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Mid-Year Employment Snapshot

UpArrowsThe Chamber continues to support and participate in collaborative efforts across Greater Gainesville to meet business innovation with talent strategies to address today’s talent needs, while preparing a workforce that can support and fuel tomorrow’s growth. As we enter the second half of the year, the following benchmarks demonstrate that jobs are growing and unemployment is shrinking:

  • Data released in June reflect that, between May 2014 and May 2015, about 2,600 new jobs were created in the Gainesville Metro.
  • Alachua County’s May 2015 unemployment rate was 4.8 percent, eight tenths of a point lower than the state’s, and one-half of a point lower than the nation’s for the same month. Since January 2015, Alachua County’s unemployment rate has consistently been lower than the state’s.
  • Since January 2015, CareerSource North Central Florida has reported assisting more than 3,400 people who secured employment. More than 10 percent of those who found work with CareerSource North Central Florida’s help previously had been receiving unemployment benefits, but now are positioned for self-sufficiency.

As businesses and jobs grow, established and emerging talent solutions, including the following, are at work across the region:

  • Gainesville Dev Academy: In June, Information Technology industry leaders joined the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Council for Economic Outreach, and leaders from CareerSource North Central Florida, the University of Florida and Santa Fe College to officially launch the Gainesville Dev Academy. The Academy aims to address the region’s need to train tech talent and retain graduating students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields by providing industry-specific training requested by local employers. Visit for more information.
  • STEM Ready: Through this program, local employers (science, technology, engineering and math) have access to pre-screened, skilled, qualified interns for STEM occupations, with up to 12 weeks of training costs covered by CareerSource North Central Florida. The employer gets to set the job description and wage rate, and may use the training period as a trial work experience for potential new hires without obligation to hire them after the internship has ended. Contact Chamber Director of Business Services Joe Johnson at
  • Regional Demand Occupations List. The Department of Economic Opportunity’s (DEO) Bureau of Labor Market Statistics (LMS) has published the 2015-2016 Regional Demand Occupations List for Alachua and Bradford Counties. CareerSource North Central Florida uses this list to identify occupations for which some of their clients may receive training. To view CareerSource North Central Florida’s list of occupations, click here. For more information, contact Chamber Director of Employer Services Joe Johnson at

Throughout the second half of the year, we will continue to keep you abreast of developments related to other efforts, such as the Alachua County Education Compact, which has mobilized the community around an effort to transform opportunities available to Alachua County students. By October, a Stewardship Committee of Compact signers will be seated to oversee Compact development and measurement, and creation of working groups to execute Compact strategies. In May, more than 20 of the region’s business, government, education and community leaders–including University of Florida President W. Kent Fuchs, Ph.D., Santa Fe College President Jackson Sasser, Ph.D., and Alachua County Public Schools Superintendent Owen Roberts, Ph.D—signed the Compact, which aims to facilitate the achievement of six goals that would result in all students graduating from high school; having access to and being prepared for college and/or career success; having access to pathways to sustainable jobs and careers; developing healthy lifestyle habits, an appreciation for the arts and a sense of social responsibility. For more information, contact VP of Workforce Development Ian Fletcher at


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