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My Florida C F O
Weekly eNewsletter from Florida's Chief Financial Officer

Dear Fellow Floridian:

With almost half of graduating high school seniors saying they’re unsure or unprepared to manage their own personal finances, and with the average 23- to 28-year-old carrying more than $14,000 in debt, it’s clear that we have a deep responsibility to prepare our teens for the opportunities and challenges that their futures hold.Florida Stuents $ave Essay Contest With that in mind, I worked with Florida Master Money Mentors, The James Madison Institute and the Florida Council on Economic Education to develop and launch the Florida Students $ave Essay Contest. The contest is part of my Your Money Matters education initiative, which aims to equip Floridians with financial knowledge in an easy and accessible way.

The goal of the contest is to motivate young people to develop personal financial skills and better prepare them for college and the workplace. The contest will award hundreds of dollars to Florida students who present the best research and planning in response to scenarios that reflect on short- and long-term financial goals.

The contest is open to all Florida high school students (public, private, charter, virtual or homeschool) for the 2012-13 school year. From now through Nov. 30, students can submit essays of up to 1,200 words for a chance to win a first-place prize of $250. Second- and third-place winners will receive $150 and $50 respectively. Three winners will be chosen from each of five regions across Florida: Northwest Florida, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa and South Florida.

To find out more information about the essay contest, including a list of contest rules, regions and how to submit an essay, visit or call the Division of Consumer Services helpline at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (693-5236).

Jeff Atwater
Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

Nemours Opens 3rd Hospital for Children

On Thursday, CFO Atwater was pleased to participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate Nemours' new children's hospital in Orlando. The CFO presented a resolution signed by the Governor and Cabinet members recognizing Nemours and the DuPont Hospital for Children for more than 70 years of helping Florida children and their families. CFO Atwater presents a resolution commending the hospital dedication

In 1936, the Jacksonville-based Nemours Foundation created the Alfred I. DuPont Institute in Wilmington, Del., a facility dedicated to pediatric treatment and care. The institute now has three hospitals in Florida with international leaders in medical science and has invested nearly $2 billion to enable a higher standard of care for children in need of acute medical attention.

Congratulations to Nemours, where the compassion and generous legacy of Alfred I. DuPont live on through the care and services provided to many young Floridians.

Economic Brief: Consumer Confidence

Consumer confidence levels reached a five-year high of 76 points in September – up three points from August. The Florida consumer confidence survey showed increases in all five components that researchers use to measure short-term and long-term confidence. The biggest jump was a three-point rise in expectations that the U.S. economy will be stronger a year from now.

News of Interest

Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Florida business sales have record July

Sun-Sentinel: Florida's income growth tops national average

Palm Beach Post: U.S. Sugar kicks off Florida sugarcane season, starts harvest

Miami Herald: U.S. stock futures up on optimism over manufacturing

Miami Herald: Retail group: Holiday sales to rise 4.1 percent in 2012

Reuters: Chrysler says September sales best since 2007

Miami Herald: Co-working wave with entrepreneurial twist sweeps into South Florida

Miami Herald: Space Coast readies for two launches this week

Florida's Bottom LineFlorida's Bottom Line

This quarter's issue  of Florida's Bottom Line focuses on Florida’s small business community and how to provide a stable economic environment so that we can continue to help businesses flourish and expand.

The companion website features business news updates and Florida By the Numbers, a collection of key statistics illustrating important changes in Florida’s economy over the past month. The latest data is shown on topics such as consumer confidence, unemployment rate, new foreclosure activity and Florida's leading, stock and retail index graphs. Updates are made as new statistics become available.