News Journal article that Harold Kim, COO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform and I recently published.
Lowering the Cost of Doing Business
To lower the cost of doing business, lawmakers must fix Florida’s broken lawsuit climate. Florida’s bottom-five legal climate translates to a $4,442 tax on Florida families. Click here to see what leaders from Allstate, Safelite, People’s Trust Insurance, and Ron Jon Surf Shop have to say about Florida’s “judicial hellhole.”
Preparing for Future Growth
With 26 million people expected to call Florida home by 2030, and three million more drivers on our roads, it’s important that Florida’s infrastructure is prepared for this future growth. Therefore the Florida Chamber and its Infrastructure Coalition recommend that lawmakers champion innovations and adequate funding in all modes of transportation, secure affordable, efficient and sustainable energy solutions, champion long-term, sustainable water and environmental policies and ensure proactive economic planning and development.
Further, preparing for future growth also means ensuring that we have a qualified workforce to close the talent gap. That’s why we will again encourage the legislature to prepare Florida’s workforce to address the skills gap, and improve attainment and access to higher education and post-secondary learning.
2019 Florida Business Agenda
During last week’s 2019 Legislative Fly-In we had the opportunity to share your 2019 Florida Business Agenda with Governor Ron DeSantis and members of the Florida Legislature, the Cabinet and state agency leaders. Chief among guest speakers were Governor DeSantis, who hosted Legislative Fly-In attendees at a reception at the Governor’s Mansion, Attorney General Ashley Moody, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran, Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Ken Lawson, Florida Department of Transportation Senior Policy Advisor Doug Callaway, Representative Chris Sprowls and Senators Wilton Simpson and Joe Gruters.
Each week during the legislative session, you’ll receive the Florida Chamber’s Weekly Legislative Update and learn the latest on how the Florida Business Agenda is fairing. When important “pro-biz” votes are scheduled, we’ll reach out and encourage you to share your support with lawmakers. And when there are bad “no-biz” bills that may force additional employer mandates on job creators, we’ll be there to push back against those who want free enterprise to fail.
Thank you for your support of free enterprise and in us.
President Bill Galvano’s Smart Infrastructure Proposal Gets a Hearing
Florida Chamber Supports President’s ‘Innovation in Infrastructure’ Plan
With 26 million people expected to call Florida home by 2030, and already more than 118 million people visiting Florida annually, smart infrastructure investments for the coming growth is more important than ever.
As the Florida Chamber announced last year, we are doubling down on our efforts to accelerate Florida forward. The Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition recently released its Infrastructure Report, which outlines key goals and strategies to ensure infrastructure systems respond to Florida’s changing needs.
Senate President Bill Galvano is championing “Innovation in Infrastructure” during the 2019 Legislative Session, and in fact, is using much of the Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Report as the baseline for his efforts.
“We have a responsibility to not only meet today’s needs, but also to anticipate tomorrow’s demands, including a focus on revitalizing historic rural Florida communities,” President Galvano said recently.
Today, the Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee held a workshop to discuss President Galvano’s infrastructure plans as they relate to multi-use corridors. These multi-use corridors, Polk County to Collier County, Suncoast Parkway Extension to Georgia, and Northern Turnpike Connector (Florida Turnpike northwest to the Suncoast Parkway), are part of a larger plan that includes not only traditional transportation elements like roads, bridges and sea/airports, it also includes utility and communication resources, clean water and reliable broadband connectivity.
“The Florida Chamber is pleased to work side-by-side with President Galvano to help ensure Florida’s infrastructure systems are prepared to meet our future population demand and support the continued economic growth of our state,” said David Hart, Executive Vice President, Florida Chamber of Commerce.
Thank President Bill Galvano
Please take a moment to send a quick email thanking President Galvano for putting the needs of Florida’s infrastructure systems on top of his 2019 legislative priority list. Contact Senate President Galvano at email@example.com.
