ORLANDO, Fla. — As Central Florida economic leaders crunch data on how industries are faring during the pandemic, they’re finding promise: Some industries are recovering.
What You Need To Know
- Sorensen Moving and Storage had to halt normal operations in March
- From March to May, the company saw a 20-30% drop in revenue
- By diversifying, though, it has now posted a 20-30% increase over 2019
“There is opportunity out there, you just need to know where to look," said Tim Giuliani, Orlando Economic Partnership's President and CEO. “The pandemic is impacting people differently. It’s impacting companies differently. And certainly, what this data shows us, there are companies continuing to grow. "
Guiliani said that each month, the Partnership receives data. And for the last few months, transportation, warehousing and utilities have proven to be the only Central Florida industries that is back to pre-pandemic levels. In fact, more than 300 jobs have been added.
Be In The Know
Looking for a job? Check out the Upskill Orlando study and see where your occupation can be mapped.
Hiring others? The Partnership suggests to begin evaluating certain positions that are skills-based, focus on skills people need.
Some of the bounce-back is due to population growth, which was well underway before the pandemic began. But, it's also due in part to changing consumer habits. Many are spending a significant amount of time at home, shopping online for safety and convenience.
“Retail spending in Florida is actually up during the pandemic," Guiliani said. "We’re buying and purchasing in different ways and a lot more being shipped to us. There’s people moving those goods. And that’s how the economy is rebounding.”
Orlando Economic Partnership's President and CEO Tim Giuliani discusses the pandemic's impact on businesses
Like many other businesses, Sorensen Moving and Storage saw a halt in normal operations in March 2020.
“Like everybody else, we had to scratch and claw through the pandemic," Chris Sorensen said. "There were certainly some days where you felt the pressure to make sure you didn’t let anybody down.”
Sorensen's grandfather started the company around 60 years ago, as he gambled upon a rush to build Florida's Space Coast. He moved his own family south from upstate New York and began the moving company with one truck.
Since then, the company has grown to around 50 trucks, 100 employees and two massive warehouses in Orlando and Melbourne. Every day, they take in and deliver product, like overseas containers full of furniture and fixtures.
Be In The Know
CareerSource Central Florida is a local, regional workforce board which connects talent with business and vice versa.
They can provide career consultations, resume assistance and connections to training programs. Some programs are partnerships with local colleges, like Valencia, which provide stipends in addition to training. After training is complete, the organization also aids with job placement.
Their services are free, as CareerSource Central Florida is state and federally funded.
But during the time frame of March to May, Sorensen's company saw a 20-30% drop off. Instead of lay-offs, the company relied upon their diverse operations. With fewer home moves, they focused more on the storage of goods for hotels and warehouses.
And now, Sorensen said that they're seeing a 20-30% uptick over 2019. To accommodate, they are hiring an assortment of positions, from drivers and movers to installers and forklift operators.
While Sorensen acknowledges uncertainty about the pandemic means they are still not in the clear, he feels optimistic they will weather the storm. He credits his father — who took over the company before him at the age of 22 — as well as his grandfather for his ingenuity.
“I think if he were here to see it today, he’d be very proud of what we’ve done," Sorensen said.
FIND MORE RESOURCES
Courtesy of Orlando Economic Partnership:
- Skillful Job Posting Generator to help employers write a skills-based job posting easily and quickly.
- EMSI Resume Optimizer to help job-seekers optimize their resume for the type of job they would like to apply for.
- COVID-19 Research and Impact Planning Center
- High-Frequency Economic Indicators data
- The Foundation for Orlando’s Future report: Skills-Based Hiring for Upward Mobility
Courtesy of CareerSource: