Thousands of high-paying jobs came to Broward County during the last fiscal year, and the county’s economic development agency projects that the future looks bright for continued job growth.
That was the message at the recent Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance Annual Dinner held at the Signature Grand in Davie.
More than 750 people attended the event, where the economic engine reported it assisted businesses in creating 1,978 new high-value jobs, retaining 1,967 jobs and securing a total of $256 million in new capital investment during the 2016-17 fiscal year ended Sept. 30.
Like past years, the economic development agency offered insights into its gains and wins during the past fiscal year. One of the key accomplishments the Alliance touted in its annual report was the expansion of the Canadian pharmaceutical company Apotex in Miramar, which created 150 new jobs and brought in a capital investment of $184 million.
Another one of its key impact projects was announced just this week. Sixt Rent A Car, a luxury car rental service with more than 2,000 locations in over 100 countries established its North American headquarters in Fort Lauderdale. As a result of the local expansion, the company will be creating 300 new jobs and making a capital investment of $10.4 million to the county.
During the annual meeting, the Alliance welcomed Jennifer O’Flannery Anderson, vice president for advancement and community relations at Nova Southeastern University, as its 2017-18 Chair. She takes over for exiting chair Bill White, co-founder and principal of Compass Office Solutions.
One of the highlights of the annual event is the Alliance‘s Ray Ferrero, Jr. Economic Development Leadership Award, which honors those who have made extraordinary contributions to Broward County.
AutoNation Chairman and CEO Mike Jackson presented the award to this year’s honoree Nova Southeastern University President George L. Hanbury, who he lauded for expanding the university’s programs and elevating its national profile.
“We want this to be a destination not just for service and minimum wage jobs but for middle and upper class jobs,” Hanbury said, during his acceptance of the award.
The event’s keynote speaker Vincent “Vinnie” Viola, owner of the Florida Panthers and chairman emeritus of Virtu Financial, said that he believes the future of South Florida and Broward County looks bright.
“I want to dearly tell you how optimistic I am about South Florida and Greater Fort Lauderdale,” Viola said. “We [the Panthers] expect to be here for a long time.”
Over the past 11 years, the Alliance helped businesses create or retain more than 28,000 direct jobs, 62,000 indirect jobs, resulting in $2.4 billion in annual personal income and $12.3 billion in annual economic impact, it said.