The Sunshine Economy

9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Mondays

Tom Hudson
Tom Hudson
Credit WLRN

The Sunshine Economy, takes a fresh look at the key industries transforming South Florida into a regional powerhouse. From investments in health care, storm preparedness, international trade, real estate and technology based start-ups, tune in to learn more about one of the worlds most vibrant and diverse economies.

Made possible by:

Genre: 

Pages

Cuba Back In Business?
2:25 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

The Sunshine Economy: Commerce With Communists

A reprinted 1956 poster for ferry service hangs in the window of the Old Town Bakery in Key West, one block from the ferry terminal.
Credit Nancy Klingener

When Bill Lane visits Cuba, he looks at the roads. It's not that he's a veteran traveler to Cuba even though he's visited three times since 1998. Lane works for Caterpillar. His company sells paving machines, road graders, bulldozers and other heavy equipment used to build and repair roads.

Read more
Sunshine Economy
1:17 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Gaining Altitude: The Aviation Industry in South Florida

Adult aviation students at George T. Baker Aviation Technical College in Miami await a classmate's instruction. Miami is one of the largest job markets for aviation technicians in the U.S.
Credit Tom Hudson

In Florida, flight is the number one export. In 2014, almost $4.8 billion worth of aircraft, engines and aircraft parts made in Florida were shipped out of state, putting it in the top 10 for aviation.

Toya Henry wants to enter the family business, but she's not sold on staying in Miami. She's in the adult powerplant program at George T. Baker Aviation Technical College in Miami. The school is a Miami-Dade County Public School that has been training aviation workers since the early days of the industry.

Read more
Aviation Industry
11:53 am
Wed May 13, 2015

Sunshine Economy: Training Tomorrow's Aviation Workers

Students at George T. Baker Aviation Technical College have to attend 85 percent of the time in order to qualify for FAA certification.
Credit Tom Hudson

This is a sign in a second floor avionics classroom at George T. Baker Aviation Technical College in Miami. It's a Miami-Dade County Public School with 550 high school students and 800 adult students taking FAA-certified classes on airframes, power plants and avionics. The sign serves as a clear reminder this is more than a classroom.

Read more
Building A New Domain
8:48 am
Mon May 4, 2015

The Sunshine Economy: The Tech Industry in South Florida

This is what it looks like when five insiders write letters to the South Florida technology industry of the future. 

For several years now the tech industry here has been a mix of promise and proclamations. Miami has been listed among the places to become the next Silicon Valley even while many in the industry here resist that kind of hype.

Read more
Politics
8:55 am
Mon April 27, 2015

The Budget Battle In The Sunshine Economy

Florida's regular legislative session is due to end May 1. Lawmakers are not expected to have agreed to a new budget by then. They have until July 1 to come to a compromise.
Credit flguardian2 / Flickr Creative Commons

  Two big financial questions remain unanswered as the state Legislature enters its last days of the 2015 regular session – how will Florida's government spend money on health care and the environment?

Billions of dollars are on the line.

The dual debates over Medicaid and Amendment 1 are not linked except for the disagreement between Republicans, who control both houses of the Legislature, over how much money to spend on the health of Floridians and Florida's environment.

Read more
Sunshine Economy
12:25 am
Mon April 20, 2015

The Health Care Gap in the Sunshine Economy

Credit Miami Herald

More than three-quarters of a million Floridians live in a health care gap. The gap was created by the national Affordable Care Act and Florida's rejection of an expanded Medicaid program. In between the two policies is a gap in medical insurance coverage where 850,000 Floridians find themselves.

Read more
Sunshine Economy
7:04 am
Tue April 14, 2015

The Sunshine Economy & Cuba

Cuban leader Raul Castro sits down with U.S. President Barack Obama at the Summit of the Americas in Panama. It was the first meeting of leaders of the two countries since 1956.
Credit Summit of the Americas

It's easy and obvious to call the photo above historic. It was. It followed a series of milestones: Months of secret negotiations, a phone call between the two leaders, President Obama announcing efforts to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba, easing of travel restrictions by Americas, allowing U.S. credit cards to be used in Cuba, expanding the list of items that can be legally exported to the island from America and increasing remittances sent to Cuba from family in the U.S.

