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August 16, 2018

Up Front - The Publisher's Column

Florida's changing workforce

Andrew P. Corty | 7/26/2017

When I visited Hillsborough Community College not long ago, a group of young men and women was preparing to enter a flaming structure constructed as a training tool for aspiring firefighters. Another group was learning how to sand and paint a car.

What do these training classes have in common? First, they require technical proficiency. Second, they don’t require a four-year college degree. And third, all the passing students get jobs. There’s a lot to be said for developing this talent, no matter if parents push their children toward college degrees. Take Broward County, for example. Aviation and aerospace businesses there can’t hire qualified mechanics fast enough. The same is true in marine industries and for many manufacturing jobs.

Take a look at our package on Florida’s workforce, which is sure to enlighten you. Did you know, for example, that the goods-producing sector, including manufacturing and construction, grew faster than employment as a whole over the past five years? Or that the services sector, while still robust, grew slower?

As you may be aware, many of today’s graduates are lagging in “soft skills,” including communicating with others, making presentations, dressing appropriately and even showing up for work on time. That’s not a good way to impress us Baby Boomers, who are used to a strong work ethic.

We paired this feature purposely with the “Best Companies To Work For” package, pointing out that employees want to feel needed and wanted. The top companies show their gratitude with prizes, celebrations, catered lunches, casual days, “green” consciousness and ice cream, to name a few benefits.

Take care of your heart. If you suspect a problem, get help immediately. That’s the takeway from the Economic Backbone section on cardiac care. Read about the latest on specialty heart hospitals, transplants, pediatric surgery, stents, valve replacement and more.

Florida Trend has again earned a plethora of journalism awards.

In the competition sponsored by the American Society of Business Publication Editors, Florida Trend took home four national awards for the popular Around the State news section; an article titled “Tax War” about hospital chain HCA’s battle with the state Department of Revenue; a story about Virgin Group’s entry into the cruise market; and a cover feature titled “A Day in the Life” examining working Floridians.

In a contest sponsored by the Alliance of Area Business Publications, Florida Trend brought back from the Dallas national convention a gold medal for the article “Beasts of Burden” by Mike Vogel in the April 2016 edition.

The 2018 planning calendar is here. Naturally, we have the perennials such as Floridian of the Year in January, the Economic Yearbook in April, Higher Education in June, Florida Law and the Top 350 Companies in August, Best Workplaces in August and Research/Innovation in September.

There are also several new features. We will cover Florida’s important military sector, the state’s changing media landscape and the challenges the state faces in dealing with water.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that 2018 is Florida’s Trend’s 60th anniversary. The magazine started in 1958 with most pages appearing in black and white. In May, we’ll publish an anniversary issue looking at the state’s areas of excellence as well as what the future holds.

— Andy Corty


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