By: Mark Wilson, President, Florida Chamber of Commerce and Foundation
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with friends and Family. I, along with the Florida Chamber Foundation team, am grateful for your leadership and the opportunity to work with each of you on a regular basis. Without your help, Florida would not be where it is today and continuing to grow and diversify as we head towards 2030.
As we begin our fiscal year, I wanted to provide a recap of noteworthy movements launched and accomplished over the past year that came to fruition with your leadership:
2022 Florida Chamber Annual Meeting & Future of Florida Forum—
The Florida Chamber and Chamber Foundation united Florida’s leaders in business, education, workforce, and economy at the 2022 Florida Chamber Annual Meeting & Future of Florida Forum, October 24-25 in Orlando. This two-day event took attendees on the Florida 2030 Blueprint journey highlighting the six pillars that are driving Florida’s future as a top 10 global economy by 2030.
In addition to thought-provoking keynote presentations from World-Class Artist Jade Simmons, Mobility Expert Paul Warburton, and Neuroscientist Dr. Caroline Leaf, the event featured over 60 speakers focused on securing Florida’s talent, the state of the current and future economy, infrastructure, quality of life and more.
If you haven’t done so already, I invite you to register yourself and your team to join us for the 2023 Forum where we will once again unite to have the necessary conversations on keeping Florida Florida while innovating to compete on the global stage. Register HERE>.
Future of Work Florida Initiative—
The Florida Chamber Foundation’s Future of Work Florida Initiative, informed by the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida Workforce Needs Study 2.0 research, is a newly launched effort laser-focused on creating awareness of the opportunities skilled trades bring to Florida. While 4-year degrees are vital to many careers, there are buckets of opportunity through 2-year degrees, apprenticeships, and CTE training in Florida and we are raising awareness among students, parents, teachers, HR managers, and guidance counselors. By uniting Florida’s business leaders, HR professionals, and hiring managers with the resources available through Florida’s workforce, education, and training partners, we can tackle Florida’s talent crisis head on – as a united front.
Learn more about the Future of Work Florida Initiative and join the movement HERE>.
Florida Trade & Logistics 2030 Study—
At our 2022 Florida Transportation, Growth & Infrastructure Solution Summit, the Florida Chamber Foundation unveiled the long-anticipated Florida Trade & Logistics 2030 Study (TL2030). Informed by two prior studies in its series – the Florida Trade and Logistics Study 1.0 and Made for Trade: Florida Trade and Logistics Study 2.0 – this follow-up research analyzes emerging trends from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the opportunities and challenges facing Florida’s trade, logistics, and manufacturing industries as they work to stay on pace with changes in the global economy and global supply chain. One more recommendation is for Florida to establish a chief manufacturing officer position to align agencies, regulations, and policies to grow manufacturing jobs and GDP in Florida.
The Florida Chamber Foundation encourages Florida businesses, economic development groups, local chambers, and lawmakers to leverage this study to inform policy and economic strategies over the next decade to secure Florida’s infrastructure and help grow Florida to a top 10 global economy.
Access the Florida Trade & Logistics 2030 Study HERE>.
The Florida Gap Map— enhancing the tools available to Florida leaders to cut childhood poverty in half
In partnership with the Florida Prosperity Project Advisory Board and the Florida Business Alliance for Early Learning Project Advisory Board, the Florida Chamber Foundation launched the latest iteration of the Florida Gap Map in an innovative format that will forever change the way business leaders and aligned non-profits address inequality of opportunity. A first-in-the-nation interactive tool identifying significant equity gaps in poverty and education with immediate access to root cause metrics and analysis broken down at the zip code level for each of Florida’s 983 zip codes, the Florida Gap Map allows business leaders, non-profit managers, and policymakers to tailor efforts to ensure specific resources are deployed to match the unique challenges in each of Florida’s 983 zip codes.
Florida Chamber Foundation Momentum Towards 2030—
The Florida Chamber team is laser-focused on executing our $105 million strategic plan, and over the past year, we have created new positions in both the Chamber and Foundation to advance our mission, further unite business leaders, and secure Florida’s future. Among those positions added and newly created include a Chief Economist and Executive Director of the Florida Chamber’s International Center for Economic Development (Dr. Ben Tabatabaei), a Director of Research (Dave Sobush, CEcD), a Director of Data and Analytics (Alex Coelho), an Equality of Opportunity Coordinator (Zenani Johnson), and a Research Economist (Sheridan Meek). The experience and insights brought to the Florida Chamber and Foundation by these positions have further propelled us toward reaching our Florida 2030 Blueprint goals, and we are excited to continue the momentum leading into the next year.
I cannot wait to see where 2023 takes us, together.