Residents of South Florida celebrate the sense of well-being the region fosters—there are over 800 parks in this region, which also boasts a soothing tropical climate. It’s no surprise that Sarasota Bradenton metro area ranks #1 on Gallup’s Well-Being Index. Recreational activities abound all over the southern part of the state and the unique landscapes of the Everglades and the Florida Keys are unlike any other. Bustling, high-growth cities like Miami, West Palm Beach and Sarasota provide rich work, educational and housing opportunities.

Industry & Employment

South Florida has a strong, diversified economy and, because of its proximity to Latin American, is home to the headquarters of over 1000 multinational corporations. The region is a hub for international trade and many industries well-suited to those with military backgrounds. For example, Miami is a center for simulated flight training and commercial aviation training, and high-tech companies can be found throughout the region. Bryan Harmon, CEO of DreamWare Inc., based his software development company in Bonita Springs and used Veterans Florida Business Training Grant funds to hire and train veterans.

Educational Opportunities

Veterans pay in-state tuition rates and the schools’ veterans centers help them navigate all aspects of academic life and GI Bill benefits. The region’s institutes of higher education cover all fields of study. Chris Campbell, a former and student at the Sarasota-based Ringling College of Art & Design discovered that it is a perfect fit for someone with a strong creative bent.

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Entrepreneurship in South Florida

The area is a hotbed of innovation with many local incubators and accelerator programs in cities like Naples and Fort Myers fostering new business enterprises. Veterans with solid business plans that can help fuel economic growth and create quality jobs will find incentives and support among community leaders and former military personnel who will help them get their ideas off the ground. County-provided incentives for high-tech and software companies are also available.