Defense, hospitality remain Okaloosa's main employers

Published: Friday, April 26, 2013 at 07:03 PM.

"All you need to do is look at just the threat of the BP oil coming near here and business dropped noticeably."

Rick Plante, Possum Ridge BBQ’s pit master, said trade at his north State Road 85 location slowed to a trickle during the summer of 2010.

"I call it the ricochet effect," Mitchell said. "We didn't get the beach impact as hard as they did down south, but it certainly did affect us, which proves that a healthy beach and a healthy beach economy (are) important to us here."

New tricks for old dogs

The local economy’s recovery means less long-term unemployment in the area than elsewhere in the state, Sumblin said.

To combat what long-term unemployment there was, JobsPlus and the Workforce Development Board embarked on a retraining program. Programs included on-the-job training to prepare existing and new workers for new positions at area companies including BAE Systems and L3 Crestview Aerospace.

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