In response to the need to build and retain talent in South Florida, economic development leaders and higher education institutions in Miami-Dade County have united to create a regional talent development network that will provide internships to students in key industries and align academic curriculum with industry needs.
FIU president Mark B. Rosenberg recently announced the launch of the Talent Development Network in collaboration with the Beacon Council’s One Community One Goal (OCOG) Academic Leaders Council (ALC).
“Miami’s academic leaders fully support the region’s economic development plan and our local industry — we are committed together to preparing our students for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Rosenberg, who chairs the ALC. “We are blurring the lines between industry and academia with our collaborative efforts to develop the OCOG Talent Development Network.”
The Talent Development Network will provide local college students with on-the-job experience in one of OCOG’s target industries: Aviation, Creative Design, Hospitality and Tourism, International Banking and Finance, Information Technology, Life Sciences and Health Care, and Trade and Logistics.
Ignited by a $100,000 challenge grant by The Miami Foundation, the Talent Development Network has received support from numerous local companies and philanthropic groups, including the Peacock Foundation. Recently, the program announced its newest investment — $100,000 from Helios Education Foundation, bringing the total raised to $260,000.
“Aligned with Helios’ commitment to ensure students have support and guidance toward high-quality post-secondary certificate and degree pathways, the OCOG Talent Development Network is positioned to become an evidence-based model for state and national replication,” said Paul J. Luna, president and CEO of the foundation.
Beyond creating an internship culture in South Florida, the initiative seeks to address the historic disconnect between local academic institutions and economic development strategies.
FIU will lead the program in partnership with The Beacon Council and ALC’s other member institutions: Barry University, Florida Memorial University, Miami Dade College, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, St. Thomas University and the University of Miami.