A Growing High-Tech Workforce



Manufacturers Find Ready Talent Pool in Central Florida

While many people may think of Florida as “Vacation Central” with its abundant sunshine, warm temperatures, and tourist attractions, technology insiders know better.

With a talent pipeline of more than 500,000 students within a 100-mile radius, Central Florida is one of the nation’s fastest-growing employment markets, ensuring an increasing labor pool well into the future. The Orlando region welcomes about 1,000 new residents a week and has one of the youngest median ages in the state at just below 37 years old.

These residents are highly educated and diverse, contributing to Florida’s long, unique and vibrant history as a diversified, high-tech hub that continues to compete as a world leader in innovation.

High-Tech Talent Pipeline

Among the most efficient and effective economies in the nation, Central Florida understands its business climate, workforce and success trajectory. From pro-business tax structures and sound infrastructures to skilled talent pools and a high quality of life, the region often ranks among the most desirable locations in the world.

Forbes magazine ranked the Orlando region at the top for manufacturing and STEM job growth, and at No. 2 for high-wage job growth in the nation.

“Central Florida has longstanding and world-recognized strength in high-tech industries including optics, photonics, simulation, aerospace, and defense,” said Gloria LeQuang, director of marketing and community relations for BRIDG. “It is definitely ‘the other half’ of the Orlando region that many are starting to realize.”

Florida retains the third-largest workforce nationally, delivering more opportunities, prospects and experiences for those seeking employment or people who want to start a business, expand a company or relocate a corporation. With more than one-third of the state’s total talent pool based in Central Florida, the region’s high-tech industries have attracted, established and sustained a skilled workforce since the days of the space race.

As the number of innovative companies continues to grow in step with increased demand for high-tech talent, efforts to maintain a sustainable pipeline of affordable, educated, highly skilled workers will be key.

Impact of BRIDG

Demonstrated in other technology and innovation clusters across the United States, BRIDG presents Florida with opportunities to diversify its economy and foster innovation on a global scale through its state-of-the-art infrastructure and R&D capabilities for microelectronics fabrication.

Located at NeoCity — a 500-acre master-planned intuitive community of innovation in Osceola County — BRIDG is a unique public-private partnership that is at the heart of a technology-based economic transformation currently taking place in Central Florida and positively impacting the entire region and state.

NeoCity: A 500-acre technology district in Osceola County

BRIDG was enabled by investments from founding visionary partners — Osceola County, the University of Central Florida, the Florida High Tech Corridor Council and other partners — in efforts to strengthen the nation’s innovative initiatives and cutting-edge research advancements. Employment opportunities generated directly and indirectly by BRIDG include high-wage, high-skill jobs ranging from positions for employees with technical certificates up to advanced degrees, offering substantial potential for multiple career paths.

“By leveraging a growing list of industry partners and the existing strengths of academic partners, BRIDG strengthens Florida as a global leader of innovation,” LeQuang said.

As NeoCity develops its technology district into a hub for nanotechnology, photonics and smart sensor innovation in Osceola County, increased access to technological markets, enhanced workforce development opportunities, and boosted high-pay industry jobs will continue to become more prevalent.

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About the author

Alisha Crabtree

Alisha Crabtree

Alisha Crabtree embraces new challenges and approaches life with a positive, enthusiastic attitude. The entrepreneurial spirit and philanthropic drive were instilled in her at a very young age earning her the Florida's Points of Light Award under Governor Jeb Bush for her philanthropic efforts. Additionally, she spearheaded the "Our American Heroes" Campaign, a community-wide fundraising campaign bestowing honor to military, law enforcement and firefighters. As senior editor of Florida TREP, she oversees the production of the magazine offering entrepreneurs and business leaders a trusted voice.

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