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A look back at the year in business in Central Florida

(Tim Mossholder/ Unsplash)
(Tim Mossholder/ Unsplash)
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Businesses and employees have been through a lot this year.

2022 is coming to end and looking back it’s been quite an eventful year which includes two major 2 hurricanes. WMFE’s Talia Blake caught up with Orlando Economic Partnership’s CEO Tim Giuliani to look back at the year in business.

Listen to the full conversation in the player above.

Tim Giuliani is the CEO of the Orlando Economic Partnership. (photo via Orlando Economic Partnership)
Tim Giuliani is the CEO of the Orlando Economic Partnership. (photo via Orlando Economic Partnership)

Industry Shift

Tourist Development tax revenue in Orange County was up 46% in October 2022 compared to the last year.

Tim Giuliani, CEO of Orlando Economic Partnership, said that signals the return of tourism which has led to more hiring.

"Travel and Leisure, and hospitality has grown the most," he said. "But they were also set back the most by the pandemic."

Also, since the beginning of the pandemic, Giuliania said there's more jobs in financial and professional services than in travel and hospitality.

The number of people getting jobs in the tech industry has also been increasing in our region.

Giuliani said we're currently listen in the top three in most rankings on the fastest tech job opening growth.

"We're trailing Houston at this point as, as the only US city that's increasing its number of tech job openings as fast as Orlando," he said.

Lessons For The New Year

For Companies

This is an age of uncertainty, and Giuliani said and businesses don't like uncertainty.

For that reason, he said it's important to invest in strategic foresight.

"Where companies are continuing to understand the trends that are happening around them, whether it's social, environmental or what have you," he said. "And really understand what's happening. And then be able to make and run some scenarios on how they should respond based on those trends."

Giuliani said this gives companies a better opportunity to understand what's to come which will make the change appear slower.

For Employees

It's important to realize that industries are growing and opportunities have shifted, according to Giuliani.

He said there's almost 50% more tech jobs posted in Orlando right now than at this time last year.

"There's new opportunities. It's just you got to keep paying attention, because the economy is changing so fast here in Central Florida," he said. "What exists now might not have existed just two or three years ago."

If you are looking to switch jobs, remember that some companies have moved towards 'skills based hiring'

Giuliani said that's in part due to a tight labor market.

"So trying to find talent is more challenging than it used to be," he said. "And then at the same time, they've realized that people can be successful in roles without the long list of requirements that they've typically used."

Skills based hiring may eliminate the requirement for a degree or experience.

"And so from the perspective of the employee, or the job seeker, being able to articulate exactly what skills you've developed, and making sure that comes through in a resume or job application is going to open you up to more opportunities," explained Giuliani.

After a brief stint as Morning Edition Producer at The Public’s Radio in in Rhode Island, Talia Blake returned to WMFE, the station that grew her love for public radio. She graduated with a double-major in Broadcast Journalism and Psychology from the University of Central Florida (Go Knights!). While at UCF, she was an intern for WMFE’s public affairs show, Intersection. In her spare time, Talia is an avid foodie and enjoys working out.
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