Florida is projected to add 6 million more residents and require 2 million more jobs by 2030. Will our schools, colleges and students be prepared?

To help stimulate strategic thinking around these questions and the state’s future, the Florida Chamber Foundation has released Florida Jobs 2030, a new report aimed at helping educators, non-profits, business, industry and community leaders prepare for projected shifts in Florida’s labor market and the changing landscape of skills required for 21st-century jobs.

Earlier this week, members of the Chamber Foundation discussed the findings of the Florida Jobs 2030 report with state and local education and business leaders.

“When it comes to securing Florida’s future, it’s important to think long-term and when it comes to Florida’s workforce, that means planning for jobs that may not even exist,” said Tony Carvajal, executive vice president of the Florida Chamber Foundation, in a statement. “Florida Jobs 2030 will serve as the road map for businesses and educational institutions to work together to create pathways and partnerships toward economic opportunity.”

Mark Wilson, president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, agrees that supporting post-secondary attainment is the key to the state’s future prosperity.

“Talent is quickly replacing the tax incentive as the economic development tool of choice,” Wilson said.

The report includes interviews from 90 stakeholders — a collection of education, business and community leaders — who examined five of the state’s eight targeted industries: Aerospace and Aviation, Finance and Professional Services, Health Care and Life Sciences, Logistics and Distribution, and Manufacturing.

To meet our state’s future economic and workforce needs, the report offered the following recommendations:

* Deepen and expand cross-sector collaboration,

* Foster opportunities for targeted skills development that is responsive to economic shifts,

* Improve statewide career awareness and counseling,

* Streamline transitions between high school, postsecondary, and workforce and create a more seamless pipeline between education and the workforce, and

* Adopt a data-driven approach to meeting Florida’s needs for a 21st century workforce.

Ed Moore — president of The Independent Colleges & University of Florida, as well as a Florida Chamber Foundation trustee — offered praise for the Florida Jobs 2030 report.

“The Florida Chamber has taken a very thoughtful, forward-thinking look at the potential future of our great state,” said Moore in a statement. “We should all be thinking about tomorrow and what we can do to better prepare for a prosperous future.”

The report was led by Mary Wright and Sara Lamback of Jobs for the Future, a national nonprofit that develops educational and economic opportunities for underserved populations. To download the report, visit the Florida Jobs 2030 page on the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s website.





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