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Miami Dade County's strategic location makes it a viable destination for visitors to Tropical South Florida. The business generated by tourism is a key factor in the economic stability and growth of the community. According to Miami-Dade County and the University of Florida, Miami-Dade County’s population increased by over 500,000 between 1995 and 2005. To provide employment for the increasing population, Miami-Dade County must target industries that accelerate both the growth of above average income and entry level support jobs. The industries that were deemed best suited for the area are bio-medical, film/entertainment, financial services, information technology, international commerce, telecommunications and the visitor industry. High paying jobs in fast growing industries in turn create others at all levels that cut across governmental, social, ethnic, economic and political constituencies.

Because of its proximity to Latin America, Miami serves as the headquarters of Latin American operations for many multinational corporations, including Alienware, American Airlines, Cisco, Disney, Exxon, FedEx, Microsoft, Oracle, SBC Communications and Sony. Several large companies are headquartered in or around Miami, including Burger King, DHL, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Ryder System. Miami International Airport and the Port of Miami are among the nation's busiest ports of entry, especially for cargo from South America and the Caribbean. Additionally, downtown Miami has the largest concentration of international banks in the country. Miami was also the host city of the 2003 Free Trade Area of the Americas negotiations, and is one of the leading candidates to become the trading bloc's headquarters.

Miami-Dade County has a working class of 1,010,965, representing 57.5% of the county's 1,758,374 total population of 16 years and older. The workers are spread across the following occupations:

Sales and office occupations 31%
Management, professional and related occupations 30.2%
Service occupations 16.9%
Production, transportation and material moving occupations 11.9%
Construction, extraction and maintenance occupations 9.5%
Farming, fishing and forestry occupations 0.6%

Based on data from the year 2000, the median household income in Miami-Dade County is $35,966 with family income averaging $40,260. The median income for male full-time year-round workers is $30,120, which is $5,434 above that of their female co-workers.

Miami-Dade County offers many public and private resources that help business prosper. These include Vision Council, 305-247-7082, located at 43 N. Krome Avenue in Homestead, the Perrine-Cutler Ridge Council, 305-378-9470, at 900 Perrine Avenue in Perrine, and the Beacon Council, 305-579-1300, located at 80 SW 8th Street in Miami.


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