Miami has the opportunity to build an authentically diverse innovation ecosystem that’s a model for the world and drives social and professional mobility across the community.
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Overview: Why talent & inclusion can power Miami’s competitive success
… and 20 organizations
Why it matters
Talent is the oil of the 21st century. It’s what drives economies, attracts companies to cities, and drives business growth. In many ways, economic success for a city is dictated by its ability to nurture, develop, attract, and retain talent.
Workers are increasingly mobile and willing to move, spurred on by technology and COVID’s prompt to reevaluate priorities. Meanwhile, companies are increasingly willing to embrace remote workers. Taken together, this presents a big opportunity for Miami to build its talent base and drive its economy.
Through education, reskilling and upskilling efforts, Miami has the opportunity to significantly increase economic inclusion and drive social mobility. Miami’s wide economic divide remains an ongoing challenge that needs to be solved.
Educational and talent development efforts across Greater Miami present the opportunity to build a uniquely diverse, skilled workforce that is differentiated from cities across the US and even globally. It presents a unique competitive advantage.
Where we are now
The depth of tech talent in South Florida can’t compare to Northern California, but the pool is deepening. The number of computer and information science graduates increased 41% in 2020 compared to 2019, while the number of mathematics and statistics graduates increased by 130%, according to Tech Hub South Florida.
Efforts are underway to further build and diversify the tech workforce.
Florida International University announced plans in February to invest more than $100 over the next decade, including $10 million from Knight Foundation, to significantly expand its computer science program.
In August, Miami Dade College, the largest and most diverse college in the U.S., elevated engineering dean Antonio Delgado into a new role focused on expanding MDC’s work and partnerships in tech education.
In October, Microsoft launched Accelerate Miami-Dade with the express focus of bridging the digital skills divide.
Increasingly, the bet is that more certificate programs, bootcamps, and upskilling programs are needed. Miami offerings range from long-standing bootcamps, like BrainStation (formerly Wyncode) and IronHack, to newer programs like Data Science for All.
South Florida’s tech industry is two times more diverse than the U.S. tech industry overall, in terms of race, but it still has a way to go. CBRE counts it as one of the least diverse for women in tech.
Culture Shifting Weekend, which brings together Black and Latinx entrepreneurs, executives and investors was held in Miami in October. It’s arrival comes amid a much broader push to remove barriers for Black entrepreneurs in Miami. The Softbank Opportunity Fund, which invests in Black, Latinx and Native American founders, is now based in Miami. Black Angels Miami, focused on connecting a diverse range of investors to early-stage companies, launched a year ago. Black Ambition, based in Miami, launched this year with a focus on supporting Black and Latinx entrepreneurs. Meanwhile, Code Fever and Black Tech Week have evolved into the Center for Black Innovation in Miami.
In Silicon Valley, Black and Hispanic computer scientists from top schools aren’t getting hired at the same rate as their white colleagues, according to USA Today. Researchers have suggested solutions to bridge the racial equity gap in many industries; Miami has an opportunity to break the pattern and be a leader in building a diverse, inclusive workforce.
By the numbers
Though South Florida's tech talent pipeline is more diverse than other U.S. cities, there's still major room for growth — especially for representation among women and people of color.
The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report explores the outlook for technology adoption, jobs, and skills in the next five years. The report shows that, by 2025, 85 million jobs could be displaced by a shift in the division of labor between humans and tech, while 97 million new roles may emerge from the same event.
Check out CBRE’s 2021 Tech Talent Report, which explores North America’s talent market. The report ranks South Florida 37 of the top 50 markets in the U.S. and Canada. The report also explores how we rank for ethnic and gender diversity in tech talent.
A collection of work from HR&A explores how to address the racial equity gap in the tech industry, particularly among Black and Hispanic workers.
Take a deep dive into the issue with these stories and soundbites:
Jobs of the future are on the rise, says Axios, but after taking a dip during the pandemic, postings for these jobs still lag behind postings for conventional jobs. Regardless, this is a healthy sign that the economy may be ready to look beyond the pandemic.
Traba, a new digital platform being built in Miami, wants to help America solve its hiring problem. The Miami Herald’s Rob Wile shares how the program could change staffing across the country while bringing an influx of tech investments to the city. (Note: this story is behind a paywall).
Earlier this year, Knight Foundation and the Future of Tech Commission brought national leaders for a town hall conversation on ways to advance innovations in tech education and talent development. Watch the program here.
The number of apprentices in America is growing, says Forbes, and the increasingly popular workplace model is prompting policymakers to support them.
At Opportunity Miami, we’re focused on exploring — with you — answers to questions defining Miami’s economic future. This is a work in progress. Each day we’ll add new elements through an iterative, build-it-together process to find clear, actionable solutions.
But it starts with asking the right questions. Below are some we’re thinking about. We plan to take a deep dive into a new question each month.
How do we dramatically increase and diversify our population of engineers?
How can we ensure every family in Miami-Dade has access to broadband internet — and the means to use it?
What are the non-tech, high-wage jobs of the future and how do we prepare for them?
Who is pioneering effective new talent development models and how can we apply them in Miami?
We’d also love to hear what’s on your mind. Let us know by sending a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.