The Space Coast
Brevard County, also known as the Space Coast, has enjoyed five prosperous decades of manned and unmanned spaceflight. We were privileged to have served as the nation’s spaceport for every American manned mission and hundreds of advanced scientific spacecraft. Since the early days of Project Mercury to the Space Shuttle Program and International Space Station, thousands of highly-qualified experts have been relocating to Brevard County. The Space Coast has amassed generations of highly-skilled scientists, engineers and technicians.
In 2009, with the initial layoffs from the space shuttle program, we were scrambling for places for our workforce to land. All told, we lost more than 8,500 science, engineering, and tech positions, which resulted in a trickle-down effect touching more than 20,000 people in supporting business. In short, we had a lot of eggs in one basket.
In addition to the surviving one of the worst technical set-backs since the Apollo tragedy, we also had to face the toughest recession this country has ever seen. Did we fold? No. Did we quit? Never! Instead, we have seen a surge of entrepreneurial spirit. The high-tech workforce is still here, and, while many have landed new jobs in similar industries where their skills were transferrable, a surprising number of techies are striking out into uncharted territory, investing in the dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Ideal for nurturing the creativity and innovation that characterizes a high-tech economy, Florida’s Space Coast has grown to be the home of several grass roots entrepreneurial movements. Our county offers much more than rockets. Brevard history is steeped in rocketry, but out future includes emerging technologies in cottage-tech industries, where two or three well-funded entrepreneurs can sprout fast-moving companies featuring, electronics, nanotechnology, biotech, photonics and micro-sensor technologies.
We are partnering with our region’s colleges and universities, including Florida Institute of Technology., Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, University of Central Florida’s satellite campuses, and Eastern Florida State College to build the educational supporting arm of the SCTC. Our focus includes the secondary education level, reaching out to the Brevard County School District, in an effort to strengthen the pipeline of students desiring to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics.
We have weathered the storm and the sun is shining on Brevard. The future is so bright for the Space Coast, we all need to put on our Virtual Reality sunglasses. We are poised for exceptional growth in the coming years. We invite you to be part of that growth as we continue to display the technical diversity of this region, expand our business resources, form new partnerships, and nurture the rich entrepreneurial spirit that thrives in our community.