UNEMPLOYMENT FOR VETERANS DECLINES -- The unemployment rate for veterans who served since September 2001 declined 1.8 percent to 7.2 percent in 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The jobless rate for all veterans, at 5.3 percent, also declined. In addition, 29 percent of Gulf War-era II veterans reported having a service-connected disability, compared with 16 percent of all veterans. For more, go to:

WEBINAR ON DISASTER SUPPLY CHAIN PLANNING -- Businesses can protect against costly shutdowns by establishing a comprehensive supply chain. The U.S. Small Business Administration and Agility Recovery will offer a webinar on this topic April 7 at 2 p.m. To register go to: To access previous webinars, go to:

ACADEMY FOCUS IS EARTH SCIENCES -- The Horticultural, Environmental and Marine Science Academy offered by Volusia public schools is focused on Florida's environment and prepares students for careers in horticultural and environmental services. Students are involved in projects such as water quality testing, marine life sampling, wildlife gardening, invasive species eradication and mosquito control monitoring. For information email James Clements, academy director, at

UNMANNED SYSTEMS CONFERENCE SET FOR ATLANTA -- Unmanned Systems 2015 convenes the largest global community of commercial and defense leaders in intelligent robotics, drones and unmanned systems. The conference is May 4 in Atlanta. For information go to:

WORKSHOP ON STARTING A BUSINESS -- The local SCORE chapter is offering a free workshop on how to start a business. Topics include starting a business plan, marketing, financial viability, tracking income and expenses, legal and financing. The workshop is April 2 from 6 - 8 p.m. at the UCF Business Incubator at Daytona Beach International Airport. To register go to: score.87 or call 386-255-6889.

GRANTS AVAILABLE FOR PANAMA BOAT SHOW -- According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the pleasure boat market has grown significantly in the last seven years in part due to the economy in Panama. The Panama International Boat show is May 29 - 31. The event will showcase accessories and equipment and pleasure boats, super yachts and more. Enterprise Florida grants are available to qualified Florida companies. For information, contact Leigh Shapleigh at Volusia County Economic Development at 386-248-8048 or email

WORKSHOP ON GRANTS -- River to Sea Transportation Planning Organization and Grant Writing USA will present a two-day grants workshop in Daytona Beach April 9 - 10. This training is for grant seekers of all disciplines. Seating is limited; reservations are necessary. Contact Janet Darling at 888-290-6237 or email

NEGATIVE HOME EQUITY RATE FALLS, BUT FLORIDA A LEADER -- MarketPlace reports that from 2009 to 2011 more than 25 percent of American homeowners had negative equity. This is when a homeowner owes more than the house is worth. CoreLogic reports in 2014 that percentage was down to 10.7 percent due to rising home prices which are forecasted to rise 5 percent nationally this year. Nevada and Florida lead the nation in homes with negative equity.

CANINES, DRONES BATTLE DEADLY AVOCADO FUNGUS -- In a few weeks, red bay ambrosia beetles will be on the move in Florida posing a major threat to the state’s multi-million dollar avocado industry. Florida International University researchers believe a combination of drones and dogs could help in the fight to stop a deadly fungus spread by these invasive pests. For more, go to:

Surprising Volusia County

  Area profile
Volusia County is known worldwide for the irresistible surf and sand of Daytona Beach and for the equally popular events surrounding Bikeweek and the Daytona 500. Read more >>>

  Business overview
Florida Trend’s list of the 350 biggest companies in Florida includes five Volusia County firms: NASCAR, Brown & Brown, International Speedway Corp., Consolidated Tomoka Land Co.; and Halifax Media Group.  Read more >>>

With I-95 (which runs  through more states than any other interstate highway) as an anchor, Volusia County links the Atlantic states from Maine, all the way to Miami. Read more >>>

Post-secondary education: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Stetson University, Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona State College and the UCF Daytona Beach have a national reputation for excellence.  Read more >>>