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When thinking of tech start-ups and economic growth and development, the mind of many Americans will automatically jump to the tried and true industrialized favorites: Silicon Valley, Dallas, Texas, perhaps even New York. But what many fail to realize is that South Florida has been playing an important roll in the tech industry for over a quarter of a century.

The first Smartphone – the current tech craze of today – was conceptualized and built in the Broward and Palm Beach labs of IBM, BellSouth, and Motorola back in the early 1990’s. And, the first IBM computer was also born in South Florida. However, despite the many successes Florida has had over the years, it’s still not known for its technical or economic prowess.

However, it should be noted that according to the most recent release from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Fort Lauderdale, Florida actually tied with Dallas, Texas for first place in the metropolitan area with the highest overall job growth in the nation. Broward County is even rated as having the lowest unemployment rate in the state of Florida.

Flying Saucer Grove in Broward County

Much of this can be attributed to the hard work and effort put into the community by the county’s lawmakers and government officials. A great example of this is Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief. Sharief was largely known for her business successes before becoming Broward County’s first female mayor in 2013. Since then she has implemented several programs to stimulate business in her area and has experienced positive results overall.


Watch now: Your South Florida | Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief | WPBT2 South Florida PBS Video

For the second time in her 7 years as a Broward County Commissioner, Barbara Sharief was selected by her peers to serve as the county’s mayor. Mayor Sharief joins us to discuss how the county is handling the affordable and workforce housing crisis, and her push for changes to gun regulations following January’s mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.