The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Announces the Jacksonville Area May 2021 Employment Data
~Jacksonville Metro Area Private Sector Employment Increased by 49,800 Jobs Over the Year~
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announced Florida has experienced thirteen consecutive months of job growth, gaining 595,000 private sector jobs over the year and 839,800 jobs since the height of the pandemic. In May, Florida gained 35,800 private sector jobs and added more than 52,500 online job postings over the month for a total of 512,858 available jobs posted online throughout the state. Florida’s unemployment rate of 4.9 percent has remained below the national rate, currently at 5.8 percent, for ten consecutive months. Florida’s unemployment rate has dramatically lowered over the year, decreasing by 9.3 percentage points.
The unemployment rate in the Jacksonville area was 4.2 percent in May, down from 11.0 percent reported in May 2020. The Jacksonville area private sector employment increased by 49,800 jobs over the year, an increase of 8.3 percent. The industries gaining the most jobs over the year include leisure and hospitality, increasing by 13,600 jobs, and trade, transportation, and utilities, increasing by 11,500 jobs.
Floridians in search of work and new job opportunities are encouraged to turn to the CareerSource Florida network for help. Floridians can find guidance to register with Employ Florida (EmployFlorida.com) and search listings of available local job openings. Career seekers also can improve employability assistance, perfecting resume writing, interviewing skills, establishing career goals, and pursuing customized career training. These services are provided at no cost to job seekers.
To view the May 2021 employment data, visit www.floridajobs.org/labor-market-information/labor-market-information-press-releases/monthly-press-releases.
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Announces Additional $175 Million Available Through "Rebuild Florida Mitigation"
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
June 17, 2021
Today, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced local governments can now apply for $175 million through the Rebuild Florida Mitigation General Infrastructure Program. This program is designed to assist local governments and state agencies with making Florida communities more resilient to future disasters by developing large-scale mitigation projects.
“Governor DeSantis is committed to bolstering Florida’s infrastructure, and the Rebuild Florida Mitigation General Infrastructure Program is an opportunity to ensure our state’s resiliency to future storms,” said Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Secretary Dane Eagle. “Florida is no stranger to natural disasters, and this mitigation funding will allow Florida communities to transform and make long-term investments in their infrastructure.”
Local governments and state agencies may apply for funding to propose projects that meet program requirements, including benefiting low- and moderate-income (LMI) populations. Nonprofits and non-governmental organizations may also apply in partnership with a local government or a state agency. The funds are allocated to the state through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant – Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) program formed in response to the 2016 to 2018 presidentially declared disasters.
The deadline to complete and submit an application is Friday, September 17, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. (EST). DEO will be available to provide technical assistance to communities during the application process. For more information about the program and technical assistance, including how to complete an application, visit the Rebuild Florida Mitigation General Infrastructure Program’s webpage.
To provide more information about the Rebuild Florida Mitigation General Infrastructure Program, the Department will host a webinar at 2:00 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, June 24, 2021. The registration link for the webinar is available here.
According to the guidelines set by the Federal Register, at least 50 percent of CDBG-MIT funds must be spent in HUD-designated Most Impacted and Distressed (MID) areas, with the remaining funds spent in state-designated MID areas. This CDBG-MIT funding is available for use in 51 Florida counties.
The Department is the governor-designated state authority responsible for administering all U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) long-term recovery and mitigation funds awarded to the state. Rebuild Florida uses federal funding for Florida’s long-term recovery efforts from the devastating impacts of natural disasters. For more information, visit RebuildFlorida.gov.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity combines the state’s economic, workforce and community development efforts, expediting economic development projects to fuel job creation in competitive communities and promote economic resiliency. For more information, including valuable resources for employers and job seekers, please visit www.FloridaJobs.org.
The City of Fernandina Beach encourages its residents, business owners, employees, and students to play an integral role in shaping the future of our community by attending an outdoor public workshop at Central Park on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, at 5pm. The event will feature a series of booths focusing on various topics such as Housing, Transportation, Resiliency, Development, and Capital Funding. This family friendly workshop will feature interactive booths for both adults and children. Food trucks will be available on-site. If you are unable to attend the workshop, online surveys are available to obtain your input. The city welcomes your attendance and survey input. Please visit the City’s website at www.fbfl.us/Vision2045.
For additional information or questions regarding Vision 2045, please contact the City’s Planning & Conservation Director, Kelly N. Gibson, AICP, at 904-310-3480 or by email at email@example.com.
Florida Department of Transportation
June 18, 2021
Today, the Florida Department of Transportation received Outstanding Project Awards from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Florida (ACEC-FL) for seven projects throughout the state. Each year, the ACEC-FL, an affiliate of the Florida Engineering Society’s (FES) Professional Engineers in Private Practice (PEPP), recognizes outstanding achievements by its member firms in accomplishing Florida transportation projects.
