By: Michael McDermott, Director, Strategic Consulting and Michelle Huneke, Analyst, Strategic Consulting
Typically known for its hospitality and tourism industries, Orlando is also gaining prominence as a hub for technology and innovation. Notably, the city is home to a $6 billion Modeling, Simulation & Training (MS&T) industry.
This growing sector uses technology to develop models and software programs to predict and simulate scenarios in various high cost and/or high stakes fields, such as military training and aviation. MS&T is a critical component of our country’s national defense sector, as well as an increasingly important employment sector in the Orlando market. In fact, the largest cluster of MS&T-specific operations can be found in Central Florida, where the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines base their simulation operations.
Currently, the MS&T industry employs more than 12,000 highly qualified professionals in Orlando and roughly 60,000 indirectly throughout the state. As MS&T expands in this region, other sectors that use this technology are gaining momentum in Central Florida.
Related Sectors to Watch
- Defense: Orange County received $5.1 billion in contracts from the federal government over the last 12 months, the majority of which were from the Department of Defense. That’s more than any other county in Florida, including Brevard County where NASA is located.
- Healthcare: Hospitals and healthcare technology companies are increasingly utilizing technology from the MS&T industry for training purposes as well as experimenting with new technologies. Orlando’s health care industry is expected to grow by 12% over the next five years.
- Gaming: The gaming industry relies heavily on MS&T technology and has long been tied to military defense training. Electronic Arts’ video game division, EA Sports, recently agreed to move its Central Florida headquarters to downtown Orlando’s Creative Village, creating an anchor for a new digital media hub.
In MS&T, and any tech-related industry, the right location can improve a company’s ability to hire employees with target skills and attributes. Orlando’s rapidly growing population, affordability and access to leading educational institutions all create a highly desirable environment for companies that use MS&T technology to locate their business.
Cushman & Wakefield’s Strategic Consulting team uses its labor analytics capabilities to ensure a company’s real estate decision aligns with its talent objectives and enables the organization to capture and retain its targeted workforce.
Read our Orlando Workforce Insights report to learn more.