State of the workforce in Tampa bay

By John Flanagan, by CEO of CareerSource Tampa Bay

Job seekers are having a moment. There is boundless opportunity for those looking for employment, even more so if you possess “in-demand” skills.

Meanwhile, if you are an employer trying to fill positions, you might have your work cut out for you, depending on the set of skills you, ideally, want to hire for.

From a national perspective, there are about 11 million open jobs. And if you look at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 7 million active job seekers looking to fill those jobs, leaving more than 4 million job openings that will go unfilled in the short term.

There’s also an identifiable gap between what employers need and what is available, from a supply standpoint. It’s critical, and it’s the same in Tampa.

There are a few issues at play here, so I’m going to try to break it down to three major drivers of this disconnect.

The generational gap

While boomers were already starting to leave the workforce, or had plans to, prior to the pandemic, when COVID-19 hit, it accelerated a lot of those plans. A five-year retirement plan quickly became a “now” retirement plan, for many.

This meant that companies are now left without some valuable, well-trained, individuals to do the job they need done. And no one to train the new kids on the block. Business leaders must be prepared to have some patience with new hires.

Shifting values

The boomer generation appreciated a company for very different things than the generations coming up behind them. Generation Z and Millennial workers, both have vastly different expectations from their work/life balance, company culture and work-from-home opportunities.

Employers will need to understand this when recruiting talent.

Skills, skills, skills

The labor market is tight. While many are looking for employment, or better employment, employers are still telling us that the skills gap is a problem.

Something CareerSource Tampa Bay, in partnership with Hillsborough County’s Board of Commissioners, is doing to help with this problem is implementing the Apprenticeship-to-Career Empowerment 2.0 Program, or ACE,  which launched its second year in April.

The program works with specific, targeted industries such as manufacturing, information technology, financial services, hospitality and, this year, the program added health care.

Through this program, young adults ages 18 to 24 can connect to short-term occupational skills training that will result in industry recognized certifications and meaningful work experience.

Managing shifts in some of these trends isn’t always easy, and finding solutions to the problems takes great collaboration but the work needs to be done much sooner than later.

It’s a full circle economic development issue that, with some work between entities, will strengthen the Tampa Bay market and will enhance our competitiveness, in the national landscape, for attracting and retaining businesses and talent.

In the meantime, our advice is to start broadening your criteria and get creative in how you perceive an applicant’s skills (and how transferable they might be).

John Flanagan

There’s a good chance that someone will not come in 100% job ready. You might need to take some calculated risks to fill those positions but you could be pleasantly surprised on where you find the perfect talent for your business. Some risks reap the greatest results!

John Flanagan is the chief executive officer of CareerSource Tampa Bay. As CEO of the local workforce board, he works closely with business, government and educational entities to find workforce solutions for the more than 1.5 million Hillsborough County residents and businesses.

He is a member of Mayor Jane Castor’s Workforce Advisory Committee; the U.S. Conference of Mayors and he was chosen to serve on the Board of Trustees.

You May Also Like

TBBW Halloween: Costumes through the years

See photos from Tampa Bay Business and Wealth’s Halloween costumes through the years. We like to have fun with these![image_slider_no_space on_click=”prettyphoto” height=”300″ images=”20935,20933,20928,20932,20936,20931,20929,20937,20934″]

INB names Tampa’s Allen Brinkman as its Florida CEO

INB is moving into the Florida market and has tapped banking veteran Allen Brinkman to be its Florida chief executive officer. Brinkman has a long-term partner of one of IND’s largest shareholders for many years according to a statement. “Choosing INB as a partner was an easy decision. When you and your clients are in

Owning it vs. phoning it in at the workplace

By Susan Mauer, Tampa Bay market president for Axiom Bank Do your employees show up at work to be an asset, as if they own the business? Or do they show up for the paycheck? Many times, it comes down to not just the leadership, but how you have selected the people you hire. Most

Other Posts

CareerSource Tampa Bay hires director of youth programs

Anyone who was lucky enough to have had a summer job knows it can be a rite of passage giving teens some spending cash and a peek into the working world. But it can also be equally beneficial for employers, particularly small businesses. You know those little projects that have been stacking up because you

Developing ‘workforce ecosystems’ to help deal with a worker shortage

We spoke with CareerSource Tampa Bay’s (CSTB) Chief Impact Officer, Michelle Zieziula, to discuss ‘workforce ecosystems’ to deal with a shortage of available workers. CSTB focuses on bringing workers and employers together through education, training and partnerships. Michelle Zieziula has 32 years of experience serving private, education and public sectors through manufacturing, university, economic and

Reboot your business & life

There are so many radical changes taking place all around us that we might as well make some radical changes of our own, to guarantee that by the time we come out of the quarantine our business, our career and our personal life reflect how we want to live, not how we got used to

The three deadly sins in hiring salespeople

“Why don’t I have any success hiring salespeople?” This is one of the most popular questions I get asked. In my experience, there are very few rules that work for hiring salespeople that works with other departments. Why? Because we make these mistakes: • Hiring from a résumé. They have experience. They have had sales

Greta Schulz