Guest presenters:

  • Michelle Dennard, President & CEO, CareerSource Florida
  • Madeline Pumariega, President, Miami Dade College
  • Nicole Daggs, Vice President — Human Resources, Florida Power & Light Company

FCAN host:  Charleita M. Richardson, Executive Director 

In order to build a Talent Strong Florida, the state must prepare its future workforce with the skills and education necessary to remain competitive in the global economy.

On May 20, FCAN hosted a webinar highlighting some of the in-demand skills students will need throughout their working lives.

“Kids level up in games, and I think we are always going to have to be leveling up and upskilling to stay competitive in the economic space,” said Madeline Pumariega, president of Miami Dade College. “States that get that alignment of talent to industry needs right are going to win the economic development race.”

The impact of automation

In the aftermath of COVID-19, some jobs are at risk of disappearing entirely. A McKinsey Global Institute report indicates 50% of jobs are at risk of loss due to automation over the next several decades.

“AI (artificial intelligence) is going to change the way that we do everything,” Pumariega said. “The question becomes how do we integrate that in all of our programs of study to create the talent that companies need today.”

While some jobs may go away due to automation, the World Economic Forum published a Future of Jobs report in 2018 highlighting how automation will improve productivity and augment the work of employees by reducing work time for individual tasks. For instance, improving search engine technology allows researchers to find relevant information more quickly.

The report also notes that many of the skills valued by employers — such as communication, managing, and advising — remain overwhelmingly human.

Acquiring in-demand skills

Michelle Dennard, president and CEO of CareerSource Florida, shared list of “resilient skills” courtesy of EMSI. Their resiliency was based on the percentage of time the skill is requested in job postings:

  • Communications (35%)
  • Management (19%)
  • Leadership (13%)
  • Problem-Solving (11%)
  • Teamwork (4%)

“These are skills that are in demand, no matter what the industry,” Dennard said.

She also shared results of a statewide research study of Floridians ages 16-24 to better understand their employment needs and learn how to better serve them. Students with an associate’s degree or technical certificate expressed the most “Confidence in Likelihood of Finding a Job.”

“We think this has a lot to do with the fact that they’re in areas of study that are in-demand and align perfectly with the career field they’re going into,” Dennard said. “Their outcomes are very tangible.”

Creating continuous learning opportunities and aligning talent

While resilient skills that are “future-proof” remain in-demand, current and prospective workers can also benefit from acquiring skills that allow them to remain current as key competencies continue to evolve.

Nicole Daggs, vice president of human resources for Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), shared information about NextEra University, which helps FPL employees build the skills they need to be successful.

“We have a program where we help leaders work with their employees to help identify the skills they are not quite proficient in that they will need in order to perform their job at a high level,” Daggs said.

She also cited a recently-launched program where FPL linemen have been training to use drones over large areas to survey power lines for damage or potential trouble spots.

“Automation isn’t taking over jobs, it’s enhancing work tasks,” Daggs said. Embracing lifelong learning enables employees to evolve their skillsets as the demands of the workplace change.

FCAN thanks the following for their generous support of this webinar:

Show Notes

To learn more about aligning students with in-demand career fields — or to view the webinar and download the presentation — take advantage of these resources.

CareerSource Florida Reports and Publications
McKinsey Global Institute report — “A Future that Works: Automation, Employment, and Productivity”
McKinsey Global Institute report — “The COVID-19 Recovery Will Be Digital”
World Economic Forum — “The Future of Jobs Report 2018”

Be sure to visit our Past Webinars page for access to recordings and downloadable material from FCAN’s previous presentations.

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