Sea change shaping Miami-Dade labor market
Miami-Dade influential business and education minds met Tuesday to discuss the county’s next generation of talent. All agreed adaption is key to staying competitive and retaining a strong, nimble workforce.
“Our graduates are facing the most dynamic labor market in human history,” said University of Miami President Julio Frenk, whose campus hosted the Beacon Council event.
That was the consensus of the “Access Breakfast on Education and Workforce Development,” which was part kickoff to Sheldon Anderson and Nitin Motwani’s two-year tenures as co-chairs of the One Community One Goal initiative – joining Mayor Carlos Giménez – and part discussion on preparing for the future.
The Beacon Council resurrected the initiative in 2011 to broaden the business base and add high-paying jobs. Through 2018, it helped create nearly 172,000 new jobs, a Beacon release said.
“What Sheldon, myself and the mayor hope to do is further utilize [the county’s education leadership] to continue this talent story… but also reinforce areas where we’d like to continue improvement,” said Mr. Motwani, Miami Worldcenter managing principal.
“This is our sweet spot for the next year and a half,” said Mr. Anderson, retired chairman and CEO of the Southeast Region of Northern Trust.
Bank of America executive George Bermudez told about 300 attendees that he’d recently sent his daughter away to college.
“I want her back in four years, after she … has a degree,” he said. “This is what One Community One Goal has to establish: bringing our talent back to our hometown and keeping them here.”
To do that, employers must pivot to handle a sea change to the global labor market that, if not here already, is imminent, said Korn Ferry Associate Client Partner Johné Battle, who joined Mr. Frenk, county schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho and Baptist Health Corporate VP and Chief HR Officer Adriene McCoy as panelists.
“In the war for talent and ‘how do I attract, develop and retain the best and brightest,’ every organization must look at themselves internally,” Mr. Battle said, adding that one of the county’s great assets – diversity – is still not fully harnessed. “Give me an inclusive, diverse organization that is strategic about leveraging that diversity to drive innovation. They soar … far above homogenous organizations that are not diverse in areas that matter most – talent retention, return on shareholder value and employment engagement.”
Employers must reward and invest in attitude and flexibility, Ms. McCoy said, as demands of jobs rapidly change alongside the marketplaces they serve.
“I’ll take someone who is not as skilled [technically] if they’re interested in learning, agile, can deal with disruption and you can put them in different situations,” she said. “I need someone who’s interested, who wants to develop. Hands need to go up.”
Good wages and other workforce investments are a great start, Mr. Carvalho said, but unless the county improves quality of living, it will continue to bleed talent.
“The factors driving the talent exodus have nothing to do with the level of academic readiness [and] more to do with external factors that welcome them [here] after graduation,” he said. “Unless we tackle those – beginning with affordable housing, transportation, healthcare guarantees, quality of life and crime – we could have intellectually superior graduates … and they’ll still decide to go elsewhere.”