‘Be first to what’s next:’ Osceola County looks to future growth

Osceola County gets new logo

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – At the 2021 State of the County address at the Osceola Heritage Center, county leaders unveiled a new logo and brand for the county that has not been updated since 1985. “Be first to what’s next,” is the county’s latest slogan.

“Today, you will be the first to what’s next,” Commissioner Brandon Arrington told the crowd as they opened envelopes revealing the colorful new logo.

“Osceola [County] has grown a lot over the last decade and I think our new brand is more reflective of our diverse community and the progress we are trying to take as well,” Arrington told News 6 afterward.

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As presented Wednesday, 2020 Census data shows Osceola County is the fastest-growing county in Central Florida, with the population growing 45% in the last decade alone, with 54% identifying as Hispanic.

With that growth comes growing pains. Osceola County had the highest job loss rate in Florida during the pandemic. The unemployment rate in Osceola County is the highest in the state and the third highest in the nation.

“The biggest obstacle was the pandemic and job loss,” Commissioner Viviana Jaynor said following the address. “We took action to make sure everyone kept food on the table and assistance with a mortgage so homeowners wouldn’t lose their homes.”

Osceola County distributed $17 million in rental, mortgage and utility assistance this year along with hiring a new eviction liaison to help residents facing eviction.

The county is also looking toward the future with what’s next to keep up with the growth, including investing in $2 billion in infrastructure and road projects.

The county is partnering with agencies like the Central Florida Expressway Authority, FDOT and the Florida Turnpike. The county will also continue improvements on the Osceola Road Initiative which launched in January.

The initiate is set to improve five major roads:

  • Simpson Road
  • Boggy Creek
  • Bill Beck Boulevard
  • Partin Settlement Road
  • Poinciana Boulevard

“The most excitement is our investment in infrastructure,” Arrington said. “Because we are always challenged, we are trying to play catch up from past developments, that’s why we want to invest in our infrastructure.”

The county is also investing in high-tech, high-paying jobs with the development of Neo City.

County leaders are excited for the upcoming 20,000-acre community of Sunbridge, built by Tavistock, the same developers of Lake Nona.