Our Next Giant Leap
The next great era on Florida’s Space Coast is just beginning.
A giant leap is happening, one prepared by history and poised for the future. A leap forged by a unique mix of game-changing pioneers and legacy powerhouses is reinventing the one-of-a-kind Florida’s Space Coast — a giant leap that is just beginning.
This new chapter, cultivated from decades of community collaboration and strategic economic development, is setting up community leaders and organizations, such as the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast (EDC), for their next steps to define history and the Space Coast’s next great era.
ON THE HEELS OF SUCCESS
On Feb. 2, 2022 the EDC unveiled its next initiative, which will continue to propel the Space Coast’s next giant leap, at the organization's 2021/2022 annual meeting, held at the Nyami Nyami River Lodge at Brevard Zoo. But before this exciting new endeavor was revealed, a look back at the previous year illustrated the success of the EDC’s continued mission to secure Brevard’s economic future.
Entering 2022, the Space Coast had many reasons for optimism; 2021 started with the news that Brevard County launched to the second strongest economy in the nation as ranked in the Milken Institute's Best Performing Cities index — rocketing up 47 spots on this prestigious list in just three years. The Space Coast also just landed in the top 25 of EMSI’s Annual Talent Attraction Scorecard, which reveals the communities leading the way in the competition for talent.
How are these rankings being achieved? For over a decade, the EDC and its community partners have forged the way for positive economic development. This year, the EDC continued with positive news with the announcement that Space Perspective, the world’s leading spaceflight experience company, selected Florida’s Space Coast for the company’s worldwide campus and manufacturing complex — a $38 million investment that will spark 240 new jobs.
This comes after the exciting announcements last year that Terran Orbital will invest $300 million on the Space Coast with the addition of 2,100 new high-paying jobs, and that Dark Storm Industries will relocate to Titusville to expand its advanced manufacturing facility.
New announcements are just the start of exciting news. Past EDC projects continue to flourish, demonstrating the positive impact of long-term economic development, some examples include:
- Northrop Grumman marked five years of B-21 progress from its Melbourne campus with two test aircraft in production.
- Lockheed Martin opened its STAR center in Titusville, expanding operations for its Orion program — one the EDC fought to bring here in 2006.
- L3Harris announced it was expanding its satellite production as the company continues to grow its global headquarters on the Space Coast.
- Embraer announced the delivery of its 1,500th business jet from its Melbourne production facility.
- Blue Origin’s direct employment has reached 1,000 in Brevard County as of December 2021, with more than $1.5 billion in capital investment and more than 1 million square feet of manufacturing, test, and launch facility space.
In addition, the EDC’s program of work sparked the launch of its Space Coast Military Friendly Guide on SpaceCoastSalutes.com, a keystone to helping military families gain an edge on the area before they even step foot on Brevard soil, and a new manufacturing awareness campaign at www.SeeMFG.org.
With all this exciting news, we also watched as more American astronauts returned to space from American soil — a return we waited over a decade for. Plus, we see the benefits of economic development with new developments from one end of the county to another, from new hotels and thriving downtowns.
The Next Step to Our Giant Leap
A changing of the economic development landscape is shifting how economic development organizations drive their programs of work. In 2019, the leaders of the EDC reviewed their strategic plan with a view toward current factors, drivers and deficiencies, leading to the introduction of the organization’s newest focus area — community of choice. Community of choice aims to distinguish Florida’s Space Coast as the place to live and work partnering with organizations to define, develop and market community assets.
During the EDC’s Annual Meeting, a new endeavor of this focus area was introduced — a branding effort to distinguish the Space Coast as a place to live, work and play. As there has been a shift across all generations, reprioritizing the role a community places in our lives, this branding initiative will attract quality talent needed for our growing industries and businesses, beyond the traditional economic development drivers. A quality brand will give us a location identity apart from Central Florida and the world and an awareness that will reflect our heritage, vision and unique assets.
The EDC will partner with community stakeholders over the next 18 months to discover and define this unique brand — stay tuned for more on the Space Coast’s next giant leap by following the EDC at www.SpaceCoastEDC.org
What makes the Space Coast unique?
Discover some of our great attributes in the EDC’s video, “Florida’s Space Coast: One Small Step for Your Giant Leap” at: bit.ly/FLSCNextGiantLeap