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By Nikki Cabus

FloridaMakes Bring the Veteran Advantage to the Workplace Initiative Connects Veterans to Manufacturing

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FloridaMakes proudly announces the launch of a groundbreaking workforce program in sync with Governor DeSantis’ goal of enhancing employment and educational opportunities for veterans, active military members, and their families.

This initiative, “Bring the Veteran Advantage to the Workplace” is specifically designed to seamlessly connect transitioning servicemembers with lucrative manufacturing apprenticeship occupations, further solidifying Florida’s commitment to supporting our nation’s heroes.

FloridaMakes is a statewide, industry-led, public-private partnership operated by an alliance of Florida’s regional manufacturers associations and partner organizations with the sole mission of strengthening and advancing Florida’s economy by improving the competitiveness, productivity, and technological performance of its manufacturing sector, with an emphasis on small and medium-sized firms. It accomplishes this by providing services focused on three principal value streams: technology adoption, talent development, and business growth. FloridaMakes is the representative of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) National Network in the state of Florida, a program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The program is funded through The Pathways to Career Opportunities Grant (PCOG), administered by the Florida Department of Education (FDOE). This initiative gives Florida manufacturers the opportunity to bring the veteran advantage to their workplace, through the Department of Defense’s (DoD) SkillBridge and to develop and prepare their future workforce with industry-driven, high-quality career pathways through registered apprenticeships that provide post-secondary education and lead to industry recognized certifications. Florida manufacturers, through this program, can enroll and provide upskilling opportunities to their existing veteran workforce.

“Through this initiative, we’re poised to connect the innovation-driven needs of the manufacturing sector with the discipline, leadership, and technical acumen of our veterans. We are not just filling jobs; we are forging career pathways.” said Marcelo DosSantos, Director for Workforce Development at FloridaMakes.

Orion Talent, a recognized leader in military hiring solutions, will play a crucial role in recruiting and coordinating interviews with manufacturers throughout Florida. Orion Talent’s HireSkills program combines industry certification training and transition assistance, providing a seamless transition for servicemembers into promising careers in the manufacturing sector.

This initiative not only addresses the skill gap in the manufacturing sector but also enhances the diversity and innovation of the workforce by integrating the unique experiences and perspectives of veterans. Companies can also take advantage of the program to upskill existing veterans in their workforce.

“The Florida SkillBridge Initiative creates unprecedented opportunities to build a highly skilled talent pipeline for manufacturing employers while attracting transitioning servicemembers across the country to Florida,” said Joe Marino, Executive Director of Veterans Florida. “As the state’s principal Department of Defense SkillBridge awareness and assistance organization, we are proud to work with FloridaMakes to ensure experienced veterans continue to choose our state as their home.”

Veterans Florida is a nonprofit created by the State of Florida to help military veterans and their families transition to civilian life. And promote Florida’s status as the nation’s most veteran-friendly state under Florida’s Veterans Employment and Training Services (VETS) Program. Veterans Florida is also the state’s designated DOD Skillbridge assistance organization. Thgeir mission can be summed up in the theme – Your Pursuit.Our Power – because we recognize military veterans are incredibly focused and will success achieving their personal and professional goals when they take advantage of our tools and resources.

Florida’s continued ascent in the manufacturing sector at becoming one of the leading manufacturing states in the nation, complemented by its status as the state with the third-largest veteran population in the country, reveals an exceptional opportunity for Florida’s manufacturers to recognize and tap into the remarkable, yet underutilized, reservoir of talent that veterans represent.

For more information about program, visit:

By Nikki Cabus

ChenMed, a leading primary care provider, recognized for using intelligence and automation in HR practices

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ChenMed, a national leading primary care provider based in South Florida, was recently recognized at the Phenom Intelligent Talent Experience Awards as this year’s Intelligent Talent Experience: Advocate of the Year.

