Jacksonville has one of the most diversified industry bases in Florida, which makes the economy more resilient to ups and downs in any one sector than other major metropolitan areas in Florida (that are generally dependent on retail and tourism-related industries). While all types of businesses can find success in Jacksonville, the following seven sectors are targeted industries of the Office of Economic Development – Advanced Manufacturing, Aviation and Aerospace, Finance and Insurance, Headquarters, Information Technologies, Life Sciences and Logistics and Distribution. These industries are targeted because there is an existing strong cluster of companies, the potential for growth for these industries is high and Jacksonville possesses advantages which are especially attractive to these industries.
Advanced manufacturing companies in Jacksonville are thriving because of the city's low cost of doing business, hardworking employees, utilities and outstanding transportation infrastructure. General Electric, SAFT, and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care are a few of the advanced manufacturers located in Jacksonville.
Because of Jacksonville's consolidated utilities, highly reliable electricity and water are offered at very competitive rates. Manufacturers also find advantages in Jacksonville's extremely low level of unionized workers and Florida's 'right-to-work' laws. Supply chain and distribution operations are easily accommodated by Jacksonville's intermodal infrastructure and ready access to one of the fastest growing regions in the U.S.
Aviation and Aerospace
The City of Jacksonville has a strong and long-running relationship with military aviation and aerospace activities that has led many related manufacturers, MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) operations and support operations to locate in Jacksonville. Aviation and aerospace companies find an ample supply of highly-skilled workers from the approximately 3,000 military separations per year from the local military units which include the U.S. Navy at NAS Jacksonville and Naval Station Mayport, the U.S. Marines and the Department of Homeland Security aviation operations.
A network of commercial and general aviation airports including Cecil Airport, Jacksonville International Airport (JAX), Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport and Herlong Recreational Airport provide Jacksonville's aviation infrastructure. There are 8,300 developable acres at the City-owned Cecil Commerce Center which is home to Cecil Airport, which offers four runways, three measuring 8,500 feet and one with a length of 12,500 feet making it Florida's third longest runway.
Jacksonville also offers the educational infrastructure necessary to aviation and aerospace companies. Specialized aviation and aerospace training programs at the Florida State College's Aviation Center of Excellence at Cecil Commerce Center prepare students with certifications in FAR Part 147 aviation maintenance, avionics installation, pilot training, aviation maintenance manager and aviation operations.
Finance and Insurance
The finance and insurance services industry is a well-established cluster in Jacksonville. Many well-known companies in this sector have found success here including Deutsche Bank, Bank of America, Florida Blue, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, to name a few.
Jacksonville offers prime locations from downtown waterfront offices to suburban office campuses. Approximately 11 percent of all workers in Jacksonville are employed in the financial and insurance services cluster – more than Tampa, Orlando and Miami. Many of these workers enjoy Jacksonville's short commute times and a recent study by the Florida Financial Services Cluster Initiative confirmed that most financial service workers live within the city limits.
The University of North Florida, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Jacksonville University, Edward Waters College and Flagler College graduate more than 2,600 students with business degrees yearly, adding to the already large pool of qualified workers.
Jacksonville is fortunate to have a wide range of national, regional and divisional headquarters located in the area. Headquartered companies typically make large capital investments, offer high-paying jobs and are active in the community.
Information technology companies are also well-represented in Jacksonville. This cluster thrives because of the diverse economic base of Jacksonville companies which are its clients. The large financial services cluster is a main customer of the information technology companies in the area.
Jacksonville is a natural environment for supporting the IT industry with its excellent educational infrastructure and qualified workforce. A collection of higher educational institutions train the next generation of technology workers. Companies also find many reliable technology workers who are exiting Jacksonville-based military operations. Reliable, redundant and low-cost power provided by JEA keeps technology companies productive and efficient.
The medical products and services industry is a vibrant and growing sector, especially in Jacksonville. Because of our available, skilled workforce, state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure, low cost of doing business and excellent quality of life, new businesses are relocating and thriving here every day. With more than 50,000 employees, half a dozen major hospitals and a recent private capital investment of more than $600 million, this industry serves as a driving force for business development and the expansion of world-class medical research facilities.
Many well-known companies in the medical services sector have found success in Jacksonville including: St. Vincent's Medical Center, UF Health Jacksonville, The Mayo Clinic and Baptist Health Systems, to name a few. The nation's third proton beam therapy center has also been established at UF Health Jacksonville, with the help of the Office of Economic Development.
Logistics & Distribution
For companies that depend on logistics and intermodal capacity, few communities can compare to Jacksonville – the gateway to Florida and the Southeastern United States. Three major interstates (I-95, I-75 and I-10), three railroads (CSX, Norfolk Southern and Florida East Coast), JAXPORT - a deep-water port with three separate marine terminals, an international airport and many developable sites converge to provide exceptional infrastructure.
Speedy access to growing domestic markets is why many supply chain logistic companies have made Jacksonville their home. There are 45 million people within an eight-hour drive of Jacksonville and 60 percent of the U.S. population (approximately 179 million people) within a 24-hour truck drive. Many people are surprised when they hear that Jacksonville is the most western city on the entire East Coast of the United States (and even more western than Cleveland).
Recent developments at JAXPORT are drawing even more supply chain logistic companies to the city. Establishments can also take advantage of Foreign Trade Zone #64 and a large experienced supply chain logistics workforce. Ten percent of employment in Jacksonville is in transportation and warehousing sectors – greater than the state and national figures. These sectors also represent nine percent of all business establishments in Jacksonville. Visit JAXPORT at www.jaxport.com.
Available sites and buildings for distribution are located throughout the city. Cecil Commerce Center has more than 8,300 developable acres, entitlements to industrial space and direct interstate access. North and Northwest Jacksonville offer industrial parks with easy access to both I-95 and I-10. Access to interstates and rail; available landside sites (such as Cecil Commerce Center); frequent and reliable containership service; a business-friendly environment and a qualified workforce and recognition as one of the 'Top 10 Logistics' areas in the nation by Expansion Management magazine are some of the many reasons why Jacksonville is a supply chain logistics leader.