Florida CAN recently hosted the second in a series of webinars on Connecting Education and Jobs in Florida.  During the webinar we heard an overview of Florida workforce trends and demands by Adrienne Johnston, Bureau Chief of Labor Market Statistics at the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist and Director of Research with the Florida Chamber Foundation.

Want to know what you missed? Here are the five biggest takeaways from the webinar.

  1. Future workforce demand is concentrated in jobs that require education beyond high school.  The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity produces long-term employment projections for the state.  As you can see in the chart below, jobs growing at the fastest rate, which were also noted to offer the highest wages, are ones which require postsecondary education or training.

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  1. Florida still needs nurses!  Nursing has been #1 on the list of jobs in-demand in Florida for over a decade.  Why do we still have a gap in workers?  Adrienne Johnston with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity believes multiple factors are at play, including a shortage of training opportunities for nursing students (nurse educators are also in demand).  Other potential factors include the increasing training requirements for registered nurses.  Nursing is an example of a good paying job with plenty of opportunities for employment, not being able to meet demand for more nurses is proof that meeting workforce needs is much easier said than done.

  1. Florida employers want their workers to get soft (skills).  Data from a pilot study of employers in Broward County showed gaps in soft skills are over three times more prevalent than hard skills across all industries, including manufacturing and construction.  The soft skills haps with the largest gaps reported by employers included dependability and attendance, customer service and problem solving.
  1. Help workers with lower levels of education upskill by using a “career lattice.”  What’s a career lattice you ask?  It’s a tool that can help workers see what jobs might be available in a related field as a result of increasing one’s skills or training.  The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) is developing career lattices in construction and health care professions (see slide 31) to use as a resource for workers interested in moving beyond an entry level job in their respective field.  DEO plans to roll out career lattices for in-demand industries by workforce regions, which will serve as a practical tool for helping those in entry level positions learn which job options and opportunities may be available.
  1. Florida’s changing demographics will have an impact on our future workforce.  Florida’s population is projected to increase in numbers, and age.  Dr. Parrish with the Florida Chamber Foundation stated that between now and 2030, population estimates show an additional 2 million people in Florida will be ages 65 and over.  Sometimes referred to as the “Silver Tsunami,” many employers will face the challenge of filling jobs held by highly educated Baby Boomers as they enter retirement.  Estimates show over 60% of future job openings in Florida will come as a result of replacement needs (ex. Baby Boomers retiring).

Want to check out the webinar for yourself? Click our events page to view slides and a recording that can be viewed anytime.


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