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FEBRUARY 8 - WEST PALM BEACH, FLA – The BDB convened 10 technology giants representing nearly 7,000 jobs, local college and university leaders, the School District of Palm Beach County, and CareerSource Palm Beach County for the Academic Leaders Council meeting. The council, comprised of Palm Beach County’s academic leaders, works to strengthen business and education partnerships. The meeting focused on how to ensure students are learning the skills needed to fill jobs within some of Palm Beach County’s largest technology companies. The BDB invited companies that have recently expanded their workforce, are in the process of expansion, or have plans to expand within the near future. The group explored partnerships and the possibility of building new technology programs together.
The meeting started with representatives highlighting the technology sector from local, regional, and state perspectives. Paul Mitchell of Enterprise Florida represented the state of Florida, David Coddington of South Florida Tech Gateway represented the Tri-County Region, and Joe Russo of Palm Beach Tech Association represented the local technology sector in Palm Beach County. All three overviews had one thing in common; this area is at the forefront of Information Technology.
In fact, the companies in attendance at the meeting have experienced growth just within this past year. Modernizing Medicine now employs more than 800 people and just moved into its new headquarters, the place where the personal computer was created. Digital Resource recently announced its expansion in downtown West Palm Beach, creating over 100 jobs. Florida Power & Light is planning to install 30 million solar panels across the state by the end of the next decade.
Technology companies in the meeting included:
“The Academic Leaders Council is one of the many efforts led by the BDB to make the connections between academic institutions and private industry,” said Kelly Smallridge, President & CEO of the BDB. With support from JP Morgan Chase & Co., a workforce analysis was launched last year surveying nearly 7,000 businesses, residents, and students.
One of the most recent connections that the BDB made was partnering with LexisNexis on January 20 for an event where the female leaders of the company spoke to nearly 100 local high school and college students from across the county. “We believe it’s important to help foster technology talent in South Florida", said Sarah Fabius, Systems Engineer III. “We are excited to continue our partnership with the BDB and look forward to providing the opportunity for our seasoned technology experts to connect with future generations of technologists.”
This connection is one of 45 facilitated by the BDB just within the past three months. Together, Palm Beach County’s collaborative environment has a shared vision to build the workforce that technology companies around the globe won’t be able to resist when considering the move to Palm Beach County.
About the BDB: The Business Development Board of Palm Beach County is the official public/private economic development organization for Palm Beach County and Enterprise Florida. Founded in 1982 as a not-for-profit corporation, our primary purpose is to attract and retain new industry, business investment, high quality jobs and workforce development through corporate relocations, expansions and international trade. During the past five years, the BDB has assisted companies that have created more than 12,822 direct jobs with average salaries greater than $69,062, resulting in more than $777 million in capital investment to Palm Beach County and an economic impact that exceeds $6.87 billion. Additional information can be found at the BDB’s web site, BDB.org.