Community Action Plan takes aim at regional workforce gaps in North Florida

From the Tallahassee Democrat

A community-led “One Vision Action Plan” is targeting Tallahassee talent gaps with the goal of creating a regional roadmap to take on what officials have called a “workforce crisis.”

The two-phased plan includes three core goals, including the creation of a one-stop online resource for workforce and education information through a website and social media.

The Talent Development Council led the process that included feedback from more than 30 community and business partners.

The plan also includes 15 tasks, such as supporting efforts at Lively Technical College and Tallahassee Community College to increase access to accelerated, short-term training opportunities and launch a regional workforce training system with a staffed lead agency.

“Focusing on these tasks helps us to really take advantage of this interesting place that the world is in with the Great Resignation,” said Terrie Ard, president and COO at Moore, a marketing and communications agency.

Ard, chairwoman-elect for the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, led the strategic planning effort. She said the Talent Development Council, which was meeting every other month, will soon meet once a month to advance the Community Action Plan.

The urgent need for job creation continues to take center stage, especially at last year’s Chamber conference in Amelia Island.

By 2030, Florida needs to add two million jobs to prepare for the influx of four million new residents statewide.

Ard and others said Tallahassee needs more than 17,000 jobs — or 2,000 jobs per year — by 2030 to remain competitive in the Florida, national and global job market.

While the Chamber isn’t driving the Action Plan alone, it comes on the heels of previous Chamber-led initiatives.

Click here to see the plan.

Last year, the Tallahassee Chamber released a “Community Scorecard” modeled after the Florida Chamber’s model that showed at-a-glance information metrics needed to measure progress at the local level.

The Community Scorecard provided data, including the unemployment rate and job openings, that inspired the community action plan. In Leon County for example, there are more than 810 job openings and 620 active jobseekers in Leon County.

Also last year, launched to provide businesses with access to job seekers, workforce training tools, employer-advised programs and more.

“The number one goal is collaboration with stakeholders is to create ownership of this plan,” said Ard, regarding the Action Plan. “So I don’t think we’ve ever had a community plan for talent and workforce, everybody coming together to work against it.”