Phenom, a purpose-driven HR tech company, recently announced the winners of the Phenom Intelligent Talent Experience Awards, recognizing organizations for exceptional achievements using intelligence, automation and experience to hire employees faster, develop them to their full potential and retain them longer. Through AI-powered solutions, employers increased efficiencies, and saved valuable time for all talent stakeholders — candidates, recruiters, managers, employees, HR and HRIS teams. Award recipients were honored at IAMPHENOM, the company’s premier conference for human resources hosted in Philadelphia.

“We’re celebrating the organizations whose platform use and partnerships are driving lasting impact across their businesses, their industries, their teams and HR as a whole,” said Jess Elmquist, Chief Human Resources Officer at Phenom.

On a mission to hire faster and better and simultaneously empower employee development and mobility with a talent marketplace, ChenMed is a model example for hypergrowth peers. By infusing hyper-personalized experiences into their hiring, development and retention strategies, ChenMed has increased quality applies, reduced time to fill and improved employee retention despite a challenging talent landscape.

When three out of every four professionals in healthcare are looking to leave the industry, providing a better talent experience is no longer optional — it’s critical to hire, develop, and retain workers.

Being a rapidly-growing primary care provider, ChenMed knows this firsthand. To succeed, they needed:

  • A reliable, robust talent community of quality candidates
  • An improved candidate experience for both internal and external job seekers
  • Automated, time-saving talent acquisition processes for recruiters

ChenMed is a family-owned, family-oriented organization serving underserved moderate-to-low-income seniors with complex chronic diseases. The company’s high-touch, VIP, preventive primary care works for patients and team members. Unlike typical primary care providers, ChenMed has a much lower doctor-patient ratio which allows doctors to spend more time with their patients, getting to know them and their concerns so we can better serve them. ChenMed has 100+ centers across 15 states and is a privately held and physician-led company.

“Because we’re in hypergrowth, we’re looking for ways to automate things so our recruiters don’t have to do them. Phenom helps us do that so our recruiters aren’t bogged down by administrative tasks and have time to spend with candidates,” stated Christin Davis, ChenMed’s Managing Director of HR Operations and Technology.

Above all, the ChenMed culture is what’s most important for Davis and her team to maintain: “This company’s mission is simple: helping seniors live longer and healthier lives. The only way to manage that mission is to buy into it. Now that we can easily see who identifies with our culture, it’s easier to make the right hiring choices.”

ChenMed is using the Phenom Intelligent Talent Experience platform to increase applies, reduce time to fill, and level employee turnover. Through AI-powered solutions, ChenMed is increasing efficiencies and saving valuable time for candidates, recruiters, managers, employees, HR, and HRIS teams and in a candidate-driven market time could cost you.

Additionally, when candidates have options, a streamlined professional and timely process helps give candidates the first impression they are looking for and HR professionals not lose out on that next best candidate.

Phenom has a purpose of helping a billion people find the right job. Through AI-powered talent experiences, employers are using Phenom to hire employees faster, develop them to their full potential, and retain them longer. The Phenom Intelligent Talent Experience platform seamlessly connects candidates, employees, recruiters, hiring managers, HR and HRIS — empowering over 500 diverse and global enterprises with innovative products including Phenom Career Site, Chatbot, CMS, CRM, AI Scheduling, Video Assessments, Campaigns, University Recruiting, Talent Marketplace, Career Pathing, Gigs, Mentoring, and Referrals.

Phenom has earned accolades including: Inc. 5000’s fastest-growing companies (3 consecutive years), Deloitte Technology’s Fast 500 (4 consecutive years), five Brandon Hall ‘Excellence in Technology’ awards including Gold for ‘Best Advance in AI for Business Impact,’ Business Intelligence Group’s Artificial Intelligence Excellence Awards (3 consecutive years), and a regional Timmy Award for launching and optimizing (2020).

Click here to read more about all award recipients.

By Nikki Cabus

Broward College’s President Haile is the only higher education leader selected for U.S. Talent Task Force

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Broward College President Gregory Adam Haile, J.D. has been selected for the U.S. section of the newly created U.S.-EU Trade and Technology’s (TTC) Talent for Growth Task Force, which will encourage public and private sector initiatives to drive development of the talent and skills needed for emerging and existing technologies.

