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In 2018, Central Florida was ranked first in the nation for job growth, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Additionally, Forbes magazine ranked the metro Orlando region No. 1 to invest in a home with an estimated 84,000 building permits issued in Orange County valued at $2.3 billion. Orange County also earned the highest AAA credit rating from Moody's Investors Service, recognizing its fiscal reliability and continued quality-of-life enhancements.
In addition to economic development, community development remains at the forefront of Orange County’s efforts. As part of Mayor Jacobs’ initiative to connect citizens with their local government, Orange County held its second Youth Leadership Conference (YLC) in February of 2013. Geared toward student leaders from Orange County's public high schools, YLC allows students to learn about county government functions, how best to participate in community initiatives, and how to strengthen their leadership skills.
More than 200 student leaders attended the event, including members of the Youth Empowerment and Leadership Learning (YELL) Organization, run by high school students at Orange County Public Schools. Participants were challenged to post videos on Facebook, recapping what they learned at the conference and competing for a chance to "job shadow" their Mayor for a day. Close to 2,000 shared links were posted on social media, with the students’ friends and families participating in the 2013 Mayor for a Day Challenge.
For the second consecutive year, our Summer of Service program promoted volunteerism and community service throughout Orange County. This initiative connected citizens and students from service projects with various Orange County agencies and organizations seeking volunteers.
From the Environmental Protection Division's community clean-up and storm drain labeling event in Winter Park, to the house painting partnership with Seniors First in the Rio Grande Terrace neighborhood, and “Fixin' Up The Neighborhood” event in the Conway area, Orange County citizens continue to do an outstanding job of giving back to the community that we call home. Thanks to everyone who participated in our Summer of Service. We look forward to seeing you again in 2014.
In keeping with our “neighbors serving neighbors” roots, Orange County has long been a champion of citizen involvement and leadership. In 2013, we hosted the 19th Annual Orange County Community Conference. The conference focused on sustainability and our collective efforts to ensure that generations to come will enjoy a wonderful quality of life in a livable community, filled with natural beauty and economic resources. As part of the 2013 conference, many citizens were honored as community champions for their invaluable contributions to our local neighborhoods and communities, including service projects and community cleanups. The 2013 Orange County Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award was presented to Eagle Scout Daniel Bolan, age 14, who worked with local church leaders and area scouts to create a “Mercy Garden” in West Orange County in memory of local victims of violence. Daniel demonstrated initiative, service, and compassion, traits that will serve him well as a future Orange County leader. For all those who contribute to the fabric of Orange County as a caring community, thank you for your service. We’re already counting down the days until this year’s 20th annual conference and look forward to seeing you there!
Orange County continues to give its citizens the opportunity to win skybox tickets to sold-out concerts at the Amway Center. The goal of the promotion is to give Orange County residents the opportunity to attend popular concerts and engage with their government through our official social media platforms.
More than 8,220 Orange County citizens have taken part in Orange County's Facebook contests, winning tickets to concerts like Maroon 5, Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, and Taylor Swift.
For the second consecutive year, citizens continued to engage through Orange County LIVE!, an innovative television program that provides a forum for citizens to interact with their county government. Orange County LIVE! airs on the fourth Wednesday of the month on OrangeTV.