Join The Infrastructure Coalition
Florida Is Embracing the Future of Autonomy
With our strong growth and attractive business climate, Florida needs to plan for tomorrow’s future today. By 2030, the Florida Chamber Foundation estimates that Florida will have another five million new people that call our state home, three million new drivers on our roadways, and tens of millions of new devices that will plug into our data network. As these technologies grow in number and complexity, the amount of data each individual uses will also increase dramatically.
In addition to the forces that we are familiar with, Florida is leading the charge on the adoption of autonomous vehicles. The Florida Chamber of Commerce has boldly declared their intent to make Florida the autonomous capital of the world. With our good laws on the books and openness to innovation, Florida has already welcomed six self-driving vehicle deployments across the state in places like Miami, Gainesville, Babcock Ranch, and the Villages. These new and transformational technologies have the potential to save thousands of lives and safely transport millions of goods and services, while unlocking incredible job opportunities for Floridians. But each of these vehicles will also create and use a tremendous amount of data.
Fortunately, private-sector businesses have created a solution: compact devices with incredible data capacity over a smaller range called “small cells.” These devices, working as a system, are the next generation of communications infrastructure. Companies in Florida are already installing small cells, but this 5G deployment is not happening fast enough to ensure Florida is able to cement its position as a global leader.
Simply put, in order for Florida to remain a leader in autonomous vehicles, smart devices, and the next generation of jobs, we must continue to push for the deployment of 5G across Florida. To make that happen, network carriers, infrastructure builders and local leaders must partner together to bring 5G to Florida.
Earlier this month, business leaders, industry experts and elected officials gathered for the Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2018 Florida Growth & Infrastructure Summit, where Florida’s future infrastructure needs and solutions were discussed. Leaders took a deep dive into the role innovation plays in Florida’s future. In partnership with the Society of Automotive Engineers, the summit also offered experiences to the public to take a drive in an autonomous vehicle and interact with the next generation of virtual reality.
In order for Florida to embrace these new technologies and future growth, we must build the digital highways of the future. That starts with more small cells.
Chris Emmanuel, Director of Infrastructure and Governance Policy, Florida Chamber of Commerce
Malcolm Eve is Crown Castle’s Public Affairs Manager for the South Area and serves on the Florida Chamber of Commerce (Infrastructure Coalition-Chair of the Economic Prosperity Work Group). Crown Castle owns, operates and leases more than 40,000 cell towers and approximately 65,000 route miles of fiber supporting small cells and fiber solutions across every major US market. This nationwide portfolio of communications infrastructure connects cities and communities to essential data, technology and wireless service – bringing information, ideas and innovations to the people and businesses that need them.
Preparing Florida’s Infrastructure for Smart Growth and Development
Think about it. Florida is already the third largest state in America and we’re growing by over 1,000 new residents every day. We have 21 million residents and we’ll grow by five million more by 2030. By then, we’ll have three million more drivers on our roads, 50 million more visitors and we’ll need 20 percent more water. The good news is that Florida’s business leaders have a plan and it’s getting traction. This is good for Florida, good for job creation and it’s a great way to Secure Florida’s Future.
While we’re growing, Florida is also becoming more diverse. Aging Baby Boomers will continue to swell Florida’s elder population and at the same time, the Millennial and GenX generations are growing as a share of Florida’s total population. As Florida’s population changes, it is important that our infrastructure systems respond to their changing needs. Creating long-term investments in Florida’s transportation, energy, water, telecommunications and agriculture infrastructure is essential. Our infrastructure needs to support growing demand as well as a wide range of options – from sustainable water solutions to autonomous transportation systems.
The Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida 2030 research outlines where Florida needs to be by 2030 to remain globally competitive. To secure Florida’s future, we must consider the water and energy needs for nearly five million more residents, be ready for the hard and soft infrastructure needs like broader telecommunications, improved roadways and railways, air, space and sea ports, ensure Floridians can connect to job opportunities, education, healthcare options, each other and the world, as well as support continued economic growth while preserving Florida’s essential environment and community assets.
