Southwest Florida dead last for STEM professions

Southwest Florida dead last for STEM professions

Monday, February 8, 2016
According to a recent Herald Tribune article, the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton metropolitan area is among the worst in the country for professionals seeking jobs in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics fields, according to a study by a Washington, D.C.-based research firm.  Out of 100 metro areas measured, ours ranked 88th in percentage of workers with STEM jobs; 93rd in housing affordability for STEM professionals; and 99th in job openings per capita for STEM graduates.
 
Other Florida metro areas on the list of WalletHub’s STEM findings are Orlando (tied for 59th), Tampa-St. Petersburg (65th), and Cape Coral-Fort Myers (94th).   The lack of STEM positions has not been lost on Gulf Coast Community Foundation.  Gulf Coast’s Bright Ideas on the Gulf Coast (BIG) initiative seeks to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem in this region and its STEM-smart program, which is aimed at improving critical thinking and science and math curriculums, is now in place in all Sarasota County's middle schools and most elementary schools.   These efforts and others look to be paying off as the region ranked 41st for STEM employment growth and 48th for mathematics performance.
 
For more information about our region’s economy, visit http://gulfcoastindicators.org/economy-and-workforce