Trade and Logistics: The Keys to Florida’s Future Workforce Needs

By: Dan Tapia

Florida welcomes 1,000 new residents every day. If this trend continues, we are looking at 26 million new residents by the year 2030. This means Florida will need to create two million more jobs to meet future demands. Florida is in a unique position to benefit from our growing population. While job creation continues to be a major goal for today’s leaders, it is important to foster an environment which creates diversified and high-wage jobs.

What sector is most poised for success? Trade and Logistics. Our state’s geography and state-of-the-art infrastructure have provided us with the advantage to create these much-needed and high-paying jobs.

To address these projected shifts in Florida’s labor market, the Florida Chamber’s Trade and Logistics Institute held a workforce and educational roundtable at Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland late last month. This event brought together business leaders with institutions of higher learning from around the state to discuss Florida’s future workforce needs. Discussions at the meeting reinforced the notion that expanding our current workforce, more specifically in the trade and logistics sectors, is paramount to the future of our state and the major role that our universities and colleges will continue to play in this endeavor.

A large part of this conversation was driven by the Florida Chamber Foundation’s latest Florida Jobs 2030 study. This study outlines key workforce clusters that our state can capitalize on, leveraging our growing population and international expertise. One cluster in particular – logistics and distribution – represents more than 720,000 current jobs, and has seen significant growth of 11 percent since 2011 with a projected growth of four percent between now and 2021. Logistics and distribution will be a major factor in sustaining and expanding our workforce as globalization, digitization and advances in innovative technology continue to grow.

 

The Florida Chamber’s efforts around trade and logistics are ever more important as our state is a growing logistics hub. A recent report conducted by the CBRE Group indicated that global trade increased by nearly 600 percent over the past 35 years, propelling the growth of logistics hubs in virtually every country around the world and, further, that Florida is expected to join the ranks with the likes of Hong Kong and Los Angeles within the next decade. This success can be attributed to our record investments in infrastructure and access to a talented workforce.

The Florida Chamber will continue to lead the dialogue as we remain steadfast in our commitment to connect Florida’s business community to global opportunities and investments, so contact me at dtapia@flchamber.com to find out how we can leverage our resources to help your company expand and help bolster Florida’s position as an international trade and logistics leader.