How Do We Make Sure Florida Is Prepared for Smarter Growth?
The Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition, chaired by former Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Ananth Prasad, is focused on creating long-term investments in Florida’s energy, water, transportation, telecommunications, and agriculture infrastructure. With Washington, D.C.’s likely focus on infrastructure, the Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition aims to maximize Florida’s economic growth opportunities. And, here at the state level, double down on efforts to prepare for Florida’s growing population through infrastructure investments. As part of the Florida Chamber’s continuing efforts, we are working closely with state leaders like Senate President Bill Galvano to enact smarter growth policies that meet Florida’s long-term needs and will, this week, present recommendations the Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition has prepared for Florida’s elected officials to consider.
The Florida Chamber understands the importance innovation and technology play in Florida’s future- specifically as they relate to Florida’s infrastructure future. Florida 2030 research estimates that by 2030, more than 25 percent of all miles driven (including freight) could be by autonomous vehicles. With guidance and leadership from state leaders like Senator Jeff Brandes, Syd Kitson of Babcock Ranch and Grayson Brulte of Brulte & Company, the Florida Chamber created Autonomous Florida, a statewide initiative that works to ensure Florida continues leading the way in autonomous transportation. Our vision? To make Florida the autonomous capital of “all things autonomous” in North America.
I believe Florida will continue to grow and we can remain competitive if we plan better for the next five million residents than we did for the last five million.
This week, leaders from around Florida and the nation will gather at American’s first solar powered town, Babcock Ranch for the Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2018 Growth & Infrastructure Summit, to discuss the future of Florida’s transportation and infrastructure systems, as well as outline the strategies needed to grow smarter. Governor-elect DeSantis, Senate President Galvano and House Speaker Oliva have all signaled an interest in keeping innovation and infrastructure at the core of Florida’s economic development future. This is great news as we fight to Secure Florida’s Future.
December 10, 2018
Preparing Florida’s Infrastructure for Smarter Growth
In Florida, Infrastructure is Economic Development. By 2030, Florida will have 3 million more drivers on our roads, 50 million more annual visitors and 5 million more residents. Creating long-term investments in Florida’s transportation, energy, water, telecommunications and agriculture infrastructure is essential. The Florida Chamber of Commerce constantly fights to ensure Florida’s future infrastructure needs are met. A unified voice from Florida’s business community is key to the fight.
How Can You Help?
Be part of the conversation by attending the Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2018 Growth & Infrastructure Summit, December 11 in Orlando. Click here to learn more and to register.
Are Florida’s Infrastructure Systems Ready for 2030?
Join Statewide Leaders at Florida’s Growth & Infrastructure Summit Register Today
How will Florida handle the increase in population that is expected by 2030 and how do we prepare for this growth? Join business and industry leaders from around Florida at the Growth and Infrastructure Summit to discuss these issues and more:
- Florida’s transportation opportunities,
- The future of Florida’s Trade & Logistics 2.0 report,
- Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition,
- Autonomous Florida, and
- Florida’s current and future infrastructure needs.
Florida Chamber Foundation 2018 Growth & Infrastructure Summit
December 11, 2018, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Healthy Life Center at Babcock Ranch
42880 Crescent Loop, Suite 100
Babcock Ranch, FL 33982
Attendees will also take a deeper dive into the Infrastructure and Growth Leadership portion of Florida 2030, the Florida Chamber Foundation’s three-year, multi-million dollar research project- and learn what more than 10,000 Florida leaders said about Florida’s future.
Registration Open for Florida Chamber Infrastructure Coalition Webinar
Adequately preparing for INFRASTRUCTURE to support Florida’s growing population and increasing visitors will require a unified voice from Florida’s business community. Be sure to mark your calendars for the Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition’s next webinar on Tuesday, July 31 where business leaders will discuss Florida’s future infrastructure needs, as well as other key factors.