In addition to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, the other TTC Co-Chairs include U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, European Commission Executive Vice-President and European Union Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, and European Commission Executive Vice-President and EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis.

The individuals serving on the Task Force will collaborate with the European Union members to collectively provide actionable and specific recommendations directly to the TTC Co-Chairs on how to expand innovative, employer-based training in the United States and the EU. This will help Western countries achieve a well-trained workforce, critical to maintaining global leadership in the wake of emerging and existing technologies such as AI and robotics.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, “The Trade and Technology Council (TTC) is a key mechanism to support stronger transatlantic relations and to deliver concrete outcomes. We reaffirm that international rules-based approaches to trade, technology, and innovation that are founded on solid democratic principles and values can improve the lives of our citizens and generate greater prosperity for people around the world. Through the TTC’s ten working groups, we are supporting sustainable, inclusive economic growth and development, promoting a human-centric approach to the digital transformation, and ensuring that international norms and the international trade rulebook are respected and reflect our shared values. We will continue to work together to modernize and reform the World Trade Organization (WTO) as set out in the WTO MC12 Outcome Document.”

President Haile is one of seven Americans named to serve on the Task Force, and the only one to head a public college or university. The other Task Force members consist of leaders from business, labor, and organizations that support training from the U.S. and the EU who will exchange information to learn from each other and prepare concrete and specific recommendations for the TTC Co-Chairs on how to expand talent development and training in the U.S. and the EU. Further, its work is intended to catalyze public and private sector initiatives to improve workforce development on both sides of the Atlantic.

“At Broward College, we have fully embraced the obligation to ensure that all human capital is fully optimized with workforce training that will lift the lives of individuals, our local communities, and our nation. Serving on the TTC will be an honor beyond measure. I look forward to supporting the TTC Co-Chairs and engaging my fellow task force members to fortify and accelerate the talent development of the U.S. and EU nations,” said President Haile.

Serving approximately 56,000 students annually, Broward College provides residents with certificate programs, two-year university-transfer degrees, two-year career degrees, and baccalaureate degrees in selected programs. The mission of the College is to provide high-quality educational programs and services that are affordable and accessible to a diverse community of learners.

In addition to awarding associate and bachelor’s degrees in numerous majors, Broward College offers more than 97 vocational and technical certificates in addition to micro-training programs in a variety of fields from data analytics, cloud computing, and automation to airport operations management, nuclear medicine technology, and film production to the 56,000 youth and adult learners it serves. Broward College consistently ranks among the Top 10 Best Community Colleges in the nation according to the prestigious Aspen Institute. The College was recently recognized by U.S. News and World Report for its students having the least amount of debt of any college or university in the Southeastern United States.

According to the TTC, the U.S. and EU share the goal of expanding skills training so all workers and companies, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), can succeed in the global economy. The Task Force will help inform leaders of all sectors on how millions of workers can get the skills needed to continue to power our mutual economies, which are built on ever-changing technological innovation.

The Task Force strategy and work plan will be developed by its members and will include undertakings to:

  • Create opportunities across sectors to share best practices, including strategies for collaboration, taxonomies, and tools for training.
  • Showcase training opportunities between the U.S. and EU.
  • Identify barriers to knowledge about in-demand technology jobs, and barriers for women and others, notably young people, from underrepresented communities to consider these jobs.
  • Promote a shared understanding of specific skills that could inspire training programs in American and European companies.
  • Identify and promote talent development programs for SMEs.
  • Communicate the benefits of participating in careers in technology sectors.

For more details about the Task Force and the full list of members, please visit the U.S. Dept of Commerce’s website.

By Nikki Cabus

New to the county and Ingram Micro already awarded the ‘Key’ to Miami-Dade

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Last week, Ingram Micro was awarded the ‘key’ to Miami-Dade County for their commitment to the expansion of their Ingram Micro Cloud office in South Florida and rapid hiring of incredible tech talent.

