Palm Coast’s Tech Beach Hackathon last weekend points the way to a more useful form form of economic and innovative development, especially when contrasted with the enormous waste of dollars and resources over the past years at the county’s economic development department.
Jobs & Unemployment
Palm Coast’s first “Tech Beach Hackathon” at City Hall was a weekend cramming session of tech developers connecting their just-designed apps to local healthcare problems looking for a solution.
Dr. Steven Brown, a surgeon behind the da Vinci robot at AdventHealth Palm Coast, described the machine’s successes through 1,000 surgeries at a Common Ground breakfast presented by the Chamber of Commerce this morning.
Flagler County commissioners today unanimously endorsed a proposed UNF partnership with Palm Coast to create a medical hub in Town Center as the county’s top legislative priority for 2020.
Since Flagler County government created the $450,000-a-year economic development department, the county has added 10,000 jobs, but only a few dozen as a result of the department’s involvement.
The national economy added 136,000 jobs in September, and figures for July and August were revised upward by 45,000 jobs, sending the unemployment rate to 3.5 percent, matching a level last seen in December 1969.
The University of North Florida is submitting a $23 million request to the State Board of Governors that includes Palm Coast’s Town Center as a hub of an innovative concept of medical higher education that ties directly to medical-sector jobs in Northeast Florida, a concept UNF calls MedNex.
Job growth has averaged 158,000 a month this year, below the average monthly gain of 223,000 in 2018. August’s employment gain was helped by the federal government’s hiring of 25,000 temporary census workers in preparation for the 2020 census.
Stagnant wages, out of control student debt, rising costs of necessities, unaffordable housing: they’re all among the reasons why the rules are rigged against young people trying to make it on their own.
The Flagler-Palm Coast labor force grew by more than 200 people in July, to 48,631, while the number of people with jobs grew by about 250, to 46,701, a growth of more than 2,000 jobs compared to a year ago.