JAXUSA recently hosted its inaugural talent summit for the Jacksonville region, bringing together business and education leaders to collaborate on future programming by identifying the skills and credentials employers need in the short and long-term. This level of partnership between industry and academia in Northeast Florida has fueled economic growth in the region by creating a robust talent pool of qualified workers.
JAXUSA engages stakeholders in the region’s talent ecosystem through Earn Up, a strategic initiative that delivers a three-pronged program of talent attraction, development and connection for the Jacksonville region. Earn Up builds a partnership of education, business and community leaders to optimize the workforce of today and tomorrow, support economic growth and manifest an exceptional quality of life. By serving as a liaison between all stakeholders, JAXUSA helps create meaningful connections that deepen the awareness of Career Pathways for students, adult learners and veterans, as well as expand relationships between educators and the businesses in Northeast Florida.
“This summit is a great way to align the needs of employers with the curriculums schools are developing for students,” said Anna Lebesch, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Talent for JAXUSA. “Businesses need to know that a region is developing the kind of talent they require to compete globally. It is one of the first things companies evaluate when looking to relocate or expand and we know the Jacksonville’s future growth is strongly correlated to the investments we make in the talent base.”
The Jacksonville region has one of best education systems in the country, and it feeds directly into the future workforce of Northeast Florida. With three of the top nine school districts in the state of Florida – St. Johns County (1), Clay County (7) and Nassau County (9) – and eight high schools ranked among the top 50 in the state, the primary school system in the region is among the elite. Northeast Florida is also home to several colleges and universities, including Jacksonville University, the University of North Florida, Florida State College at Jacksonville, St. Johns River State College, Edward Waters University, Keiser University, First Coast Technical College and the #1 ranked public university in the country, the University of Florida.
Talent development is a key component of JAXUSA’s strategic plan: The Future Is Now — Northeast Florida. The region’s ongoing mission to promote the development of accessible Career Pathways and create a robust talent pipeline is fourfold: (1) grow career education and training programs that expose youth and adults to job opportunities across Northeast Florida; (2) deepen partner engagement across workforce and talent development initiatives to make sure talent stays in the Jacksonville region; (3) prioritize the workforce through collaborative partnerships; and (4) bolster talent attraction and marketing initiatives to grow a diverse pool of top-tier talent.
As talent continues to be a competitive differentiator for Northeast Florida, both established and new employers in the area will benefit from strategic academic program design that results from regional partnerships.