Hendry County’s rich soil and ample ﬁelds have made it a prime location for farming in Florida since the late 1800s. While the economy in Hendry County is still primarily comprised of the agricultural industry, the County’s location, rich resources and lower operating costs have caught the attention of other industries wanting to plant their roots amidst the crops and cattle. Manufacturing in Hendry County has quickly climbed the ladder in terms of GDP only to be outranked by agriculture/farming, retail trade and health care.
Located within a 2.5 hour reach of the over 90 million annual consumers in south Florida, Hendry County is a prime location for connections between international and domestic manufacturers, distributers, and logistics companies. The US 27 and SR 80 interchange oﬀ er connectivity to the I-4 corridor, I-75, I-95, as well as both Southeast and Southwest Florida. Short line railroad connectivity via CSX and FEC provides an economical alternative shipping option for freight.
As the Airglades International Airport privatization project continues to develop, manufacturing and logistics companies are actively seeking properties near the city of Clewiston on the eastern side of Hendry County in order to take advantage of the opportunities the airport will oﬀer. The Airglades project, a new state-of-the-art logistics complex, is being designed for the eﬃcient ﬂow of perishable goods from Latin America to consumers in the United States. Properties on and oﬀ of the airport will have access to logistic networks designed for movement of cargo travelling in and out of the region while also creating industry opportunities unlike anything seen in Florida’s Heartland Region before.
Hendry County has been proactively preparing for the Airglades project through site readiness and infrastructure projects as well as workforce development and training; all vital elements important for entrepreneurs and corporations alike who are seeking
good investments. The City of Clewiston has designated commercial/light Industrial shovel ready land within the City limits providing occupants with access to City utilities such as sewer, water, and electric. Alternative resources such as natural gas lines also exist within the City limits.
The Hendry County Adult Education School has placed an emphasis on providing training for jobs such as welding and construction that will be needed in both the construction and operating phases of Airglades Airport expansion. Enrollment in the adult school has increased overall thanks to a coordinated marketing eﬀort. Students in 15 Secondary and Post-Secondary Career and Technical Education Programs earned 857 Industry Certiﬁcations through the Adult Education School in 2019 and Hendry County ranked #1 as the top earner of Industry Certiﬁcations in rural districts in the State of Florida.
Hendry County has also been supportive of Immokalee Technical College’s (iTech) proposed move into the Glades County Regional Training Facility in Moore Haven. The facility boasts 40,000 square feet of available training space with room for growth. The center is primed to produce a pipeline of talent able to meet the needs of not only Hendry and Glades Counties, but the Heartland Region as a whole, setting the inland counties up to enter the competitive area workforce availability.
Manufacturing companies seeking a strategic location and a skilled workforce all within a small town setting are invited to grow with us.
Keitha Daniels is the Director for Hendry County Economic Development Council. Keitha has worked for the Board of County Commissioners over the past 5 years with a focus in economic development. She also serves as an advisor to civic and revitalization organizations in Hendry County. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org