100+ Economic Development Leaders Meet at Hammock Beach Resort


More than 100 economic development leaders from throughout the state of Florida met for a two-day conference this week at the Hammock Beach Golf Resort & Spa. These professionals and site selectors meet annually at Florida Power & Light’s Illumination Conference. This was the second consecutive year these professionals met in Flagler County to discuss the latest trends in the economy, workforce and more. Thanks to our partnership with Flagler County Government, the Palm Coast-Flagler Regional Chamber attended the 2024 Illumination Conference, Presented by Florida Power & Light.

Below is a brief recap of the conversations attending economic development professionals were having:

  • Florida ranked 9th in the nation in economic development deals (luring out of state or international companies to relocate or grow their business in Florida
  • In 2023, Florida closed 127 economic development deals, each of which averaged 95 jobs and $5.3 million in capital investment.
  • Nationally, the trend is leaning toward securing higher quality office space.
  • Jacksonville, FL added more than 380,000 sq/ft of office space in 2023.
  • Nationally, advanced manufacturing companies represent a majority of industrially-zoned land deals for economic development projects.
  • U.S. manufacturing companies are spending at a 10-year high on new construction for additional facilities.
  • Economic concerns continue to persist regarding the impact of inflation and high interest rates.
  • The national workforce is aging, particularly in the trades. Causing concerns about replacing an aging workforce as they begin to retire.
  • Low unemployment rates may make it more difficult to secure qualified talent for future job growth.
  • 2024 National Growth Industries: Manufacturing, Data Centers, Clean Tech, Cold Storage, E-Commerce and Electric Vehicles
  • A thoughtful discussion occurred regarding the availability of land for future economic development projects. The availability of land is becoming as important as workforce-related issues.
  • Attainable housing for future employees and the previously mentioned aging workforce are among the top labor challenges.

The Palm Coast-Flagler Regional Chamber of Commerce thanks Florida Power & Light and Flagler County Government for their partnership and commitment to supporting Florida’s economy.