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Cornerstone Luncheon Focuses on Energy Challenges, Jacksonville Job Growth

June 25th, 2010 · Leave a Comment

Cornerstone, the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce’s economic arm, held its quarterly luncheon yesterday with a focus on the energy challenges our country faces. 

Karen Alderman Harbert, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, was the keynote speaker at the lunch event and educated guests about the energy challenge, developing the national policy and what businesses can expect for the future. To see her presentation, click here.

Cornerstone also reported that our region is headed in a positive direction. Unemployment is still around 11 percent for the region, which is positive news since it peaked at more than 12.3 percent in February. Some additional good news – regional employment is up 2.1 percent since January, while last year at this same time job growth was negative.

Cornerstone announced several new projects that have occurred in 2010, which brings the total number of jobs added to more than 1,100 this year. These projects include:

  • Mercedes Benz USA moved into a 400,000 square foot parts distribution center at Jacksonville International TradePort, bringing 100 new jobs with a $26 million capital investment
  • AvMax is opening a heavy aviation maintenance and modification facility at Jacksonville International Airport, bringing more than 100 new jobs and $4 million in capital.
  • Aviation Systems Engineering Company is expanding its branch office on the Westside, adding 10 jobs by the end of 2010 and $300,000 in new capital investment
  • Digital Risk, an Orlando-based firm that provides risk mitigation services to mortgage lenders, opened its Jacksonville office earlier this month and is planning to hire 300 employees

Additionally, the State of Florida’s economic outlook was recently ranked number 5 out of 50 U.S. states by the American Legislative Exchange Council. The rankings are based on public policies that have a proven impact on growth, revealing which states have the best chance of experiencing economic recovery.

The Chamber awarded its quarterly Cornerstone Chair Award to the Rulon Company for its outstanding business performance and corporate citizenship. Rulon is an advanced manufacturing company whose headquarters are based in St. Johns County. The company specializes in wood wall systems, PVC ceiling systems and high-end commercial and industrial systems.

The next Cornerstone luncheon will be with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cornerstone will be hosting the second annual Jaguar’s kickoff event Tuesday, Sept. 7. For more information about Cornerstone, its upcoming events and the region’s economic growth, visit www.expandinjax.com.

Congratulations to all those who are making the First Coast a thriving, successful business community!

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