...The Central Gulf Coast isn't usually seen as an economic region. But the urbanized area between Baton Rouge, La., and Panama City, Fla., is tied together socially and economically. Spanning some 400 miles east to west, it has more than two dozen counties/parishes along the coast with
more than 3.4 million people, a workforce of 1.7 million people and a combined gross product of $140.9 billion. ...The region between Southeast Louisiana and Northwest Florida has a transportation mix that includes major rail lines, more than a dozen ports, a half-dozen commercial airports, and an east-west interstate (Interstate 10)
that intersects three north-bound interstates. ...The Central Gulf Coast is served by major public and private universities, many of them heavily involved in research, as well as two- year colleges and a host of technical training centers that address the workforce training needs of the region. ...While known for tourism, another major pillar of the economy is defense-related. The Central Gulf Coast has more than a dozen military facilities with vast test and training ranges, and the world’s biggest defense contractors have operations in the region. One of the more significant though less well-known activities is the military technical training that occurs in the region, ranging from high-tech electronics to cryptology/cyber security and pilot and navigator training.