Local organizations team up on education and training of specialized skills to fight future labor shortages

April 24, 2023

Local organizations team up on education and training of specialized skills to fight future labor shortages image


Port Charlotte, FL (April 24, 2023) - The Charlotte County Economic Development Office (EDO) along with The Southwest (FL) Regional Manufacturers Association (SRMA), Florida Gulf Coast University, and the FutureMakers Coalition at Collaboratory are teaming up to provide resources in the manufacturing and distribution sectors of the Southwest Florida Equitable Jobs Pipeline, a part of the American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge. 


Recently, Florida Gulf Coast University, in partnership with FutureMakers Coalition at Collaboratory, was awarded a $22.9M regional investment grant to develop industry specific education, training and career development programs in the Southwest Florida Region.  The FutureMakers Coalition aims to transform Southwest Florida’s workforce by increasing the proportion of working age adults with college degrees, workforce certificates, industry certifications and other high-quality credentials to 55 percent by 2025.


Working under the direction of FutureMakers Coalition at Collaboratory, Charlotte County’s EDO and SRMA will be hosting a skills gap round table with local manufacturers and distributors on May 2nd to discuss current workforce conditions, training for skilled workers that meet business demands, and evaluate educational programs of greatest value for their companies. 


Kay Tracy, EDO Business Recruitment Manager “our office looks forward to working closely with our partner organizations, the business community, and educational partners to develop programs that meet the needs of our local companies which in effect will build a stronger economic base for Charlotte County.”  


“We are extremely excited to be a part of this effort,” says Rob Harris, Executive Director of the SRMA.  “Manufacturing and distribution are recognized as two of the four major economic drivers in our region.  This collaboration is a natural fit towards SRMA’s mission of growth within the manufacturing sector and increased productivity at the company level.”


SRMA will conduct skills gap surveys and host four roundtable discussions throughout the Southwest Florida region.  FutureMakers Coalition will then work with educational entities in our region to create training programs for residents and skill credentials that businesses need.  SRMA will encourage regional businesses to hire the newly skilled candidates generated by this ecosystem program.  Outreach efforts have already begun, but if anyone would like to participate in a one-on-one survey, or join a roundtable discussion, contact Rob Harris, at SRMA to register:  941-730-7903. Register for the Charlotte County Roundtable Discussion HERE