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West Coast Florida - Fort Myers and Cape Coral

Updated on September 26, 2016
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish has 30 years experience in medicine, psychology, STEM instruction, history, and aerospace education for USAF Civil Air Patrol.


Great Place to Work and Retire

Fort Myers - Cape Coral comprises an area that is recognized as one of the Top 25 Best Cities in America for Jobs and Business.Interestingly, it is located just the the northwest of the large Everglades region.

Unlike other parts of Florida, this region not as much of a retirement mecca, but is home to working age individuals largely 25 - 55 years of age.

Florida has long been a retirement center for senior citizens, but in the 2000s, seniors began retiring more often to Tennessee and North/South Carolina, instead of to Florida. The reasons for this change in retirement migration include the devastation that resulted from hurricanes in the region from 1991 - 2008. However, this area of the coast has been repaired and new hurricane preparedness policies put into place.

Fort Myers - Cape Coral Market and Vacation Area

Fort Myers:
Fort Myers, FL, USA

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Cape Coral:
Cape Coral, FL, USA

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Huirricanes 1990s - 2000s

Hurricane Andrew in 1991, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Hurricane Ike in 2008... further, summer weather in Florida is very hot and humid and the state is not far from Cuba from which refugees migrate into the US. However, Fort Myers-Cape Coral floods much less than the remainder of the state and is further away from Cuba. The crime rate is low.

Healthiest Industries In the Market

Walt Disney World and Busch Gardens, as well as a Universal Studios park dominate the entertainment sector in the state, leading to consistent growth of the industries of

  • Tourism and
  • Related Retail,
  • Accommodations,
  • Hospitality,
  • Sports, and
  • Entertainment.

All of this action brings visitors to most of the Florida regions. Because of all of this, some retirees wish to move to a quieter locale and some even migrate back home to New England.

These events support the fact that service industries are growing in Florida, along with market areas like Fort Myers & Cape Coral. US labor statistics forecasts show that services will continue to grow through 2022. This includes the healthcare industry.

Healthcare is presenting a growing demand for Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses long-term, including travel nurses. In addition, many visitors combine travel enjoyment with health care services in the 21st century, drawing more tourist and healthcare dollars to Florida.

The larger Combined Metro Area of Fort Myers & Cape Coral is located at opposite ends of three causeways and the Midpoint Bridge across the Caloosahatchee River. It also includes unincorporated North Fort Myer Beach. Together, the three entities are home to over 500,000 people at a median age in Cape Coral of 30 and Fort Myers, 39. Retirees are increasing in this area, though.

According to the US Census2000, the population of the three towns largely between 25 - 55 years of age, which is all workforce range. Of the three towns, Fort Myers Beach is home to a larger proportion of seniors ages 56+, but is the smallest-populated of the three places.

Cape Coral, One of the Top 10 Fastest Growing Cities In America Through 2022

Cape Coral FL:
Cape Coral, FL, USA

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Noteworthy Attractions

  1. City of Fort Myers Aquatics: The city oversees a number of year-round water activities for residents and visitors. Area beaches are popular attractions, yet not overly crowded. The city operates nearly 40 area parks as well as several recreation centers. The Yacht Basin is in the downtown district at the harbor.
  2. Burroughs Home and Garden: This is a historic waterfront district in which a mansion is preserved that entertained such celebrities as Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. The gardens are vast and lush, most remembered for the old parties given under the moonlight in years gone by. Guided tours are provided. The local Museum of History is in Downtown Fort Myers.
  3. The Fort Myers Skatium is a skating palace with free skating, lessons, and programs for many ages, including a performance team of children and youth. A gym and fitness programs are also available.
  4. Cape Coral offers farmers markets several times a year, a system of recreation centers and parks, a Coconut Festival in November, and many biking events. Garage sales are seen as big community events, promoted by the city.

Cape Coral

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Caloosahatchee River taken from the grounds of the Edison and Ford Winter Estates.The Midpoint Memorial Bridge on the Caloosahatchee River, seen from Cape Coral, Florida.
Caloosahatchee River taken from the grounds of the Edison and Ford Winter Estates.
Caloosahatchee River taken from the grounds of the Edison and Ford Winter Estates. | Source
The Midpoint Memorial Bridge on the Caloosahatchee River, seen from Cape Coral, Florida.
The Midpoint Memorial Bridge on the Caloosahatchee River, seen from Cape Coral, Florida. | Source

The Birds of Fort Myers Beach

Thomas Edison, John Burroughs, and Henry Ford at the winter home.
Thomas Edison, John Burroughs, and Henry Ford at the winter home.

Celebrity Endorsements

Early Spanish explorers may have ventured into the area of Cape Coral and Fort Myers in the earliest 1500s, finding Native American Nations established there since several thousand years previously. However, in the 1700s, British maps first began to clearly illustrate the Lee Island coastline which is now in the Greater Fort Myers Area.

Pirates based themselves in this southwestern part of Florida at the time, gunning for cargo ships sailing to New Orleans.

