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Greater Fort Myers Chamber to host workforce development symposium on Feb. 4

The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce will host a workforce development symposium for business leaders on Feb. 4 that will spotlight the current workforce landscape and developing short- and long-term workforce initiatives.

Featuring a breakfast buffet, insightful presentations and an educational trade show, the event will introduce businesses to the many workforce development programs and hiring resources available locally for business leaders looking to expand their workforce.

“Workforce is a growing concern among our Chamber members and the business community as a whole, and our workforce development symposium aims to raise awareness of the many initiatives and organizations in our region that can offer support,” said Colleen DePasquale, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce. “This is not a job fair, but rather an opportunity for business leaders to engage and learn more about the workforce resources that are available to them.”

Henry Mack, chancellor of the Florida Department of Education, will present the keynote address. As chancellor, Mack leads the Division of Career, Technical and Adult Education, overseeing workforce education programs and economic development initiatives for the department. The division is responsible for all career and technical education programs across a system of 48 technical centers and colleges, 28 state community colleges and K-12 public schools, with a combined annual enrollment of more than 1 million students.

John Talmage, director of the Lee County Economic Development Office, will also provide a local perspective on the state of the region’s workforce. Talmage brings insight from more than 30 years of experience working in local economic and community development for municipal governments and national research organizations.

Following the presentations, business leaders will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from a variety of local organizations who have a role in developing short- and long-term workforce initiatives and who serve as a conduit between job seekers and employers.

More than a dozen local organizations are confirmed to participate in the trade show format, including Better Together, Cape Coral Technical College, CareerSource Southwest Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University’s offices of Internship & Career Development and Service-Learning & Civic Engagement, Florida SouthWestern State College, Fort Myers Technical College, FutureMakers Coalition, Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, the HIRE (How I Reach Employment) Program, Hodges University, Immokalee Foundation, Junior Achievement, LARC, The School District of Lee County’s Adult, Career & Technical Education Department, South Fort Myers High School, and Tri-County Apprenticeship Academy.

The event will take place from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 4 at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, located at 1380 Colonial Blvd. in Fort Myers. Admission is $25 in advance and $35 at the door and includes a breakfast buffet. To learn more about the event or to register, visit FortMyers.org or call 239-332-2930.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. To learn more, contact Colleen DePasquale at colleen@fortmyers.org.

About the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce:
Serving Lee County and surrounding areas since 1989, the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, Inc. is a business organization of professionals who support and promote a progressive, sustainable community. The Chamber represents over 750 businesses, professionals, and individuals throughout Lee County, providing opportunities for members to participate in a variety of meaningful networking, educational and community- and business-focused programs and events. The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce is located at 2310 Edwards Drive in downtown Fort Myers. For additional information regarding membership opportunities or events please call 239-332-2930 or visit www.fortmyers.org. For the latest news and updates, follow the Chamber on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gfmcc or Twitter at @FtMyersChamber.

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