Communication Builds Our Community

Community Open House to Address Economic Development Ideas

Finding New Employment Opportunities Focus of Event

The public is invited to take a seat at the table this Tuesday to discuss economic development in the Lake Wales area to "increase the city's economic health." The community forum is an opportunity for residents to help "identify key community assets, set goals and increase the City's economic health," according to organizers.

The effort has been made possible by FloridaCommerce through a Competitive Florida Partnership grant that will enable the City to identify those assets and ways to help raise per capita income in the area by attracting better-paying jobs. The open house will be a drop-in affair that will take place over a six-hour period, from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the Lake Wales Family Recreation Center. That center, the former Family YMCA, is located at 1001 Burns Avenue in Lake Wales.

The enormous problem of citrus "greening" caused by the "dragon disease" or HLB, is impacting the local economy. That disease, although harmless to humans, causes citrus trees to wither and die over several years. Millions of trees in Florida are now infected, and no cure has been developed, so the region's agricultural economy is under severe threat. That in turn has caused the shuttering of area businesses and the loss of hundreds of jobs in a ripple effect.

Some growers have resorted to growing citrus in large shelters with air-lock access to prevent entry by the tiny wasp that spreads the disease.


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