Is Central Florida an area for Professional Development?

Young Professionals Examine the Potential and Problems of Entrepreneurship in Central FloridaYoung Professionals

By Devin Heflin

A resident gains multiple perspectives of Orlando when considering life in the City. To paraphrase the words of novelist Charles Dickens, Orlando is everywhere but nowhere.

Downtown Orlando is a bustling area of businesses, clubs, bars and restaurants that epitomize Central Florida nightlife. However, just eighty feet away is the Parramore community, an older African-American dwelling that is working hard to bring down crime statistics.

To onlookers, Orlando is “Mickey Mouse land”, comprised of malls, resorts and theme parks. Last year, the city and adjoining areas of Central Florida welcomed economic opportunities. Central Florida hosted the NBA All Star Weekend, which earned praise for its economic relief to an area rattled by the national recession but criticism for the fence that was placed against the neighboring buildings, blocking regular business owners and street vendors.

Central Florida was perceived as a racially progressive town until last year’s fatal Trayvon Martin shooting revealed mismanagement in the ranks of local law enforcement. The aftermath affected surrounding counties, causing law enforcement and elected officials to reevaluate community interaction.

There’s a visible disconnect, according to some young professionals, citing that while Orlando is premier for beginning a business, there’s little stability in keeping it in the area.

Diomi (Photo)

Diomi Miller, former resident of Central Florida

Career Opportunities
Diomi Miller, a former resident of Central Florida, left the area last year to pursue a better political future. Miller formerly worked for the West Orlando News, a Central Florida news blog. “I’ve always wanted to follow my passion for writing, but struggled to make ends meet there,” she said.

 She now resides in Baltimore, Maryland where she’s become active with a chapter of young Democrats. “My goal is to inspire other young citizens of Maryland, who are very receptive at the meetings I attend and welcome me with open arms.” Miller aspires to get involved in Maryland politics and applauds the strides the state has already made concerning diversity. “It was refreshing to see Stephanie Rawlings-Blake Mayor of Baltimore, a woman of color in leadership,” she said. She spent time researching the job market in Maryland and found more connectedness in professional circles. 

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