“Despite the past year’s challenges, FDOT has continued to deliver significant roadway options and solutions to Florida motorists and taxpayers through collaborative innovations. When we leverage partnerships and expand options for Floridians, we improve the quality of life for the community, said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin J. Thibault, P.E. “I applaud our teams for these distinctive awards as they are a direct reflection of FDOT’s commitment to providing safe and reliable infrastructure for Floridians for years to come.” The FDOT projects chosen as the winning projects for the ACEC-FL Outstanding Project Awards are:
Each year, FDOT’s Central Office, Districts and, Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise submit projects for consideration. Awards will be distributed at the Florida Engineering Society’s annual conference in August.
The City of Fernandina Beach would like to welcome Jeff Tambasco to the team. Mr. Tambasco will start in mid-July as the new Deputy Police Chief, replacing Mark Foxworth who succeeded Chief James Hurley following Chief Hurley’s retirement earlier this year. City Manager Dale Martin congratulates Chief Foxworth and the entire staff of the Police Department for the successful recruitment of such an outstanding candidate to serve this community.
Mr. Tambasco has over 25 years of law enforcement experience, much of which was at a supervisory and management level. He retired from the Kissimmee Police Department as a Captain and since his retirement has been serving as the Desoto County (FL) Emergency Manager.
During his career with the Kissimmee Police Department, Jeff commanded the Patrol Division, the Special Operations Division, the Support Services Division, and the Criminal Investigations Division. He possesses a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice, multiple instructor certifications and he is a graduate of the Southern Police Institute’s 44th Command Officer Development Course, the FBI Executive Leadership Course, and the Florida Police Chief Association’s Future Police Chief’s Course.
Mr. Tambasco was born in Pennsylvania and moved to Central Florida with his parents at a young age. Jeff is married to his wife Candy, they have 3 children, Courtney, Colin, and Caleb and 1 grandchild Olivia.
PulteGroup to Join Riverside Homes in Phase Two Build-Out
WILDLIGHT, Fla. – June 16, 2021 – Raydient Places + Properties announced today that PulteGroup, the nation’s third largest homebuilder, has been selected as the newest homebuilder for Wildlight. PulteGroup will bring 85 single-family homes to phase two of Forest Park, joining Mattamy Homes and Riverside Homes. In addition, Riverside Homes will expand its current offerings in Forest Park by building over 40 additional homes in Wildlight’s second neighborhood.
“With PulteGroup’s notable success in the Northeast Florida community, we are delighted in welcoming them on board to Wildlight,” said Wes Hinton, vice president of Wildlight. “Additionally, Riverside Homes has been an exceptional partner and we are looking forward to both homebuilders expanding phase two of Forest Park.”
Earlier this year, PulteGroup announced it will be building a Del Webb active adult community in Wildlight slated to open early 2022. The gated luxe neighborhood will offer well-designed floor plans with active and resort-style amenities for exploration and recreation spanning approximately six acres. Exclusively for adults 55 and older, residents will enjoy Del Webb at Wildlight’s amenities including a 12,000-square-foot amenity center, a resort-style and lap pool, tennis and pickleball courts, 10 miles of walking trails, and a dog park, to name a few.
“Based on the significant growth in Nassau County and the tremendous success of Wildlight, we expect strong home buyer interest for our newest offering at Wildlight,” said Tony Nason, vice president of operations at PulteGroup’s North Florida Division. “Wildlight is a wonderful community for families of all ages to live with beautiful homesites, exceptional amenities and convenient access to excellent schools, employment centers, entertainment and outdoor recreation.”
Pulte Homes in phase two of Wildlight’s Forest Park will embody Wildlight’s overall Florida Lowcountry and coastal aesthetic. Each of the consumer-inspired homes will showcase design characteristics such as flexible indoor and outdoor entertaining areas, Smart Home technology, innovative work and study from home options and interactive design tools to create a personalized home layout. Featuring one and two-story floor plans with up to five bedrooms and four baths and ranging in size from approximately 1,700 to 3,200+ square feet. Pulte Homes will start in the low $300s, equipped with sustainable and energy-efficient systems.
Locally owned, Riverside Homes was founded by visionaries Chris Wood and Matt Roberts who have a combined two decades of experience in the Jacksonville market. Riverside Homes will continue to offer their thoughtfully designed floor plans ranging from approximately 2,500 to 3,700 square feet on larger manor home lots, offering desirable preserve and lake views. Home designs will highlight the spirit of the original Florida and the surrounding lush landscape through features such as high ceilings, sweeping front porches, expansive lanais, and large windows. The Riverside Homes prices will range from the $500s.
“With the success of our homesites in the first phase of Forest Park, we are excited to continue our partnership with Wildlight by offering many of the same popular floor plans, including our award-winning Ortega plan,” shared Chris Wood, principal of Riverside Homes.
Riverside Homes is expected to begin construction of new homes in fall 2021. PulteGroup is expected to begin construction on model homes in August with plans to open for sales by fall 2021.
