Northwest Florida’s most significant workforce asset is the 3,000 service members that separate from our 6 major military installations each year. This well-disciplined group has valuable workforce skills from engineering to IT to maintenance.
Moreover, our educational institutions and industry associations partner with companies to offer industry certifications and customized training. Funding can also be made available to support upskilling. And, our local school districts have programs in place to ensure you have a talent pipeline to meet your growing needs.
Your company can benefit from an expansive workforce pool in Northwest Florida. Currently, one-fifth of our workforce regularly commutes more than 50 miles to work and is not burdened by congested roadways. Northwest Florida’s talented workforce is ready to start work today and grow with you tomorrow.
There are over 130,000 former military personnel in the 12-county region. Since each of our bases have missions heavily focused on the aviation/aerospace, R&D, testing and evaluation, maintenance, and training and support, our veterans provide a concentrated workforce with unique skills.
These service members and their spouses are young, highly trained, and highly motived people ready to start the next phase of their life. They have chosen to settle in Northwest Florida because of the quality of life they’ve found while stationed at one of our bases. Our Workforce Boards can help connect you with our Northwest Florida veterans. Upon hiring a veteran, you may be eligible to take advantage of the Veterans Florida Workforce Training Grant.
Our educational institutions are ready to work with new and expanding businesses to help you succeed in Northwest Florida. They also partner with industry associations and businesses to offer a wealth of career and technical training resources to help you remain competitive. For example, the University of West Florida partnered with two local industry associations, Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council (NWFMC) and the Technology Coast Manufacturing and Engineering Network (TeCMEN), to offer members quality improvement training at no cost. Each of our educational institutions are committed to supporting your workforce training needs.
Veterans Florida Workforce Training Grant
Funds are available to companies in high-skill industries that hire and train veterans. Your company may receive up to $8,000 for each full-time veteran employed to cover costs for curriculum development and training. You can also benefit from Veterans Florida Employer Services, which provide support for job posting, recruitment, and hiring. Learn more at Veterans Florida.
Quick Response Training (QRT):
New or expanding businesses may be reimbursed for an employer-driven training program. The program is customized, flexible and responsive to your needs. Reimbursable training expenses include instructor/trainer wages, curriculum development and textbooks/manuals. Your company may be able to receive up to $500,000 per grant. Learn more at CareerSource Florida.
Incumbent Worker Training Program (IWT):
Continuous workforce training will help your company remain competitive in a global economy. IWT is available to all Florida businesses that have been in operation for at least one year prior to application and require skills upgrade training for existing employees. Your company may be reimbursed up to 75% for pre-approved training costs. Learn more at CareerSource Florida.
Northwest Florida’s universities and colleges tailor curriculum to meet the overall needs of local employers. University of West Florida, Florida State University, University of Florida Research & Engineering Education Facility and Embry-Riddle University are all preparing a ready workforce to help your business succeed. See all the educational institutions serving Northwest Florida.
Several Northwest Florida school districts have teamed up with economic development and industry partners to develop Career Pathways programs. These programs allow our middle and high school students to receive workforce training in STEM-related and other career tracks. They ensure a pipeline of skilled workers are ready and available as your company grows.
Additionally, the Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council (NWFMC) worked with its members and the National Manufacturing Skills Standard Council to implement a formal certification program within our local school system. Manufacturing Academies were launched in 10 school districts across the region. Northwest Florida is focused on meeting your manufacturing workforce needs. More information available at NWFMC.
Florida’s Great Northwest is here to provide you the practical, on-the-ground resources and support you need for your business location/expansion project. From incentives to site selection to workforce development, we’ve got the expertise and connections to help your business be even more competitive with a Northwest Florida location.
Keep up with the latest news from Florida's Great Northwest