At Ingram Micro Cloud helps resellers and partners transform their business so they get up and running with Cloud in minutes, with little to no investment, deliver bundled services, up-sell and cross sell and manage their infrastructure most efficiently. Ingram Micro Cloud offers security, business apps, cloud services, communication/collaboration and infrastructure solutions to help clients monetize and manage the entire lifecycle of cloud services, infrastructure, and IoT subscriptions, so they can simplify digital transformation with confidence, speed and agility.

Ingram Micro is proud and honored to receive this award,” stated Greg Onoprijenko, Director of Cloud Sales, U.S. Miami is a hidden gem for tech talent in the US, and we’re thrilled to be able to provide amazing career opportunities to these skilled and ambitious business professionals.”

He proudly continued, “Furthermore, a key reason we chose Miami for business expansion was because of its diverse multiculturalism, which nicely reflects Ingram Micro’s values and aspirations.”

Greg is a recent South Florida transplant himself.

In April of 2016, Greg began his role as Director of Cloud, Canada with Ingram Micro, where he led all aspects of the cloud business for the organization in the Canadian market, including sales and marketing, vendor management, and strategy. In 2021, Greg joined CloudBlue, Ingram Micro’s cloud platform division, as its Director of Sales for North America. Onoprijenko has become an expert in the MSP/IT and cloud space.

In an interview just earlier this month, Onoprijenko shared that due to the increased demand in cloud services, Ingram Micro Cloud has experience significant growth and he is betting on South Florida. He believes this region is a best kept secret – that’s not so secret anymore.

Having just opened their Miami office in Q4 of 2021, the Ingram Micro Cloud office of South Florida has already surpassed 100+ employees and has no plans to slow down any time soon.

To learn more about Ingram Micro Cloud, visit

By Nikki Cabus

Two South Florida locations chosen for Mark Cuban’s AI Bootcamp for high school students

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Two South Florida counties have been chosen for Mark Cuban’s Artificial Intelligence Bootcamp for high school students: Miami-Dade and Palm Beach county. They are two of the 30 camps being held across the United States this Fall season attracting over 600 high school students grades 9th – 12th.

Florida Power and Light will host the no cost AI bootcamp in Palm Beach County at the beautiful FPL Manatee Lagoon in West Palm Beach which is an FPL Eco-Discovery Center. The program will be targeted at high school students and introduce underserved students in grades 9 through 12 to basic AI concepts and skills. The Miami location will be hosted by Argo AI at Miami Dade College’s AI Center located in North Campus. Both bootcamps will be held over four consecutive Saturdays starting on October 22nd and ending on November 12th.

“‘FPL is proud to serve as the host company for Mark Cuban’s AI Boot Camp for students who would otherwise not have exposure to programs in STEM. Our corporate culture is focused on giving back to the communities where we live and work. We are intentional about supporting and building thriving communities for the next generation. We hope students will be inspired to pursue careers in STEM right here in South Florida,” said Grace Kurian, Executive Director of Information Technology- Nuclear at NextEra Energy, Inc. NextEra Energy owns FPL, which is the largest vertically integrated rate-regulated electric utility in the United States.

Founded by Mark Cuban in 2019, the AI Bootcamp initiative has hosted free AI bootcamps for students across several US cities, including Dallas, Pasadena, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Atlantic City to name a few. The Mark Cuban Foundation has impacted 450+ students to date and has a goal to have 1,000 students graduate from AI Bootcamps Program in 2023. These two South Florida bootcamps are the first in the region.

A Wall Street Journal article read, “Mr. Cuban’s focus on AI comes as technologists and academics attempt to raise awareness about diversity and inclusion issues within AI and the technology industry. Women and minorities are underrepresented in artificial intelligence, and experts say that’s a problem that could contribute to algorithmic bias.”

“I saw the impact of PCs. Then I saw the impact of local area networks. Then I saw the impact of wide area networks. Then I saw the impact of the Internet. Then I saw the impact of mobile. Then I saw the impact of wireless. Now I’m seeing the impact of artificial intelligence. And it dwarfs any of those things,” says Mark Cuban. “One of my goals is to really go out and find the superstars. There are so many there that are under-appreciated and don’t have access to resources.”