While other states have failed to be responsible stewards of their infrastructure, Florida’s public and private sectors continue to invest in infrastructure at record levels, even funding the federal share of many projects. It is important for Florida’s business community to work together to ensure Florida does not get shortchanged on any future federal funding because other states failure to invest in their infrastructure. YOUR help is needed. Click here to join the Florida Chamber Infrastructure Coalition today.
Join Senator Bill Galvano for a Discussion on Florida’s Future Infrastructure Growth
Creating long-term investments in Florida’s energy, water, transportation, telecommunications, and rural infrastructure is a vital part of effectively preparing for Florida’s future infrastructure needs.
The Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition, chaired by Ananth Prasad, President-Designate, Florida Transportation Builders Association, is committed to leading this discussion. Join us for a webinar on June 26 where Senator Bill Galvano, Florida Senate President Designate, will share why one of his biggest priorities as Senate President will be Florida’s infrastructure needs.
The Webinar Will Also Feature Discussions About:
Opportunities for better integration – leveraging innovation and technology for infrastructure development which improves accessibility.
- ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY:
Advancing the development of rural infrastructure and future corridors that are cross-sector focused – addressing energy, digital and connectivity gaps.
Advancing strategic infrastructure investments that support and expand global competitiveness and position Florida as the hub for trade and logistics.
Small Business, Big Threat: Florida SBDC Network Offers Education, Resources to Arm Small Businesses Against Cyber-Attacks
Cybersecurity has become an increased threat for Florida’s small businesses. The rise in technology, faster internet, and enhanced connectivity yields greater cybersecurity threats, especially for small businesses, who often lack the resources and expertise to safeguard their employees, profits, business, and customers.
According to The Ponemon Institute’s 2017 State of Cybersecurity in Small & Medium-Sized Businesses report, 61 percent of businesses experienced a cyber attack last year, up from 55 percent in 2016. Further, according to UPS Capital, 60 percent of small businesses go out of business within six months of an attack, which can cost between $84,000 and $148,000. These statistics show that small businesses can no longer afford to sit back and hope that it won’t happen to them.
To answer the call to protect small businesses from cybersecurity threats, the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, the state’s principal provider of small business assistance, recently partnered with Ridge Global, a globally-recognized risk management and cybersecurity firm, to launch the Byte-Size Small Business Cybersecurity Program. The program, provided at no-cost to small businesses statewide, offers small businesses the education and resources to arm themselves against cyberattacks.
Through the Byte-Size program, the Florida SBDC Network offers workshops covering four topics: basic cybersecurity threats to small businesses, security, remediation, and cybersecurity resources. The foundation of these workshops is an in-depth resource guide and toolkit to help small businesses be more cybersecure.
In addition, Florida SBDC Network professionally certified business consultants are also available to help small businesses prepare comprehensive cybersecurity plans and with other individual needs at no cost.
In December 2017, the Florida SBDC Network partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Florida International University, and the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce to hold the Florida Cybersecurity Conference in Miami. The event, which served as the ceremonial kick-off of the network’s Byte-Size program, brought together top experts both locally and nationally from government, law enforcement, and the private sector to help small businesses develop, evaluate, and strengthen their cybersecurity programs.
To learn more about the program, and to find a workshop near you, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org/cyber.
Sigh the Petition Today
Cyber threats are increasing in frequency, scale, and sophistication. If you believe Florida’s business community and government must work together to address expanding cyber security threats, sign the petition today.
Lockheed Martin Leads the Pack in Cybersecurity Protections
The cyber threat landscape is more dynamic than ever. Reports detail a global proliferation of malicious and criminal cyber activity at a time when we are increasingly dependent on cyber capabilities in all aspects of our lives. There are no longer international boundaries, with state actors experimenting with offensive cyber capabilities. Moreover, cyber criminals are broadening their efforts to achieve higher value pay-outs from citizens, organizations and institutions. Thankfully, Lockheed Martin employees in Central Florida are working hard to ward off malicious activity and have a sharp eye on protecting U.S. military assets. The Florida Chamber recently spoke with Deon Viergutz, Vice President, Lockheed Martin Cyber Solutions about the company’s cybersecurity initiatives and workforce.
