Diamond Scrivens: A Workforce Crisis and Pandemic Impact

A need that I have noticed first handed in Tallahassee’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is more young innovating entrepreneurs willing to stay and help Tallahassee grow after college. Although Tallahassee is a college town, many people go to another city after college, which doesn’t help Tallahassee’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Tallahassee has a “workforce crisis”, according to the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce. “In Florida today, more jobs are looking for people than people looking for jobs,” Florida Chamber President and CEO Mark Wilson told chamber leaders at a recent board meeting.

“We have a talent shortage. Simply put, we need more people in the workforce, and we need a workforce that is trained with skills for the future,” said Terrie Ard, President and COO of Moore Communications Group and Chamber executive board member. “In fact, it is a workforce crisis that we now face, You could almost fill Ruby Diamond three times with the shortage we have,” she told Chamber leaders.

Diamond Scrivens, Information, Communication, Technology major

Furthermore, more Black-owned businesses need the help of Tallahassee’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, especially since the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. In a special to the Tallahassee Democrat, Antonio Jefferson, president of the Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce, stated that early local relief was important to minority business owners because many Black-owned businesses could not initially access the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Congress authorized in March 2020 to give loans to small businesses across the country. In addition, African American businesses struggled to get PPP loans because local banks only wanted to do business with people who already had accounts.”

           Lastly, Tallahassee needs young innovative entrepreneurs to impact economic growth through new jobs, increased competition, and innovation. Young people, and not only them, who set up a new business are seen as role models by their peers. Entrepreneurs boost economic growth by introducing innovative technologies, products, and services, while simultaneously providing new job opportunities in the short and long term. Small businesses contribute to local economies by bringing growth and innovation to the community in which the company is established. Small businesses also help stimulate economic development by providing employment opportunities to people who may not be employable by more giant corporations.

Photo by Alex Kotliarskyi on Unsplash

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