The actual military Fort Myers was built on the Caloosahatchee River after 1821 as a protection point during the Seminole Indian Wars and was maintained until 1858, but was re-manned during the Civil War.

It was in the Cape Coral area across the river that the most southerly located battle of the war took place. After that, Fort Myers became a town supported by cattle shipped to Cuba and by pineapples, logging, and agriculture.

Thomas Edison constructed a house and laboratory on the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Myers and Henry Ford bought the house next door.

Edison and Ford promoted the community toward greater economic growth, Edison taking the greater part in this movement.

Seminole Lodge - Winter Home & Lab of Thomas Edison

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cylinder phonographs in Edison's winter lab, Fort Myers.The winter laboratory.
Cylinder phonographs in Edison's winter lab, Fort Myers.
Cylinder phonographs in Edison's winter lab, Fort Myers.
The winter laboratory.
The winter laboratory.

Largest Employers In the Market Area

Largest Non-Hospital Employers, County/Greater Fort Myers Area:

  1. Lee Memorial Health - Hospitals, huge employee base and many openings.
  2. The Lee County School District
  3. Lee County Health System - Hospitals
  4. Publix Grocery Stores
  5. Lee County Government

Hospitals in Fort Myers - Cape Coral

  • Cape Coral Hospital
  • Gulf Coast Hospital
  • Lee Memorial Hospital
  • SW Florida Regional Medical Center

Travel Nursing In Florida

Gulf Of Mexico Space Coast

Gulf Of Mexico Space Coast

Brownsville TX:
Brownsville, TX, USA

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Houston TX:
Houston, TX, USA

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New Orleans:
New Orleans, LA, USA

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Pensacola FL:
Pensacola, FL, USA

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Fort Myers FL:
Fort Myers, FL, USA

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Flying To Far Side From the Gulf

The Michoud Assembly Facility at New Orleans is NASA's 832-acre space park. In 2016, the US Congress awarded NASA $2 Billion, much of it toward the rocket built by Boeing to take us to Far Side (far side of the moon).

Aerospace Companies Hiring In the Fort Myers Area

  1. Parker Hannifin Corporation
  2. Aerojet Rocketdyne
  3. Arthrex Manufacturing
  4. TAD PGS, Inc.
  5. Altec Industries, Inc.
  6. UTC Aerospace Systems
  7. Worldwide Flight Services
  8. Intrepid Aerospace Inc.
  9. VSC/Verify Inc. - recruiters for the space program.
  10. Shaw Development Company
  11. Flexjet, LLC.
  12. PrivateSky Aviation Services, Inc
  13. Prime Planes Aircraft Services

High Demand Job Listings 2016 - 2018

  1. Engineers and Engineering Technicians - All types. From 2015 - 2025, the American Space Program grows around the Gulf of Mexico with a new spaceport built by Space X near Brownsville, and many aerospace companies building from Brownsville around the gulf in major cities all the way to the Everglades.
  2. Registered Nurses - RN License
  3. Truck Drivers and Owner-Operators
  4. Physical and Occupational Therapists and Assistants
  5. Personal Bankers and Account Execs
  6. Managers and Assistant Managers in Retail
  7. Team Members - Retail and Dining
  8. Restaurant Managers
  9. Automotive Technicians
  10. Pharmacy Technicians

All Levels Of Drivers Needed At These Companies

Dollar General and Family Dollar

Winn-Dixie Retail Grocery Stores

Harvey's Pharmacy and Corporate

Centerline Drivers, LLC

Advance Auto Parts

Interstate Distributor

Drive United

Top 10 Jobs Growing Fastest Through 2022

  1. Business and Finance Specialists
  2. Food and Beverage Related Production and Serving Jobs, all levels and types
  3. Retail Sales Jobs – Sales Supervisors, Salespeople
  4. Construction Trades and Production Workers
  5. Healthcare Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners, Technicians, and Support Staff, including Registered Nurses (RNs)
  6. Transportation, Trucking, and Material-Moving Jobs
  7. Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations
  8. Primary, Secondary, and Special Education Teachers (Pre-K through 12)
  9. Secretaries and Administrative Assistants
  10. Protective Service Occupations - Police, firefighters, guards, others.

Additional Growing Job Titles:

  1. Landscapers and Grounds Keepers
  2. Cashiers and Customer Service Representatives
  3. Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive

Higher Education and Sports in Lee County

Higher Education and Sports in Lee County

  • Cape Coral Beauty School
  • Edison State Community College
  • Florida Gulf Coast University
  • International College
  • Lee County High-Tech Center: Increasing numbers of technical programs.
  • Mantee Community College: About a one hour's drive from Fort Myers.
  • Rasmussen College
  • Southwest Florida College

Local Sports Teams

  • Fort Myers Miracle Baseball Club (FSL)
  • Fort Myers Stingrays (AIFA): Indoor football.
  • Gulf Coast Pro Wrestling Championships
  • Gulf Coast Swim Team

© 2008 Patty Inglish MS


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