Local students can better plan and select careers that bring them the most success and fulfillment using a tool released by the Florida Chamber Foundation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

In partnership with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, and with funding by Strada Education Network, LaunchMyCareerFL.org is a free tool that helps students assess their potential outcomes based on programs at public institutions and training programs in Florida. It highlights in-demand jobs and desirable skills for the state, and the return on investment (ROI) students can expect based on the major and Florida higher education institute or certification program they choose. It also allows for regional variability when students are assessing their projected cost of living.

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“Our mission at the Department of Economic Opportunity is for Florida to be the best place to live, work, play, learn, do business and of course find your dream job,” said Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. “This website which is built for students and parents, educators and businesses, will certainly provide the link and the connections that we need and that they need — between our employers and our educators — to make sure that our students are ready for the future.”

While Florida remains a leader in the nation, our state will need to create two million net new jobs between now and 2030, according to the Florida Chamber’s Florida Jobs 2030 report. Florida’s unemployment rate is at 4 percent — there are currently 411,000 Floridians looking for jobs, and 240,400 Florida jobs looking for people. But depending on the level of education attainment, that number may be significantly lower or higher. The demand for both employability skills and digital skills is strong and anticipated to grow throughout Florida. Miami-Dade County will need 55,988 net new jobs by 2020 and more than 182,348 by 2030. State high school graduation rates are improving overall – the rate is now at 80.4% in Miami-Dade County, and 80.1% of Miami-Dade County has a high school degree and 26.9% have a bachelors degree.

But it can be hard for students to know which higher education institutes and which majors might be right for them and their goals. LaunchMyCareerFL.org is a starting place for conversations that can help current and prospective students cut through the confusion and find programs of study that can lead to well-paying jobs and a “good life” now and for future career demands. It can also be used by parents, employers and counselors advising and mentoring students, helping them to facilitate discussions about the decision process.

“This is a piece of gold that has been given to the folks who work directly in schools,” said Rebecca Schumacher, Executive Director of the Florida School Counselor Association. “We are in a new age in providing information and closing that gap for resources that are so needed and can be so effective and useful for our children, who are our future.”

The initiative is a partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, and with funding by Strada Education Network to continue the work being done to connect students with businesses in the state of Florida.

“Educators, parents and school counselors in Florida work hard to guide students into fulfilling paths,” said Tony Carvajal, Executive Vice President, Florida Chamber Foundation.“Florida continues to offer diverse options for students and learners seeking college or career paths. The Launch My Career tool focuses on supplementing that work and ensures students, parents, counselors and businesses are better prepared for the future.”

LaunchMyCareerFL.org highlights employee engagement data to show how satisfied students are. ROI encompasses both earnings and the personal and professional satisfaction and fulfillment that may result from their choices. For more information, visit www.LaunchMyCareerFL.org.

(Photo shows Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, at the podium.)

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About the Florida Chamber Foundation

The Florida Chamber Foundation is the business-led, solutions development and research organization working in partnership with state business leaders to secure Florida’s future. The Foundation’s “Six Pillars” serve as a visioning platform for developing the first-ever, long-term strategic plan for the state. The Foundation’s work focuses on: 1) Talent Supply and Education, 2) Innovation and Economic Development, 3) Infrastructure and Growth Leadership, 4) Business Climate and Competitiveness, 5) Civic and Governance Systems, and 6) Quality of Life and Quality Places. Founded in 1968, the Foundation is a crucial voice for improving the state’s pro-business climate to enable Florida to grow and prosper. Visit www.FLFoundation.org for more information.