Life Sciences

Corporate Partnerships Pave the Way for Curriculum in Region’s Higher Education

As the needs of the modern workforce are ever evolving, the higher education campuses across the Jacksonville region continue to partner with companies and provide unique curriculum and training programs, highlighted recently by Jacksonville University’s (JU) partnership on two major training initiatives to help meet the area’s demand for talent.

SkillStorm, a technology-training firm that recently relocated their headquarters to Jacksonville, is working with JU to provide tailored training programs for employers throughout the region.  SkillStorm’s customized approach provides area employers with a unique opportunity to retain local talent and build an extensive pipeline of technology talent. The partnership helps close the tech skills gap, enabling college graduates and veterans to gain the skills and experience needed to access high-paying, in-demand careers while providing commercial and federal organizations with talent to support critical technology initiatives, all major components for JAXUSA’s Earn Up program.

This partnership will add more than 3,000 technology professionals into the workforce over the next three years, half of which will undergo training at JU’s downtown campus before being placed with organizations in the region or nationwide.

“Jacksonville continues to be recognized as an emerging tech city and the impressive addition of new and expanding tech companies proves that fact,” said Aundra Wallace, president of JAXUSA Partnership. “As the tech industry continues to mature in our region, we have an even greater credence to attract and retain these companies and develop skilled talent to make them successful.”

In addition to the program with SkillStorm, JU is also working with Jacksonville-based Availity, the nation’s largest real-time health information network, to provide a pathway for nurse practitioners (NPs) to close the primary care gap.  The program established the Availity Nurse Practitioners Scholars Fund with a $100,000 donation from Availity to the university.

Through this program, qualified NPs at JU will earn continuing education credits for obtaining a license for independent practice, under a law signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis earlier this year. Increasing the number of NPs practicing independently will help area residents receive needed acute or chronic condition care sooner, potentially preventing a much more costly emergency department visit or hospitalization.

More and more companies are working with school districts and institutes of higher learning to establish curriculum that meets their needs for future generations of workforce. These recent announcements from JU add to others in the region including programs at Florida State College of Jacksonville and University of North Florida geared towards tailored curriculum and the roll out specialized programs to best equip students entering into the region’s IT and fintech sectors, announced earlier this year.