Aimed to increase AI literacy and understanding in students from underserved communities, the high schools students do not need any prior experience with computer science, programming, or robotics to apply and attend.

Throughout the AI Bootcamp, students will learn what artificial intelligence is and is not, where they already interact with AI in their own lives, and the ethical implications of AI systems including but not limited to TikTok recommendations, smart home assistants, facial recognition, and self-driving cars to name a few. Students will benefit from volunteer mentor instructors who are knowledgeable about data science and able to help students quickly understand material normally taught at a collegiate level.

As part of the 5-hour curriculum, students also get to work in Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, each day to build their own AI applications related to Chatbots, Computer Vision, Machine Learning, and Natural Language Processing.

The Mark Cuban Foundation provides the bootcamp’s curriculum materials, trains volunteer mentors, and recruits
and selects local students to attend camp. In addition, the Mark Cuban Foundation and each host company, Florida Power & Light and Argo, work together to provide food, transportation, and access to laptops for students at no cost throughout the duration of Bootcamp.

Applications are now open at The deadline to apply is Thursday, September 1st, 2022.

By Nikki Cabus

FAU Receives State Cybersecurity IT Grant for over $800K with support from Tech Hub

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Florida Atlantic University was awarded more than $800,000 by the state of Florida as part of a $15.6 million initiative to prepare students and mid-career professionals for jobs in the burgeoning fields of cybersecurity and information technology.

The $838,483 grant will help FAU market and grow existing cybersecurity, cryptology and business management certification courses and programs in the College of Business, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science and the College of Engineering and Computer Science. These undergraduate and graduate courses, as well as programs, will help address a labor market shortage by encouraging more people to pursue careers in these fields.

South Florida Tech Hub, a regional technology nonprofit supported the grant application. One component of the grant was regional coordination between higher education and the school districts which Tech Hub highly supports. While each of the colleges features its own cybersecurity program and set of courses, they are uniquely linked, providing flexibility to meet the needs of students. “The only way we are going to truly move the needle in regards to tech talent is through collaboration. This is not a city or county issue, but an issue for the entire state,” stated Tech Hub CEO, Nikki Cabus.

The two main geographic regions for the statewide grant were the Greater Tampa Bay area and the Greater Miami Area, including the following counties: Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach and the following educational institutions: Florida International University, Miami-Dade Public Schools, Broward County Schools, Palm Beach County Schools, Miami Dade College, Broward College, and Palm Beach State College.

Florida Atlantic University, in collaboration with Broward College and Palm Beach State College, will use the grant money to fund CAREERS in Cybersecurity. The project aims to provide curricular enhancements, expanded industry collaboration and internships, K-12 outreach activities, an interactive and informative website, and a regional mass marketing campaign to reach all interested students and workers in the community.

“This is a powerful partnership, having three colleges [FAU, BC, and PBSC] work together with industry to increase the cybersecurity workforce,” said Nancy Romance, Ed.D., FAU’s principal investigator in the College of Engineering and Computer Science and co-author of the grant proposal.

FAU will work with South Florida Tech Hub who will assist in finding career opportunities for those who complete the courses and certificate programs.

“Tech Hub has many great initiatives that involve postsecondary (e.g., Postsecondary Education Committee; the Talent Committee) as well as almost weekly events across the region,” stated Dr. Romance. “With over 240 member companies across South Florida, Tech Hub has been a great sponsor and has been a main agent increasing industry support of education across all grade spans.”

The funding comes from a joint effort of the Florida Department of Education, Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Center for Cybersecurity. According to the Florida Center for Cybersecurity, or Cyber Florida, “The purpose of the Expanding Cybersecurity and Information Technology Pathways program is to increase the number of trained and/or educated workers in Florida that are prepared to fill cybersecurity/information technology (IT) jobs in the state and the Nation.”

Cybersecurity jobs are expected to grow by a faster-than-average 33 percent over the next 10 years, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report cited by the governor’s office. In addition, cybersecurity-related job postings have increased by 43 percent in the past year, as reported by the CyberSeek website.

