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.

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The Sunshine Economy
6:00 am
Thu September 19, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Urban-Rural Dividing Line

An example of the land value differences thanks to the Urban Development Boundary (UDB), according to Jeff Onsted of FIU.
Credit Jeff Onsted / FIU

Two pieces of land in real estate development-hungry South Florida. They are less than two miles apart but more than 10-times the difference in assessed values (see photo above).

The reason: the Urban Development Boundary (UDB) in Miami-Dade County.

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The Sunshine Economy
10:48 am
Thu September 12, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Underemployed In South Florida

Jay Pellis
Credit Jay Pellis

Jay Pellis is among the thousands of South Floridians who are underemployed. After 18 months of being counted among the unemployed, that's improvement. This week, Pellis began a part-time job teaching GED classes to teenagers and young adults leaving the foster care system. It is the type of work he's done before.

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The Sunshine Economy
11:58 am
Wed September 11, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: MBA But Unemployed, 4 Years And Counting

Ian Kramer
Credit Tom Hudson

Odds are Ian Kramer should be working. He has a MBA from USC. He has experience in the cut throat  world of Miami real estate development. The unemployment rate for someone with his education is half that of the overall level. And real estate is rebounding with several residential high rises sprouting from once dormant stretches of land.

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The Sunshine Economy
11:13 am
Tue September 10, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: The Incredible Shrinking Florida Paycheck

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

Half of the paychecks of Floridians are smaller today than they were in 2004. Thanks to a wicked combination of fewer working hours and the financial erosion of inflation, the median hourly wage in Florida is $0.63 less than what it was eight years ago, according to a recent study by the Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy at Florida International University.

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The Sunshine Economy
12:08 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Jobs

Credit Tom Hudson

Ian, Jay and Sal. That's them in the photo on the right. Each of them is an unemployment statistic with a story.

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The Sunshine Economy
6:00 am
Fri August 30, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Luxury Retail, From Head To Toe To Stomach

Credit Tom Hudson

Jimmy Choo at Sawgrass Mills. Hermes in the Design District. Even Marky's Caviar in Miami Gardens. South Floridians are welcoming luxury retailers with open arms just like Britto's "Welcome" sculpture greets shoppers near Dadeland Station in the photo on the right.

Luxury retailing in South Florida is expanding beyond its traditional glitzy locations and stretching to include not just shoes and accessories, but also shoppers’ appetites.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Retail

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The Sunshine Economy
12:30 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: The High Price of Luxury In South Florida Retail

Credit Tom Hudson

One square foot is not a lot of space. You can fit a pair of shoes in one square foot. But, if you are a luxury retailer at Bal Harbour Shops in Bal Harbour, you sell $2,800 worth of merchandise per square every year. That's six times what the average shopping center generates in the same amount space.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Retail

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The Sunshine Economy
11:59 am
Tue August 27, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: From Water Beds To Today

In the 1970’s it was water beds. In the 1980’s, Keith Koenig sold dinette sets. Now it’s couches and entertainment centers.

Koenig and his brother began what would become City Furniture in 1971. He has seen plenty of cycles in the South Florida economy, as well as how consumer tastes impact his business. Housing booms and housing busts. A growing population. And wicker. Koenig has a unique perspective at the intersection of two industries: real estate and retail. His outlook?  Very positive.

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The Sunshine Economy
6:00 am
Sat August 24, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Investing In Classrooms

Florida public school teachers will get about $250 dollars this year to spend on classrooms supplies.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Education

Teachers have gotten an annual stipend for more than a decade, helping make up for some of the money teachers spend out of their own pockets for student supplies.

WLRN's Sunshine Economy spoke with several teachers about what they spend and why.

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The Sunshine Economy
6:00 am
Fri August 23, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Superintendents Have Little Faith In School Grades

A letter grade can be one of the clearest methods to communicate quality. The USDA uses it for meat. S&P uses letter grades for credit ratings. The state of Florida uses it for public schools.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Education

But the leaders of the two largest public school districts in the state have little or no confidence in the current letter grading system used by Florida.

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The Sunshine Economy
6:00 am
Thu August 22, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Profit Or Performance? Charter Public Schools

Jon Hage may be one of the most important school leaders you probably have never heard of. No one elected him to a school board or hired him as a superintendent.

But his company, Charter Schools USA based in Fort Lauderdale, is one of the fastest growing charter school operators. It runs more than a dozen schools in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties and has expanded to a half dozen more states.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Education

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The Sunshine Economy
3:22 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Are South Florida Schools Preparing Kids for Future Jobs?

During the past several weeks, South Florida business executives from manufacturing, hospitality and other industries have told The Sunshine Economy how challenging it is for them to find qualified employees locally.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Education

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The Sunshine Economy
8:10 am
Mon August 19, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Education

A new school year is underway for hundreds of thousands of children in South Florida. A new year brings with it the potential of new learning, new skills... and new challenges.

Are our kids learning what they need to in order to compete in the global job market of the future?

South Florida schools welcome back students August 19 and WLRN's Sunshine Economy looks at the education industry with "Getting Schooled, Public Education in South Florida."

WLRN's State Impact Florida education reporter Sammy Mack co-hosts the program.

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The Sunshine Economy
6:00 am
Fri August 16, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Fueling Florida's Power

FPL

The demand for electricity is growing in South Florida, but Florida Power and Light has been tearing down power plants.

The power plants like the one in the slideshow above have been generating electricity for more than 50 years in many cases. Often, they burned oil to make power.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Energy

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The Sunshine Economy
6:00 am
Thu August 15, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Fill 'Er Up With Natural Gas

Credit Wise Gas

How about a fill up for less than $20 a tank?

That's the promise of compressed natural gas at recent prices.But good luck finding a passenger car than runs on compressed natural gas today but more companies are converting their trucks or buying new ones that run on the fuel.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Energy 

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