We know that developing a strong talent pipeline is vital when developing a vibrant economy. The K-12 system, technical schools, colleges, and universities all work to educate students for their chosen industries. A shared vision between education and business and industry is necessary to truly alter the conditions that lead to the technical, professional, and foundational skills for success in the workplace.
I have worked to strengthen this pipeline through leadership of the collective Central Florida Development Council Talent Pipeline Committee and Polk Vision Talent Pipeline Team. I also hold membership in a number organizations working towards this goal, including, Polk Academies, post-secondary/higher education institutions, non-profit organizations, government representatives, industry, business development groups (chambers and EDCs), and community citizens, a tactical plan targeting college access and bridging the education-workplace gap was designed. Through this work we have seen increased FASFA completion rates; a countywide campaign with materials for parents and students; a shared internship and career placement system implementation; countywide career fair and student employment events; and a process for the Polk Ready to Work micro-credential program addressing the employability skills noted as the most pressing issue facing employers in today’s market.