Southwest Florida Workforce Summit responds to qualified labor shortage

April 27, 2016 CONRIC PR

In Southwest Florida’s growing economy, employers need to get creative to attract top talent and consider looking further afield to discover a ready workforce. At the upcoming Southwest Florida Workforce Summit, presented by Above Board Chamber of Florida and Southwest Florida International Airport, recruiters will learn the strategies of major local employers, discover a ready workforce in the Caribbean and connect directly with jobseekers here at home.

Held from 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 12 at Harborside Event Center in Fort Myers, the Southwest Florida Workforce Summit will feature a dynamic panel discussion including top recruiters from a variety of industries and public officials representing the concerns of business here and in Puerto Rico. During the same hours, employers and jobseekers will explore mutually beneficial opportunities at the Southwest Florida Workforce Summit Job Fair. 

Recent press coverage has highlighted a shortage of qualified workers in industries like construction. Other important economic driver sectors also continue to recover following the economic crisis that began a decade ago. Still more are increasingly setting up shop in Southwest Florida, leading to competition for skilled, reliable help. The following panelists will share stories from the trenches and provide recruitment and retention strategies that work:

Cape Coral Mayor Marni Sawicki; Brenda Thomas, Executive Director of the Building Industry Association; Peg Elmore from Career Source Southwest Florida; Kristy Rigot, System Director, Human Resources for Lee Memorial Health System; Jazmin Nievez Alvarez, Executive and Staffing Director from IKON Group; and Kevin Brady, International Trade Specialist for the Small Business Development at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Also taking part in the summit will be: Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson, State Representative Heather Fitzenhagen, Puerto Rico Senator Carmelo Rio, and Puerto Rico’s Secretary of Economic Development and Commerce, Alberto Baco Bague. Stephanie Becerra, News Anchor for MundoMax and Connie Ramos-Williams, President and Chief Marketing Officer of CONRIC PR & Marketing, will emcee the event.

The job fair is free for all jobseekers, and no registration is required. Registration on or before Thursday, May 5 for the panel discussion, which includes lunch, will be $25 for members, $30 for guests. After May 5, registration will be $30 for members and $35 for guests. Employers who want to attract qualified talent at the job fair should contact Jeanne Sweeney at (239) 910-7426 or  Various levels of sponsorships with many benefits are also available.

Title Sponsor Southwest Florida International Airport has donated two round trip tickets to Puerto Rico to be raffled off at the event. In addition, The Above Board Chamber is grateful to the following sponsors for the Southwest Florida Workforce Summit:

Gulfshore Business, Lee Memorial Health Systems, Storm Smart Industries, Strategy Corp, CONRIC PR & Marketing, Telemundo, Southwest Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Builders Industry Association, Fuller Online Solutions, Guatemala US-FL Chamber of Commerce, Puerto Rico Medical Tourism Corporation, Department of Economic Development and Commerce, the CALL Radio Station, Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce, WINK/MundoMax, Economic Development of the City of Cape Coral, and Estero Chamber of Commerce.

The Above Board Chamber of Florida is dedicated to bringing people of all faiths together within the community, in the workplace and amongst one another. Their mission is to supply members with the tools that will allow them to take every aspect of their lives Above Board. For more information on the event or on how to become a member of the Above Board Chamber, contact Jeanne Sweeney at 239.910.7426 or visit

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