Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

4. Talent

"A willing and well-trained workforce is waiting for you in Florida."

- Chris Hart IV, President & CEO,
Workforce Florida Inc.


Saint Leo University
[Photo: Saint Leo University]
  • At 9.2 million, 4th largest labor pool in the U.S.
  • Ranked No. 1 for workforce and training by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Chamber Foundation 2011 Enterprising States report. Singled out for efficient job placement system, high share of high school students in advanced placement courses and affordable, efficient higher education system
  • Customized training programs and incentives to meet targeted employer needs
  • Industry-specific Banner Centers provide skilled labor to employers quickly and at reasonable costs

Public Schools

  • One of the first states to incorporate a voluntary pre- kindergarten (VPK) program into its statewide public school system
  • A statewide K-12 system that considers reading and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum priorities

At a Glance: Florida Education
Public Schools (K-12) 4,125
Average Teacher Salary (K-12) $46,696
Pre-K-12 Enrollment 2,643,396
Pre-K-12 Per-Student State and Local Funding $6,268
State Universities 11
State Colleges 28
Independent Colleges & Universities of Florida (ICUF) 29
Non-Public Postsecondary Schools (including technical and trade schools) 946
Public Technical & Trade Schools 50

Postsecondary Education

  • The number of Floridians with associate, bachelor and advanced degrees has increased at almost double the national rate since 2000
  • State and community colleges rank among America's top degree producers nine years in a row
  • Researchers at Florida's 13 largest universities among the nation's leading R&D performers, garnering $2.08 billion in research funding from outside sources in 2010, up $91.8 million from 2009

Customized Training Grants

Quick Response Training (QRT)

  • Employer-driven training for new employees in targeted industries
  • Available to new or expanding Florida employers
  • Employer determines type of training, who will deliver it and how
  • Community college, school district or other state educational facility assists with application and program development
  • Reimbursable expenses include: instructors' wages, curriculum development, textbooks/manuals

Incumbent Worker Training (IWT)

  • Skills upgrade training for currently employed workers
  • Purpose: to aid in business retention and keep Florida's workforce competitive
  • Available to all Florida businesses in operation for at least one year prior to application
  • Priority given to businesses in targeted industries and specified urban/rural sites

Bluechip Energy
Approximately 2,900 Florida workers were trained through QRT in 2010, including employees at BlueChip Energy LLC in Lake Mary. A fully-integrated solar photovoltaic (PV) power generator, BlueChip is involved in all aspects of solar power, including component manufacturing and solar-panel installation. With business booming, the firm plans to add 560 new jobs over the next two years, all of which will require on-the-job training. So BlueChip partnered with Seminole State College to secure a QRT grant to help cover training costs and materials. "Seminole State shepherded us through the process," says Thomas Gregory, BlueChip's vice president of finance. "They knew exactly what was required and helped us submit the correct information." [Photo: Workforce Florida]

For specific details about workforce services, incentives and training programs available to Florida employers, visit www.workforceflorida.com.