Palm Beach Tech AssociationPalm Beach Tech Association

By Joe Russo

This summer, Palm Beach Tech supported the Palm Beach County Workforce Skills Study and the City of West Palm Beach Economic Study.

The West Palm Beach study was facilitated by City’s Economic Development Department. Palm Beach Tech was noted as the city’s Innovation Cultivator’, bringing together businesses, educational institutions, incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces, and other support systems for innovation.

The Study also noted “West Palm Beach is entrepreneurial and innovative, with a high share of self-employed individuals and an above-average number of patent holding inventors living in the city.”

Some other key points from the Economic Development Study include:

  • Since 2012, employment in West Palm Beach has risen by more than 20% and 9% in the U.S..
  • From 2012-2017, Software/IT industry was one of the fastest growing clusters (24%).
  • Cybersecurity market will increase from $75 billion to $170 billion by 2020.
  • There’s an opportunity for the city to connect  businesses with additional resources, such as EB-5 Programs and potential investors.
  • Palm Beach County [is] home to many investment management firms and wealthy individuals, but the community lacks a strong investor community focused on local opportunities and startups.

The Palm Beach County Workforce Skills study was facilitated by the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County. Palm Beach Tech staff, members, and board members met with the study team several time to give high level insight and feedback.

While noting the Palm Beaches maintain over 1,400 technology companies, they trace the industry’s inception to the early days of computers. “The IT sector has been a critical component of the Palm Beach County economy since the IBM PC was created in Boca Raton in the early 1980s at an IBM facility that originally opened the 1960s.”

Some keep points from the Workforce Skills Study include:

  • Employers in the Information Technology sector are more focused on talent with skills and aptitude for the occupation than on specific degree requirements.
  • Business intelligence, data mining and informatics are particular skills areas in which it is difficult to find talent.
  • Information technology instruction should be embedded across the curriculum as demand for these skills continues to grow in virtually all sectors and occupations.
  • Job postings for IT & Telecommunications positions totaled almost 6,800 from May 2017 to May 2018, with a median posting duration of 39 days
  • IT skills are required in all business sectors. This level of demand across the economy often results in an inadequate pipeline of talent.

Links to Studies

Joe Russo

Executive Director at Palm Beach Tech Association
Joe Russo is the Executive Director of the Palm Beach Tech Association and a Palm Beach County native.
Palm Beach Tech supports two Economic Studies