Writer: Joey Garrand
2 min read March 2021 — Education is a cornerstone of life and Orlando, known as a hotspot of tourism in Florida, is also known for its top-tier education system. From K-12 to higher education, the Greater Orlando area has a variety of renowned educational institutions, which means a strong talent pipeline for businesses and a world of opportunity for students.
Concerning K-12, five schools in the Greater Orlando area are ranked within the top 1% of private K-12 schools in the United States: Lake Highland Preparatory School, Montverde Academy, Windermere Preparatory School, Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy and Lake Mary Preparatory School. In addition, Orlando’s public K-12 schools are also of quality. For instance, Seminole County is ranked as the fourth-best school district in Florida.
In an interview with Invest:, Jason Brodeur, president and CEO of Seminole County Regional Chamber of Commerce, said that a great K-12 education system is vital to the success of the local business community. “It all starts for us with our Top 5 ranking in education. Our K-12 system is exceptional.” Brodeur goes on to discuss the area’s exceptional higher education system. “We have one of the biggest public universities in the world in our backyard: the University of Central Florida (UCF). Complementing all of that is Seminole State College, which is nationally ranked as one of the best state colleges.”
Brodeur isn’t the only one who thinks Orlando’s education system is top-tier, with Florida’s State University System, including UCF and 11 other universities, recently named the nation’s top higher education system for the fifth consecutive year by U.S. News & World Report.
Georgia Lorenz, president of Seminole State College of Florida, told Invest: that studies also point to the importance of a good educational system for business attraction. “Research has shown that the better education ecosystem a region has, the more likely they are to attract new businesses and retain the businesses that are already in the area.”
Rob Panepinto, director of Innovation Districts Strategy and Partnerships at UCF, discussed with Invest: some of the reasons why UCF is so important to the local business community: “UCF has one of the Top 20 entrepreneur programs in the country.” UCF’s great entrepreneurial programs and business incubators contribute greatly to a variety of sectors in the local economy, “In Lake Nona, it is largely about healthcare and life sciences. At Research Park, the incubator focuses on defense-related industries such as simulation, photonics, AI and cybersecurity, while in Downtown it is more focused on digital media, smart city technology, hospitality tech and education.”
Of course, with all of this great opportunity for the business community comes great opportunity for the students themselves, said Grant Cornwell, president of Rollins College, in an interview with Invest:. “The tremendous population and economic growth in Orlando represents an incredible opportunity for our students and graduates. Orlando has ranked among the nation’s fastest-growing job markets for several consecutive years, and publications like Forbes have ranked our hometown among the Top 10 cities in the nation for jobs.”
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