Florida tops U.S. for attracting and developing skilled workforce: Lightcast 

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Florida Construction News staff writer

Lightcast has ranked Florida as the number one state in the nation for attracting and developing a talented workforce for the second year in a row. The Talent Attraction Scorecard evaluates states based on job growth, education attainment, regional competitiveness and migration data.

“It is no surprise that Lightcast has named Florida the number one state for talent attraction for two consecutive years,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Florida’s record investments in workforce education, including expanding apprenticeship and on the job training programs in high demand professions, have elevated business and industry through strong workforce development.”

The top 10 states:

  1. Florida
  2. Texas
  3. Vermont
  4. Idaho
  5. North Carolina
  6. Utah
  7. Arizona
  8. Tennessee
  9. Nevada
  10. Georgia

Florida also earned high rankings in multiple categories including:

  • second for migration and competitive effect
  • forth for skilled job growth
  • fifth for overall job growth

Florida and Texas remain the top two states for talent attraction, followed by Vermont at No. 3—a major leap up from last year, when it was at 30. Georgia is the other new addition to the list, coming in at No. 10, up from twelfth in 2022.

“Vermont leads in talent migration, driven by an influx of remote workers from neighboring states. This underscores the far-reaching influence of post-COVID patterns on shaping opportunities for communities eager to attract growth,” said Josh Wright, Executive Vice President of Growth at Lightcast.

The Lightcast Talent Attraction Scorecard, now in its eighth year, assesses states and counties on their ability to attract, develop, and retain a robust workforce, an essential element in economic development. Communities are assessed on six metrics: net migration, overall job growth, educational attainment, regional competitiveness, annual openings per capita, and skilled job growth. The elements are used to create a combined score.

Florida ranked number 14 for education attainment, a big leap that Gov. Ron DeSantis attributes to aligning workforce education programs with employers’ needs along with strategic funding and a focus on building a skilled workforce that meets demand.

Also included in the scorecard were rankings for the top scoring large counties in the country and Florida counties took three of the top ten spots. Hillsborough County ranked seventh overall, including ranking fourth for competitive effect. Lee County ranked eighth overall, including ranking first in the nation for migration. Polk County ranked ninth overall, earning rankings as fourth for migration and twenty-first in the country for job growth.

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