During the month of June’s Community Outreach, Keller Williams Realty, on Amelia Island, is assisting our community by collecting gift cards in any amount for the Community Hospice & Palliative Care Pet Program.
The Community Hospice & Palliative Care Pet Program allows hospice patients to complete their end-of-life journey with the comfort and companionship of their beloved pet, without having to worry about their pet’s current or future needs.
Unfortunately, many people in hospice care are physically or financially unable to care for their pets, but still benefit greatly from their presence. Simple tasks are difficult, if not impossible at this stage of life.
The Pet Program provides solutions to these challenging situations by ensuring patients’ pets are getting all their needs met with the same loving care their families have given them but with the help of Community Hospice & Palliative Care’s specially trained volunteers.
The program assists hospice patients’ by providing the following for their pets: Basic in-home pet care, delivery of pet food, grooming and foster care or placement of the pet when the patient dies. This relieves the patients of the worry of what will happen to their beloved companion after they are gone.
Please consider giving a gift card from any variety, grocery, pet, or Visa/Master Card to help facilitate these important services. Any denomination is helpful. They will be used to facilitate these services for the pets of those in end-of-life care. (Cash is also a welcome gift to the program!)
These gift cards may be dropped off at the front desk of the Keller Williams Realty office at 4800 1st Coast Hwy. Suite #230, Amelia Island, in the Harris Teeter, Shops at Amelia Market Plaza. (M-F. 9-2)
You can also foster or adopt, as well as volunteer or make a charitable donation to this important program by visiting support.communityhospice.com/donate. The Community Hospice & Palliative Care volunteer coordinator, Chris Whitney can be reached at 904.407.5204 or CWhitney@communityhospice.com.
Open to All® is a nonprofit campaign to transform America. At a time of deep divisions, we’re joining together from all walks of life and work to build a thriving and inclusive nation where all are welcome.
We know that building a stronger country means everyone should feel safe, respected and accepted as they live, shop, and work.
Yet far too often, we hear stories of discrimination, such as a Black woman targeted at a restaurant, Muslim women ordered to leave a café, people with disabilities being harassed in a restaurant, or an employee being fired just for being gay or transgender.
Open to All says: We must all lead the way to doing better.
At the core of changing our country, Open to All is a national nondiscrimination campaign based around the idea that everyone should be welcome regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, immigration status, religion or disability. We believe we all have something to contribute. We believe we can all learn from each other. We believe that when we work together, when we value our employees, when we care for our customers and each other, we all thrive.
Open to All is a growing coalition of more than 200 non-profits, from the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Anti-Defamation League to disability groups, LGBTQ groups, faith organizations and more. We also unite thousands of large and small businesses across the country committed to being Open to All.
Never before have so many businesses and nonprofits joined together in a single, unified campaign that sends a message that everyone is welcome, valued and respected. Because when a business is open to the public, it should be open to all.
Join the hundreds of thousands of members of the Open to All coalition and help transform America.
For a limited time, Open to All slicks and posters will be available at the Nassau County Chamber of Commerce. Chamber members can call (904) 261-3248 or email info@NassauCountyFLChamber.com to have posters dropped off at their business. Non-members may stop by the Chamber office, located at 961687 Gateway Blvd., Suite 101-G in Fernandina Beach, to pick up materials.
To reduce the number of unintended dog and cat litters in our area low cost spay/neuter vouchers are now available at Cat’s Angels and Nassau Humane Society, Fernandina Beach, Nassau County Animal Services, Yulee and Camden Humane Society, Georgia.
To qualify for the program, applicants will be asked to provide an ID, and one of the following:
Medicaid card, EBT food stamp card, disability check stub, 2020 tax return demonstrating less than $25,000 per individual, or $40,000 per couple.
All services will be performed at First Coast No More Homeless Pets in Jacksonville. The program is sponsored by Cat’s Angels, for more information, call (904) 321-2267.
Public Information Officer
Nassau County Council on Aging
June 15, 2021
The Island Hopper, a public transportation service of NassauTRANSIT and Nassau County Council on Aging (NCCOA), will revise its weekly schedule from Thursday through Monday to Friday through Sunday, effective July 1, 2021. Since 2016, the Island Hopper has provided public transit service in Fernandina Beach, with six daily loops around the northern half of Amelia Island (starting and ending at Fernandina Beach City Hall). The fare for scheduled public bus service is $1 with no charge for transfers.
“Starting in 2019, we began to notice a drop in ridership on Thursdays and Mondays,” said Mike Hays, NassauTRANSIT Director. “This change in service days will allow us to better deploy our resources throughout the county.”
The revised public transportation schedule is available at www.nassautransit.org. For additional information, please contact NassauTRANSIT at 904-261-0700.
Nassau County Chamber of Commerce Blog
Chamber Member Updates, Events and News