...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.

Next: Part I (cont.) Geography
Part I: Gulf Coast region
Central Gulf Coast