“The CAREERS project provides all students and interested adults with a viable pathway to successful, high-quality jobs in cybersecurity, while also addressing the critical shortage of workers in these fields,” said Hari Kalva, Ph.D., co-author of the grant proposal and associate chair and professor in the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Dr. Kalva is also on the South Florida Tech Hub Board of Directors and has been involved in other tech talent initiatives with the nonprofit through the Talent Committee. One recent initiative is the FenwayPipeline™  program addressing the shortage of talent by bridging the talent gap through a mentorship program for local tech students.

FAU’s cybersecurity grant award will help the Department of Information Technology and Operations Management in the College of Business enhance its existing cybersecurity-related curriculum, said Nataliia Neshenko, Ph.D., a co-author of the grant proposal. “Today’s cybersecurity reality calls for a close collaboration between academia and industry to address the shortage of highly skilled professionals,” she said.

The Charles E. Schmidt College of Science approaches cybersecurity from perhaps its most technical side, cryptography, according to Edoardo Persichetti, Ph.D., another co-author. He said the college has four cryptography professors, but a lagging enrollment in those classes. “This grant is a very important step toward establishing a healthy increase in the number of students and professionals in cybersecurity in the College of Science,” he said.

Across Florida, the following projects have been selected for funding through the Cyber/IT Pathways Grant program:

  • Project HaHa – FIU
  • Expanding Cybersecurity & IT Pathways – Miami Dade College
  • First Coast Cybersecurity & IT Pathways Project – FSCJ
  • Increasing Cyber Technicians 2022 – HCC
  • Hal Marcus College of Science & Engineering – UWF
  • Cloud Computing Initiative – St. Petersburg College
  • FIU Minecraft-based Cybersecurity Professional Development for K12 Teachers
  • CyberSkills2Work Florida/Center for Cybersecurity – UWF
  • Palm Beach Collaborative Cyber Pathway Project – Palm Beach State College
  • Expanding Cybersecurity & IT Pathways – Hillsborough County Public Schools
  • Hybrid-honeynet platform for CTI education – UNF
  • Cybersecurity Pathway for Public and Nonprofit Organizations – FIU
  • SCF Cyber/IT Pathway – State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota
  • SLPS Cybersecurity at LPA – St. Lucie County School Board
  • Cyber Security Lab – Florida Gateway College
  • Enhancing the Growth and Quality of Cybersecurity Programs (EGQCP) – FL Poly
  • Expanding the pipeline of the Cyber/IT workforce – USF
  • Applied Cybersecurity Fundamentals Continuing Education – Cape Coral Technical College
  • CAREERS in Cybersecurity – FAU
  • Towards Empowering the Next Generation of Cyber Professionals/Pathways – USF
  • Cyber Threat Intelligence Fellowship Program – FIU
  • The Modernization of Digital Information Technology – USF
  • Cybercrime Investigation Training for Florida Law Enforcement Officers – USF
  • Cybersecurity Professional Pathways for Women and URM – FAMU

“The 24 projects that will be funded through this $15.6 million are anticipated to train 27,000 Florida students over the next year. Click here to view the list of awards,” reads a Press Release from “In Florida, Governor DeSantis has prioritized cybersecurity, providing resources to our institutions to meet the demand of cybersecurity professionals,” said Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz. “Raising awareness and interest in cybersecurity at the K-12 and postsecondary levels is crucial to meet the needs of businesses across Florida and create pathways for students to gain employment with a sustainable salary right after high school.”

Click here to view a complete list of each of the awards.

FloridaMakes Bring the Veteran Advantage to the Workplace Initiative Connects Veterans to Manufacturing
ChenMed, a leading primary care provider, recognized for using intelligence and automation in HR practices
Broward College’s President Haile is the only higher education leader selected for U.S. Talent Task Force
New to the county and Ingram Micro already awarded the ‘Key’ to Miami-Dade
Two South Florida locations chosen for Mark Cuban’s AI Bootcamp for high school students
FAU Receives State Cybersecurity IT Grant for over $800K with support from Tech Hub