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ICYMI: Florida Ranked #1 by Lightcast for Attracting and Developing a Skilled Workforce for Second Year in a Row

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. —  Today, Lightcast released the 2023 Talent Attraction Scorecard, ranking Florida as the #1 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.”

In the Lightcast Talent Attraction Scorecard, Florida also earned high rankings in multiple categories including:

  • #2 for migration;
  • #2 for competitive effect;
  • #4 for skilled job growth; and
  • #5 for overall job growth.
“Florida continues to be a model for the nation under Governor DeSantis’ leadership with workforce development strategies that meet job seekers and job creators where they are,” said Secretary of Commerce J. Alex Kelly. “Florida’s proactive approach to economic development and key investments in workforce training move our nation-leading economy forward.” 

“This achievement is due to Governor DeSantis’ unwavering commitment to growing Florida’s workforce education programs,” said Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. “ Florida is continuing to demonstrate that our strategic approach towards workforce education and talent retention is working.”

“Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, Florida continues to thrive and it is not a surprise that our state has been ranked #1 again for attracting and developing a skilled workforce,” said CareerSource Florida President and CEO Adrienne Johnston. “In Florida, we are training our workforce in areas where businesses need to grow, creating forward momentum for key industries to grow for future generations of Floridians.” 

Additionally, Florida ranked #14 for education attainment, which is a significant leap forward for Florida since the beginning of this administration. This is a direct result of Governor DeSantis’ commitment to aligning workforce education programs with employers’ needs in Florida through strategic investments and a focus on building a skilled workforce that meets demand.

Florida continues to outpace states like New York and California, which are losing hundreds of thousands of residents who are in search of better jobs, lower crime, lower taxes and a higher quality of life. New York and California ranked at the bottom of Lightcast’s list. California ranked #49 for Talent Attraction overall and #50 for migration and #50 for education attainment while New York ranked #50 for Talent Attraction overall and #50 for competitive effect and #35 for education attainment. 

Also included in the scorecard were rankings for the top scoring large counties in the country, of which Florida counties held three of the top ten spots. Hillsborough County ranked #7 overall, including ranking #4 for competitive effect. Lee County ranked #8 overall, including ranking #1 in the nation for migration. Polk County ranked #9 overall, earning rankings as #4 for migration and #21 in the country for job growth. 

Since Governor DeSantis took office, he has prioritized investments in workforce education, business development and strong infrastructure. These record investments have helped establish a strong skilled workforce pipeline and have continued to attract new businesses to the state. Florida leads the nation in new business formations with 2.7 million new businesses formed since 2019. In the Governor’s Focus on Florida’s Future Budget proposal, he recommends more than $853 million for workforce education programs and $125 million for the Job Growth Grant Fund and the Rural Infrastructure Fund.