FGNW NEWS


 

Over 100 Regional Leaders Gather with Nationally Recognized Workforce and Data Strategist

Filling open positions with a qualified workforce is the number one site selection factor in many companies’ decisions about where to locate or expand. This workforce gap is found in nearly every city across the United States. While it’s not a unique program to our region, Florida’s Great Northwest and Opportunity Florida, regional economic development organizations in Northwest Florida, hosted an event to explore the truth in data and dispel myths related to workforce challenges.

Kate McEnroe, a workforce and data strategist based in Chicago, spoke at the regional event on October 5, 2023 at the Watercolor Lakehouse in Santa Rosa Beach. Throughout the 13-county region, 115 community leaders gathered to hear Kate’s unique presentation titled “Difficult Conversations About Workforce.”

“Her presentation challenged common misconceptions about workforce issues and offered examples, recommendations, and opinions on optimizing and attracting a quality workforce,” said Jennifer Conoley, President & CEO of Florida’s Great Northwest.

During her presentation, McEnroe provided social demographic data, discussed public policy implications, and highlighted characteristics of a livable community. She emphasized that a growing population does not necessarily mean an increase in skilled labor talent and that access to affordable housing and childcare can impact an individual's ability to work.

After presenting her insightful data, McEnroe encouraged community leaders to continue engaging in transformative conversations. She believes that discussing topics such as housing, childcare, and empowering new individuals in the workforce can lead to positive regional transformation.

“This is our opportunity to stop admiring the workforce problem and work together to find solutions,” said Conoley. “Conversations will get us farther than data, and once we are able to have some small wins, we can scale up for ultimate impact, benefiting us all in Northwest Florida.”

 

About FGNW

Florida’s Great Northwest is the regional economic development organization for the 12-county region of the Florida Panhandle. The organization's purpose is to promote Northwest Florida for economic growth and diversification, to advocate for economic development issues that affect the region, and to collaborate to improve regional competitiveness. Beyond our beaches, Northwest Florida offers business competitive, bottom-line advantages in workforce training, upgraded infrastructure, access to a host of defense assets, and a diverse base of industries that already call the region home.

 

NEWS

REGIONAL COLLABORATION PROGRAM CELEBRATES ITS SECOND CLASS OF GRADUATES

At a closing retreat and graduation ceremony on May 17, 2024, Florida’s Great Northwest (FGNW) Foundation honored its new graduates from Leadership Northwest Florida, a regional collaboration program focused on community, content, and connection.

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Florida was ranked 4th in Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index

Florida was ranked 4th in Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index.

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Florida's Great Northwest's Shane Chadwick Achieves International Economic Development Certification

Regional economic development professional, Shane Chadwick, who serves as business intelligence and marketing manager with Florida’s Great Northwest, has earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

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Okaloosa County’s Shoal River Ranch Gigasite recognized with prestigious ‘Select Site’ distinction by CSX Railroad

Okaloosa County’s Shoal River Ranch Gigasite recognized with prestigious ‘Select Site’ distinction by CSX Railroad

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NORTHWEST FLORIDA’S STATE LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION GATHE RS WITH BUSINESS LEADERS IN TALLAHASSEE

Tallahassee, FL – This week, community leaders from the region’s 13 counties gathered in the State’s Capitol to support the legislators from Northwest Florida to demonstrate the commitment to their state leadership roles that are critical keys to the region’s success in economic competitiveness.

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Florida Secretary of Commerce J. Alex Kelly Appoints Jennifer Conoley to the SelectFlorida Board of Directors

Florida Secretary of Commerce J. Alex Kelly announced the first SelectFlorida Board of Directors, appointing Greg Britton, Jennifer Conoley, Beth Kigel, Nick Primrose, Michael Simas, Kelly Smallridge and Mark Wilson to the board.

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Florida's Great Northwest Hosts Top Site Location Consultants in Marianna

Florida's Great Northwest (FGNW) hosted four top site location consultants this month in Marianna, Florida as part of their ‘Beyond Our Beaches’ Site Selector Mission.

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Florida’s Great Northwest CEO Recognized as One of Florida’s Most Influential Business Leaders

Northwest Florida – Jennifer Conoley, President & CEO of Florida’s Great Northwest (FGNW), has been named to Florida Trend’s prestigious Florida 500 list. This annual list highlights the 500 most influential executives in different economic sectors throughout the state of Florida. The editors of Florida Trend conducted a year-long research initiative resulting in a personal and engaging look at the state's most influential business leaders.

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SAVE THE DATES: Northwest Florida Days 2024

We kindly ask for you to please save the dates for our 2024 Northwest Florida Days events in Tallahassee during Florida’s Legislative Session: January 17th - 18th, 2024.

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