Central Florida is widely recognized as the center of the nation's Modeling, Simulation and Training (MS&T) economy, leading the country in support of America’s military with training, simulation, test and evaluation/instrumentation products and services. Our MS&T industry contributes more than $4.8 billion to Florida's gross state product and directly employs more than 27,000 Floridians, with an average annual salary of almost $70,000. Protecting, nourishing and growing this capital-intensive and innovation-driven sector are vital for all future generations of Floridians.
In June 2013, Mayor Jacobs founded the MS&T Blue Ribbon Commission to bring together a coalition of community leaders and industry stakeholders to generate awareness regarding the highly synergistic nature of MS&T to other key sectors of Orange County’s economy, including medical, gaming, education, aviation/aerospace, animation/theme park, emergency management and public safety.
This past December, Mayor Jacobs held a reception for the MS&T Commission at the Orange County Convention Center during the world’s largest exhibition of modeling and simulation technology. The global conference — Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC)— attracts more than 500 corporations, government agencies and research organizations from the United States and other countries around the globe. The conference coincided with Orange County’s STEM Week, which encourages awareness for the need for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-educated workers and the County’s deep commitment to supporting the development of STEM-driven industries and sectors.
Mayor Jacobs also was the featured speaker at Otronicon's opening reception in January 2014 at the Orlando Science Center. Otronicon is a four-day celebration of interactive technology that demonstrates how we will live, learn, work and play in the future. Since Orange County is one of the largest digital media and simulation clusters in the country, with more than 1,200 companies, the event is a chance to interact with creative professionals. Otronicon, which stands for Orlando Electronic Interactive Entertainment Convention, promotes the concept of “made in Orlando, played in Orlando.” This year, new partners like Microsoft and Sony joined Orange County, the Walt Disney World Resort, EA Sports, Florida Hospital for Children, Lockheed Martin, and the University of Central Florida to demonstrate Orlando's impact on the world of entertainment, simulation, education, training and health care.