Orlando’s simulation industry is thriving amid the corona virus

Orlando's simulation industry is thriving amid the corona virus

ORLANDO, Fla. – In the midst of the economic downturn, the unintended consequence of fighting the corona virus pandemic, a sector of Central Florida’s economy is still thriving.

What you need to know

  • Technology and simulation industry sees jobs winning
  • GLESEC is a cybersecurity company that is moving its headquarters to Orlando
  • The company says that with more people working from home, its industry is in high demand

“In this time of turmoil, where we see many areas shrinking, it is fortunate to see this one industry grow,” said Laureen Martinez, with the Orlando economic partnership. “We have seen a number of industries in the Orlando region that are less affected, and have even won some jobs. One of those areas is the technology and simulation industry.”

Martinez said companies like it cyber security company GLESEC, which will move its headquarters from Princeton, New Jersey to Orlando, will benefit from the region’s strong simulation and training industry.

“We discovered that there are significant business opportunities, number one in simulation,” explains Sergio Heker, CEO of GLESEC. “We are considered a ‘soft landing company’, a company that comes from a different state.”

Heker said yet another reason behind the move of his company, notably to the University of Central Florida Business IncubatorNestled in Central Florida Research Park, the facility offers labs and secure operating rooms.

“The importance of UCF’s location determination, as well as Research Park, where we see a cluster of simulation companies, is very important to them. And at the moment, diversifying our economy is of course very important, “said Martinez.

GLESEC is also active in Latin America, and Heker said his company’s move to Orlando made sense: it’s both geographically top, and well connected to nearby Orlando International Airport.

Heker, an engineer by profession, started GLESEC in 2003. They now partner with approximately 30 companies, ranging from the Department of Defense subcontracting to healthcare to airlines, to provide cyber security.

While the pandemic has challenged many industries, Heker said his industry is seeing increasing demand, especially as many are now working from home, going online and encountering phishing scams.

“Coronavirus accelerates the need for security,” he said. “The work continues, the hackers continue to hack and the defense is more important than ever.”

GLESEC is also about to hire 26 new high-paying positions from cybersecurity analysts to account managers over the next three years.

With an average wage of $ 70,000, this is “nearly 50 percent above the average wage in Orange County,” the partnership said.

“We will have to move to a larger facility,” said Heker.

For now, Heker said he loves adding to the local economy and setting up shop in the Sunshine State.

According to the National Center for Simulation (NCS), more than $ 6 billion in simulation contracts flow through Central Florida annually.