Although located in a rich coffee-growing region, Santa Rita is known for its high technology industries, being home to one of Brazil's foremost electronic, telecommunications and computer engineering colleges, INATEL - Instituto Nacional de Telecomunicações, which was founded in 1965.
As to the Escola Técnica de Eletrônica "Francisco Moreira da Costa" , the first electronic technical school of Latin América, it was founded in 1959 by lady Sinha Moreira. The city possesses today more than 110 companies of technological bases.
Santa Rita uses prisoners to power street lamps in a local plaza. Inmates are offered the opportunity to shorten their sentences by pedaling a bike that is connected to a car battery, which then are used to power the lighting grid.