Talent Development Goals
South Florida’s academic leaders unite to share community-wide talent development goals.
Learn how the Academic Leaders Council is coming together to create a goal for building Miami’s next-generation workforce. Join us on Feb. 22nd by registering here.
Cities' futures are built on a range of factors. A diversified economy, robust entrepreneurship, vibrant cultural scene, affordable housing, useful public transit, and good quality of life from walkable streets to welcoming parks.
But there is, perhaps, one thing that will most determine which cities win big this century. In a world: talent.
It’s why Opportunity Miami’s Academic Leaders Council is coming together on February 22nd to share community-wide talent development goals. The ALC comprises the presidents of the six major colleges and universities in Miami, along with the Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
I hope you can join us at 9 am at Miami Dade College in downtown Miami. You can sign up here.
A UNIQUE PARTNERSHIP
If there is any group that can credibly establish community-wide talent development goals and implement them, it’s the ALC.
Together, the seven institutions are responsible for educating some 600,000 students across Greater Miami this year. The collaboration the leaders have forged makes it an especially unique partnership. And the ALC’s variety, reach, and scale is hard to match in any metropolitan area.
Consider that the University of Miami, a private research university, is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, which includes just three percent of four-year institutions. Miami Dade College has the biggest and most diverse student body of any campus-based college in the country. Florida International University was recently ranked fourth-best in the US in a Wall Street Journal review of public research universities. Florida Memorial University is the one historically black college or university in South Florida. Barry University and St. Thomas University are both top-ranked Catholic universities. Miami-Dade County Public Schools is now the third biggest public school system in the country.
THE ALC’S WORK
Over the past two years, Opportunity Miami and the Academic Leaders Council set three goals for itself. One, convene the community with thoughtful conversations about our talent development future. Two, publish a series of essays in which educational leaders share their institution’s focus on building our next-generation workforce. And, three, establish community-wide talent development goals.
In the first component, Opportunity Miami and ALC brought the community together for conversations with leaders such as Lumina Foundation CEO Jamie Merisotis and acclaimed sociologist Dr. Alejandro Portes.
Lumina Foundation, among the biggest philanthropies focused on funding educational efforts in the country, has made the case for more people to get an associate's degree in college or higher. In his talk, Merisotis said the evidence shows those with an associate's degree or higher have significantly higher incomes than those who don’t. He also noted that health indicators are often better for those whose education goes beyond high school.
With this in mind, Lumina set a goal for communities across the country to have at least 60 percent of the adult population get an associate degree or higher. Merisotis, speaking in Fall 2022, noted that Miami-Dade stood at 42 percent (it’s now 45 percent).
“Quite frankly, that’s not good enough for the state’s largest population center and its engine of opportunity and wealth creation,” Merisotis said. But, he also said, Miami “has the opportunity to build a uniquely diverse, highly qualified and skilled workforce.”
Meanwhile, regarding the second component, the leaders of the ALC, along with Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, published essays on what each institution is doing to build Miami’s next-generation workforce. The series, which you can read here, is called “The Class of 2040: Essays on the next-generation workforce.”
Now, later this month, the ALC aims to do the third part, sharing talent development goals.
A SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY
There are three ways to develop talent in a community. Import it through people moving here; nurture it in our schools from youth to adulthood; or upskill it through adult learning initiatives. The ALC directly impacts the latter two of the three areas.
Why talent development is so important is because the future is so uncertain. Due to the increasing pace of technology and innovation, our economy could go in any number of directions. Adaptability - by individuals and the communities they live in - will be key. And the places best able to adapt will, in all likelihood, be the places with the most broadly educated workforce.
Speaking at last Fall’s Opportunity Miami Academic Leaders Council luncheon, Portes, a Princeton and University of Miami Professor, discussed his book, “Emerging Global Cities,” which focuses on the rise of Singapore, Dubai, and Miami. Factors on the emergence of the three cities range from global trade and international banking to a pro-development posture and an embrace of the arts.
But when asked what Miami should focus on going forward, Portes said: “Talent, talent, talent.”
For Greater Miami, as Merisotis noted, this presents an especially promising opportunity. Miami-Dade County, which is the biggest county in the third most populous state in the country, is a county in which more than half the population was born outside the U.S. and more than 8 in 10 residents are Hispanic or Black. In sum, it is uniquely diverse and international.
Thus, if Greater Miami can provide ways to develop talent across its richly diverse, cosmopolitan community, it presents a special opportunity to create one of the most uniquely diverse, skilled workforces in the hemisphere.
So I hope you will join us on Thursday, Feb 22 at Miami Dade College with the presidents of Miami’s six major colleges and universities and the Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools for a discussion about our talent development future and share goals to get there.
HARLEM CAPITAL’S HENRI PIERRE-JACQUES
Last month’s Opportunity Miami Conversation on our Future with Henri Pierre-Jacques was an extraordinary conversation on what it will take to build a truly inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem. If you missed the conversation and want to see it, you can watch it here.
If you have a company, entrepreneur, or idea to suggest that relates to building Miami’s future, email us at email@example.com. We invite you to subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch our Interview and On Site video series featuring leaders shaping Miami's future. Please also follow us on our social media channels. If you were forwarded this newsletter, you can subscribe by clicking here. And if you are new to Opportunity Miami, you can learn about our mission and work here.