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August 4th, 2009 7:47 AM by David W. Welch
If you don't usually read my blog, you may be wondering why I am writing about the first day (ever) of the UCF College of Medicine. First, I am a UCF alumnus and extremely proud of my hometown university. I have to say that President John Hitt is a fantastic example of a leader with a vision putting a plan into action. When he came to the University of Central Florida, he stated that he wanted UCF to be the greatest metropolitan university in the country. If you don't know that much about UCF, then you just have not been paying attention. UCF is now the fifth largest university in the country. It is the only place in the country where you can earn a PhD in racing car engine design, you can earn a PhD in human factors from a faculty that all have PhD's in human factors. They have one of the largest, if not the largest School Psychology program in the state. They have a new stadium, and a new convocation center, on the most beautiful campus I have ever seen. The whole athletics department has improved exponentially, while admissions standards are some of the toughest among the state universities. Today, UCF is adding to this portfolio of outstanding achievements with a brand new College of Medicine, and gaining nation attention, by offering each of the 41 students a completely free medical education.
The second reason I am writing about this is more important than the pride I have in my alma mater. The new medical school is another step in the direction toward greater economic diversity in Orlando. While tourism remains our primary economic engine, Orlando has become one of the top wired cities in America. High tech industry, from gaming to defense, has grown significantly making Orlando a rising star in many different fields. Innovation Way is a high tech corridor that will connect UCF and Research Park with the new medical school. The medical school is just one part of a new Medical City growing on the southeast side of Orlando near Lake Nona. The Burnham Institute for Biomedical Research is already open for business. Work has begun on a new VA Hospital and Nemours new children's hospital. The medical students will be on the main campus of the university this year, but their state of the art facility in Lake Nona will be ready when classes start in 2010. Economists estimate that the overall effect on the Orlando economy could rival that of Disney in the next several years.
If you are still wondering why a Realtor is writing about a medical school, keep in mind that jobs equals rooftops. Job creation is the single most important factor in real estate construction and sales. The development of a more diverse economic base is huge for our local economy going forward. Nothing may be recession proof, but healthcare is definitely recession resistant. To me that makes our new medical city a great addition to the neighborhood. So, congratulations UCF, congratulations to the first class of the UCF medical school (I am so jealous), and congratulations Orlando for taking another step in the right direction.
Orlando Real Estate, David Welch Real Estate Optimist