Read more
Sunshine Economy
5:18 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Flying From Key West To Cuba And Back

Air Key West owner and pilot Rob Valle stands in front of his Britten-Norman Islander. The 10-seat plane flies weekly from Key West to Havana and back on Fridays.
Credit Tom Hudson

  Rob Valle used to fly fighter jets for the U.S. Navy. Now he flies charter flights for his company Air Key West. Since late March that has included a weekly scheduled flight from Key West International Airport to Havana. He fits nine passengers, including one in the co-pilot seat next to him. They pay $525 for the round-trip flight.

Read more
Business
4:44 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

South Florida Tech CEO Talks Raising Capital & Raising Kids

Joanna Schwartz is the CEO of EarlyShares, which connects accredited investors with private funding opportunities. In April 2015, her company launched www.property.com.

In our continuing series on female leadership, we look at the technology sector. Certainly it is a lucrative industry and it's been criticized for gender imbalance.

Women make up only a quarter of the tech industry workforce, even though more women now enroll in college than men.

And here's another interesting data point -- women in Western countries use the internet 17 percent more than men do. So how does this all compute in terms of female leadership?

Read more
Sunshine Economy
3:41 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

Women in Business in the Sunshine Economy

Chef Adrianne Calvo's West Kendall restaurant has 60 seats and 16 full-time employees.
Credit Ines Ayra

This is the gender wage gap. It's based on the difference in median weekly pay for men and women in the United States. In 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it amounts to $152 per week or more than $7,900 a year. This is the wage gap and it hasn't changed much over the past several years.

Read more
Business
10:18 pm
Sun March 29, 2015

The Sunshine Economy: The Tourism Trade

The tourism business is booming in South Florida.

The Sunshine State could welcome close to 100 million visitors this year.  They come from all over: the Northeast, the Midwest, Latin America, Europe, Russia and, increasingly, Asia. These visitors directly support hundreds of thousands of jobs and pump billions of dollars into the regional economy. 

Read more
Business
8:00 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Social And Anti-Social Trends In Customer Service

Not too long ago, good customer service meant a warm welcome and personal attention. Today, great customer service can mean leaving the customer alone to fend for themselves. That shift is thanks, in part, to technology.

It’s the smartphone that allows customers to be simultaneously social and anti-social in how they relate to and interact with service staff. Websites like TripAdvisor, OpenTable and Yelp have given customers a voice, and restaurants and hotels are listening -- and responding.

Read more
Business
1:14 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Sunshine Economy: Customer Service In South Florida

Julie Grimes came to South Florida from Canada about 20 years ago. She owns two hotels with about 250 rooms combined. She's managing partner at the Bentley Hilton South Beach.
Credit Tom Hudson

South Florida is known around the world for its sun, sand and surf. Those natural attributes are responsible for thousands of jobs, millions of visitors and billions of dollars. But what about service? South Florida may invite the world to come play on its beaches, stay in its hotels and eat in its restaurants, but what kind of hosts are its people?

Julie Grimes gives the overall customer service experience three out of five stars. She is the owner of two hotels in Miami: the Doubletree Hilton and the Hilton Bentley South Beach where she also is the managing partner.

Read more
Sunshine Economy
10:11 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Appetite for Risk - Restaurant Industry in South Florida

Credit Kahala / Flickr/Creative Commons

What do people who have bet their livelihood on good food remember as their favorite food?

Read more
Tourism
6:04 pm
Sun February 22, 2015

The Sunshine Economy: The Hotel Industry In South Florida

The Marseilles Hotel on South Beach is undergoing a $10 million renovation. Owner Lloyd Mandell is a second generation Miami Beach hotelier.
Credit Tom Hudson

A LITTLE HISTORY

Ian Schrager and Lloyd Mandell used to be neighbors. 

One is an iconoclast who made a fortune (and went to prison for tax evasion) as co-founder of the famed Studio 54 nightclub in New York, and the other a Miami Beach native whose dad owned a gas station where a Starbucks now stands on West Avenue.

The two men are in the same business now, technically. But they came to it in different ways.

Read more

Pages