In 1977, a plan that would forever change how the Orlando region works to attract and grow local industry was put into place. The Industrial Development Commission (IDC) was formed with four staff associates, 110 individual members and a great vision for the future. The IDC united the efforts of three groups that were doing similar economic development-type work—the Orlando Chamber of Commerce's Committee of 200, the Central Florida Development Committee and the Orlando/Orange County Industrial Development Board. The group was primarily focused on the attraction and recruitment of targeted industries.

While the IDC originally served Orange County and the City of Orlando, a regional focus was always the vision of its leadership. In 1981, Seminole County folded its economic development functions into the IDC; Lake County joined the partnership in 1987; and Osceola County came on board in 1989, the same year that the organization's name changed to the Economic Development Commission of Mid-Florida (EDC).

In 2001, the organization was renamed the Orlando Economic Development Commission and the community brand, "Putting imagination to work", was launched. Today, with a staff of 32 and approximately 350 private- and public-sector investors, the EDC is focused on attracting, retaining and growing targeted industries that have the potential to create high-wage, high-value jobs and to diversify the region's economic base.

In terms of responsibilities and functions, the EDC markets the four-county Orlando region worldwide as a thriving location for business investment and growth. To prepare this community to compete most effectively, especially within the current challenges of the global economy, the EDC is working to advance a comprehensive regional economic development strategy designed to identify and target future drivers of job growth and enhance competitiveness through the updating of legislative, regulatory and incentive factors. On behalf of the region, the full-service organization spearheads comprehensive business intelligence, public relations and marketing outreach, film and television production attraction and permitting, local business retention and expansion, lead generation and prospect/project management. Some of the many services provided by the EDC to clients and government partners include: site selection, permitting, licensing, local and state incentive coordination, real estate identification, vendor identification, demographics and research, ongoing compilation of economic indicators, workforce recruitment and training, community tours, trade show representation, film permitting, public relations and advertising.

In addition, the EDC has launched a number of important, and somewhat unique, economic development initiatives. In 1986, the organization added film and television production to its line-up of focus areas and the Orlando Film Commission was born. Three years later came the establishment of an industry retention team that specifically worked to help local businesses grow and to regularly assess and help meet their needs. Today the EDC also manages the Orlando Miltary Affairs Advisory Council (MAAC), designed to help retain and accelerate growth of an important local industry sector. To ensure close working ties with another important local industry, EDC offices are co-located with the Manufacturers Association of Central Florida (MACF).