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Regional Profile

Live Where You Vacation

Live where you vacation?  Yes please!  Northwest Florida’s renowned sugar white sand and emerald green waters attract millions of visitors from around the globe each year.  Along with beautiful beaches, visitors and residents alike enjoy world class dining, live music, museums, festivals and diverse retail offerings.
Our moderate climate means outdoor activities are available year-round, while our diverse landscape can take you from sunbathing by the warm waters of the Gulf to paddle boarding cool, clear woodland springs with just a short drive.
Wondering how far your dollar will go in Northwest Florida?  Take comfort in the fact that our cost of living is rated lower than U.S. average, and diverse housing options abound – whether you are seeking an affordable starter home, a beachside condo or high end executive level housing on a golf course!

Regional Profile

A Proud Military Heritage

The thirteen-county Northwest Florida Region is home to Eglin Air Force Base, Hurlburt Field, Tyndall Air Force Base, Naval Support Activity Panama City, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Corry Field, Whiting Field, and Saufley Field.

Defense Activities in Northwest Florida generate an estimated 182,449 jobs and account for over $22.1 Billion in gross regional product (GRP), which is 32% of the region's total gross product. The bulk of the impacts are generated by direct federal military spending, which accounts for nearly 170,269 total (direct and indirect) jobs, followed by the National Guard with 9,791 and Coast Guard with 2,389 total jobs respectively in this region.  

Unique Talent Advantages

The extensive military presence in the region offers a pipeline of talent that can be further leveraged to benefit employers. as well as marketed to new prospects. The region's network of high quality post-secondary educational institutions are agressively expanding education and training offerings, especially in emerging industry niches such as Cyber Security and Additive Manufacturing.

The region boasts a growing number of K-12 education and training programs, including the Northwest Florida Manufacturing Career Academy Network and robotics-focused education. Finally, the region's beauty, natural amenities, and desirable quality of life make it an attractive destination for talented executives, entrepreneurs, and younger workers.

Northwest Florida Forward

The Northwest Florida Forward initiative is built around five aspirational goals that serve as the key focus areas for future economic vitality and growth for the region.

The Talent component will:

  • Create a regional workforce training and development initiative designed to meet the needs of large employers relocating or expanding in Northwest Florida.
  • Better leverage separated and retired military personnel as a key talent pool for target industry clusters.
  • Explore establishing an employer-driven workforce training initiative focused on assisting underemployed and long-term unemployed residents.
  • Develop a regional talent recruitment program.
  • Expand work-based learning and career exploration opportunities for students.
  • Further leverage the manufacturing academies model to expand the promotion of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs and technical skills development as early as grade school to build long-term talent supply in the region.
  • Increase employability skills training programs to reduce employment barriers for all students and adults, with a particular focus on underserved populations.
Learn more about Northwest Florida Forward

Occupational Analysis

  • Within the region, the Military Occupations and Public Safety and Domestic Security occupational clusters have more than 20% higher concentration than the national average.
  • Occupations that require minimal on-the-job training and education comprise 53% of the total regional employment.

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