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PALM BEACH COUNT, FLA - Together, industry and education leaders have been making changes after the Business Development Board took a deep dive into analyzing Palm Beach County’s workforce. Last year, 100 pages worth of data were presented to stakeholders throughout the county after the launch of a comprehensive workforce study, funded by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Fast foreword a year later and local stakeholders have gained a crisp perspective of what gaps need to be filled to ensure a top-notch workforce. Partnerships have been announced, connections have been made, and introductions have turned into new programs, thanks to the collaborative environment in Palm Beach County.
The data has encouraged local Academic institutes to apply for grants and budget funding based on what the industry needs are in Palm Beach County. Palm Beach State College recently expanded their “Engineering of Excellence” center and received a $200,000 grant to modify aviation programs.
Palm Beach State College’s new Human Resource Committee brings together human resource professionals once a month to discuss best practices with the college. The BDB is chair of this committee and has been open to joining more committees with other local schools.
Palm Beach Atlantic University’s sports broadcasting program was connected with ESPN West Palm Beach to gain more hands on experiences. The BDB even hired students from the Cinema Arts program to film the 2019 National Engineers Honors & Awards Banquet.
Florida Atlantic University and Lynn University have been partnering with the BDB’s VP of Life Sciences on various career talks to future scientists and doctors. FAU and BDB are also exploring ways to align efforts through the i-sense program. In fact, the BDB helped recruit a couple companies for FAU Tech Runway’s Venture Class 7, both of which were announced as new corporate relocations to Palm Beach County.
A new strategic partnership was announced between the BDB and the South Florida Manufacturing Association to enhance the industry and increase career opportunities for future manufacturers. Another partnership that bloomed from the study’s initiative was the LexisNexis and BDB “Females in Technology” event, which showed local female students what’s available in the technology industry. A great resource to help implement technology recommendations was Palm Beach Tech Association, especially its great work in facilitating hackathons and infotech internships.
There’s so many great programs and success stories in the county, so as an effort to communicate this, the BDB launched a Skills Showcase Newsletter this past year. In addition to that, the BDB convenes the Palm Beach County Skills Champions Team, a group comprised of local academic career centers, twice a year to discuss the progress of the study’s implementation. The Academic Leaders Council, comprised of the local academic institutes Presidents and Superintendent, also meet twice a year to enhance the workforce.
This summer, BDB VP, Shereena Coleman, presented the entire Workforce Study initiative at a conference in Mississippi, which in turn opened a new opportunity to present it to the region of Nova Scotia in Canada. The work being implemented in Palm Beach County is now being used as an example to communities around the globe.
As the economy changes, one factor will remain the same. Palm Beach County will be ready with a top-notch workforce as new companies grow in the area.