Closing gap between skilled workers, employment opportunities

Holly D. Smith

Just drive through Lee County and it’s evident by the bustling construction, new buildings opening and increased traffic that the area is booming, and statistics overwhelmingly support that conclusion.

Holly Smith

According to the US Census Bureau and US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Lee County’s population has grown by 3.3% annually and is currently estimated at 802,178. On average, there are 90 new residents moving to Lee County every day. Business growth continues as well, with approximately 43,000 businesses now operating in Lee County. Job growth is up 5% over last year and Lee County has enjoyed explosive growth in every business sector, including health care, life sciences, logistics, manufacturing and technology. In fact, Lee County is the fifth most economically diverse county in Florida, according to Florida Atlantic University.

To continue this successful track, a thriving Lee County business climate is dependent upon support from community partners as well as the private sector. As members of the Horizon Foundation, local business “visionaries” commit financially to Lee County’s economic future. The nonprofit Horizon Foundation privately funds the Horizon Council, a public-private board that advises Lee County’s Board of County Commissioners and the Lee County Economic Development Office on economic development issues. The groups’ mission is to improve the business environment by retaining and encouraging the growth of existing businesses while also attracting new, diversified employers. Known as the “voice of business” in Lee County, this trifecta partnership of the Horizon Council, Horizon Foundation and Lee County Economic Development Office has created a business-friendly environment that continues to attract top talent, new companies and entrepreneurs from around the globe.

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