TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Tallahassee grew its tech job sector by 3 percent in the first years of the pandemic. The Brookings Institution found it was one of several smaller communities across the nation attracting remote work.
Those communities are now referred to as “Zoom towns.” The name comes from the video calling site we’ve all come to know about since the start of the pandemic. While Tallahassee has a thriving tech scene, many graduates and companies overlook what the Big Bend has to offer.
Now, a group in Tallahassee is working to change that.
“You hear about Tampa and Jacksonville. I want people to talk about Tallahassee,” said Eddie Gonzalez Loumiet. He’s CEO of Ruvos. They’re a tech company specializing in data related to healthcare.
“If you Google technology in Tallahassee, your response is a little cloudy,” Gonzalez Loumiet added. That means it can be hard to find what tech companies are hiring, what resources start-ups may have and where economic growth may be possible.
“At one point we thought there were 60 tech companies in town,” Gonzalez Loumiet explained. “We’re now closer to 100.”
Gonzalez Loumiet and a handful of others, including the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, Domi Station and Florida State University are working to organize those companies and related-resources in an easy-to-navigate way. They call it “Launch Tally.”
Gonzalez Loumiet said, “one of the goals of Launch Tally is not only to create a platform to emphasize the great work that’s happening here in Tallahassee when it comes to technology, but really create an online database or an online yellow pages of tech companies and those companies that support tech.”
He’s talking about companies like Knowli, a women-owned research, analytics and consulting company based right here in the capital city. Emily Saras is CEO.
“A lot of graduates that we’re looking to recruit are unaware of the wealth of job opportunities here in town,” Saras shared.
Careersource Capital Region says tech jobs are some of the biggest in demand in the Big Bend Region right now. Companies like Knowli are proof of that.
“We are expanding,” Saras added. “We have a lot of new growth opportunities. Folks are really learning the value of having data-driven decision making.”
Saras says having a one-stop-shop for those opportunities could help businesses grow and put Tallahassee on the map.
“What we like to do is focus on bringing employees to Tallahassee and keeping the economic drivers of spending money, making money, having revenue those kinds of things work here in town,” added Bryan Gibson, CEO of I2X Solutions. His company specializes in setting up the tech that nearly every business relies on.
“A lot of really good talent from FSU leaves and never comes back,” Gibson added.
He says he’s hoping a resource like Launch Tally can help change that.
“We can take these kids coming out of school and show them there are opportunities in their back yard,” Gibson concluded.
“We’re also working with Leon County Schools,” Gonzalez Loumiet said. “What can we do with kindergartners that would prepare them for some of the challenges we’re experiencing today when it comes to hiring and challenges we’re going to have in the future?”
It’s a future they’re working to launch for generations to come. The kick-off event for Launch Tally is happening Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Florida State conference center. It is free and open to the public.