Confluence of 2021 events could stress Florida Chamber of Commerce goals

After a year of economic backsliding in Florida, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is looking for a jumpstart to recovery to finish the rest of the decade strong.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Florida 2030 Blueprint calls for the private sector to create 2 million new jobs, but the state lost half a million this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Next year, a confluence of events could change the landscape of economic development, said Chamber President and CEO Mark Wilson, stressing the need for job growth.

On top of continuing COVID-19 recovery, the nation is looking to a new Congress to pass an infrastructure bill, Wilson said on the first day of a four-part Chamber webinar about education and the workforce.

Currently, 300,000 jobs are available in Florida because employers can’t find qualified people to fill them despite there being 770,000 unemployed Floridians. Developing longterm infrastructure funding plans could help job trainers anticipate future workforce needs, rather than considering filling new jobs “in arrears.”

“Unfortunately, as everybody on this call knows, in our nation, the way we fund a lot of this is in arrears,” Wilson said. “It’s like, let’s get the demand first and then let’s go fund

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