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Chancellor Criser Discusses Role of State Universities in Florida’s Innovation Economy

To help meet Florida’s future workforce needs, state universities are increasing their efforts to communicate with the business community to prepare students to enter high-wage, high skills jobs after graduation. Building these partnerships becomes increasingly important considering Florida’s labor demand in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields has increased by more than 63 percent since 2010. Currently, there are more than 55,000 unfilled STEM jobs in Florida.

Former Chair of the Florida Chamber of Commerce and current State University System of Florida Chancellor Marshall Criser, III recently shared his thoughts on the benefits of state universities working with one another to drive innovation, increase accountability measures, and ensure students are informed before making crucial higher education decisions.

“We have begun a lot of great work in Florida…to become more competitive on a national basis in terms of attracting the kinds of research grants and the funding that will come to those projects so we’re able to grow those programs,” said Chancellor Criser.

Chancellor Criser has been recognized by the Florida Chamber Foundations and other organizations for his efforts to support of Florida’s innovation economy. During the interview, Chancellor Criser also emphasized the connection between a quality education and career opportunities by discussing the new and innovative ways state university students are receiving hands-on workforce experience.

“What we’re seeing as a result of this focus on accountability is a greater use of mentorships, a greater use of internships, and more partnerships with businesses in our communities,” explained Chancellor Criser. “So that our students have a hands-on, face-to-face opportunity to work with businesses.”

“We need to build a greater awareness of what the talent resource is that is coming out of our universities,” said Chancellor Criser. “At the same time, our universities need to continue to listen to the business community in terms of what they expect for the workforce in the future.”

Join the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Innovation Caucus by emailing kelekes@flfoundation.org and let us know what areas interest you the most, from economic diversification, entrepreneurship, and innovation to capital investments, international trade and more.

Get Involved:

Join the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Innovation and Economic Development Caucus by emailing kelekes@flfoundation.org and let us know what areas interest you the most, from economic diversification, entrepreneurism, innovation to capital investments, international trade and more.