Q: Earlier this year, Lockheed Martin secured a $33 million contract from the U.S. Army to enhance the military’s cybersecurity efforts. Please share your organization’s efforts in helping make sure our nation’s defense infrastructure is secure from the cybersecurity perspective and the impact it has on Florida’s growing technology sector.
DV: Lockheed Martin is a global leader delivering full-spectrum cyber capabilities – supporting the offensive and defensive efforts of our defense, intelligence community and national security customers. This is a growing field – in fact, you’ll find more cyber-related sections in the recent National Defense Authorization Act than previous NDAAs. Within Lockheed Martin, our team has been the prime contractor supporting the National Cyber Range and its mission to perform cyber testing and training activities, beginning with the range’s initial development under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Since then, we’ve provided secure facilities, innovative technologies, and repeatable processes that create high fidelity, mission-representative cyberspace environments for the Department of Defense’s acquisition programs and Cyber Mission Force. Furthermore, the team is leveraging their experience in creating, maintaining and executing complex training environments for the Persistent Cyber Training Environment competition – a U.S. Army contract in which we’re vying that has a ceiling of $750 million. These give you a sample of the many contracts we support, most of which are classified in nature. This work has translated to an increase in high quality technology jobs in the local community.
Q: What are some of the emerging technology trends in the cyber space and what’s Lockheed involvement in them?
DV: There are two key emerging areas that will truly change the 21st century battlefield and we’re making internal research and development investments in both. The first is using artificial intelligence to collect, collate, sift, analyze and share vast amounts of information with the intelligence community. This is a significant problem as warfighters are overloaded with keeping track of threats. The second area is in training and simulation. Our Orlando team is on the cutting edge of technology development in this area. As we look to the future for training and simulation, I see tremendous opportunities to help our customers advance training realism and point of need training, while helping them meet their budget needs. Our Lockheed Martin team is focused on redefining mission readiness because simulation saves money and training saves lives.
Q: Employers regularly tell us a qualified “workforce” is their biggest concern. How difficult is it for Lockheed to fill these important cybersecurity/STEM jobs?
DV: There’s certainly a shortage of cleared cyber talent and research shows the number of unfilled cyber jobs is expected to rise to 3.5 million by 2021. That said, we’re partnering with academic and government organizations to invest in and develop a broad array of programs that strengthen the pipeline of STEM talent by inspiring children early, reaching out to the underrepresented, opening mentoring, training and internship opportunities, and partnering with higher education to provide apprenticeships, clearance programs, and job offers. Luckily for us, local institutions such as the University of Central Florida and other universities are graduating tremendous talent in the cyber field. My advice for high school or undecided college students is to seriously consider a job in cyber. Not only are there plenty of job opportunities, but the mission of helping militaries around the world keep their citizens safe is unmatched by any other industry.
Sign the Petition Today
Cyber threats are increasing in frequency, scale, and sophistication. If you believe Florida’s business community and government must work together to address expanding cyber security threats, sign the petition today.
 Cybersecurity Ventures website
Florida Chamber of Commerce Doubles Down On Infrastructure and Growth Leadership Efforts
Infrastructure Coalition to Serve as Unified Voice of Business Preparing for Florida’s Future Growth
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (May 4, 2018) – The Florida Chamber of Commerce today announced a reinforced undertaking of its long and steady infrastructure and growth leadership efforts. The Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition will serve as the unified voice of business preparing for Florida’s future growth.
“With 26 million people expected to call Florida home by 2030, a growing Florida means a growing need for infrastructure to support our increasing population and increasing visitors,” said MARK WILSON, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce.
The Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition is focused on creating long-term investments in Florida’s energy, water, transportation, telecommunications, and agriculture infrastructure. With Washington, D.C.’s renewed focus on infrastructure, the Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition aims to maximize Florida’s economic growth opportunities. And at the state level, double down on efforts to prepare for Florida’s growing population through infrastructure investments.
“Florida’s economy will reach $1 trillion by the end of 2018, and it’s important that we continue to focus on strategic, innovative and transformative infrastructure investments that will allow Florida to continue to compete and succeed on a global scale,” said SENATE PRESIDENT DESIGNATE BILL GALVANO, who has placed infrastructure among his top legislative priorities. “By working together with the business community and the Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition, we can ensure a prosperous future for Florida.”
Ananth Prasad, President-Designate, Florida Transportation Builders’ Association, and former Department of Transportation Secretary will spearhead the Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition. During Prasad’s time as Florida Department of Transportation Secretary, he continued to protect Florida’s Transportation Trust Fund, allowing fundamental infrastructure projects to flourish. He is also credited with creating historic investments in Florida’s transportation infrastructure.
“As we look toward the future of infrastructure in Florida, we must dream big,” said ANANTH PRASAD, President-Designate, Florida Transportation Builders’ Association. “Tourism is up, Florida’s population continues to grow, and now, we must match it with innovations in every mode of infrastructure to move people and goods more efficiently.”
The Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition will soon travel to Washington, D.C. to meet with members of Florida’s Congressional Delegation and officials at the U.S. Department of Transportation during National Infrastructure Week. The Infrastructure Coalition will provide its list of recommended infrastructure investments to state and federal leaders.
Learn more about the Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition by visiting www.FloridaChamber.com/Infrastructure
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The Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.
Florida’s Competitiveness in the New Economy
One of the most interesting national news stories over the past year has been Amazon’s quest to identify a location for its second corporate headquarters. Dozens of American cities and regions, as well parts of Canada, entered the sweepstakes to land the big prize. Recently, Amazon pared the list down to 20 “finalists.”
As one might expect, the list of finalists is quite diverse. All parts of the country are represented, as well as all types of climates – not just Mother Nature, but political, tax, and regulatory climates. However, there is one thought-provoking factor that all finalist cities have in common, which is a clear commitment to infrastructure development. More than tax levels and regulatory environments, it appears that a community’s investment in infrastructure is what truly coalesces the 20 finalists.
Many of the finalist cities have, for generations, made wholesale infrastructure investments in the foundational building blocks of the old economy. As a result, most have world-class highway systems, expansive commuter and commercial rail networks, and airports and seaports that support the movement of goods and services throughout their regions and underpin their local economies. But, it’s their investment in the modern economy (whether it’s the workforce of the future or the commercial highways of the future) that sets them apart. They are investing in the communications infrastructure that powers the digital economy, which is paramount for 21st century companies like Amazon who demand access to the best available services.
It is undeniable that the marketplace of the future lives online and will be driven by wireless connectivity. We are entering a world where almost everything imaginable, from retail to investing to healthcare delivery, will be dependent on the internet. In the past, consumers and commerce were connected by arteries of steel and concrete; now we are connected digitally through communications infrastructure systems consisting of fiber optic cables, towers, DAS networks, and small cell nodes which power our devices. Crown Castle is at the forefront of leading that change.
Our communications infrastructure will be critical to Florida’s efforts to lead in the new economy. We are working with state and local leaders and encouraging them to work together in concert with the builders of wireless networks like ours to streamline and expedite the deployment of next generation infrastructure that will serve to as the backbone for what’s known as the 5G network. We know that forward thinking in our approach to connectivity protects our future economic competitiveness.
The conversation at the local, state, and national level about communications infrastructure demonstrates how important it is to our economy, and even our national security. Crown Castle is partnering with communities across the state to build the 5G infrastructure that will help us compete in the economy of today and tomorrow.
Written by Crown Castle