Partner Perspectives

Dennis Hartin
Benefits and Risk Advisor HUB International

What skills and education are Florida employers and HR professionals most looking for in today’s jobseekers?

In my interactions with employers, many prioritize candidates with at least a high school diploma and a strong desire for personal growth. While higher education is valued, there’s a growing emphasis on soft skills and a proactive attitude towards improvement. Candidates who demonstrate a willingness to learn and collaborate within teams can adapt and thrive in various organizational settings. Ultimately, success often hinges on cultivating a positive attitude.

With regard to industries in need of talent, what should Florida students keep in mind as they make decisions about postsecondary education options?

Employers across industries require a diverse workforce, and educational opportunities abound in today’s landscape. While traditional four-year institutions provide a solid foundation, students should also explore the expanding offerings of trade schools and certificate programs. These programs cater to specific industry needs and can fast-track career growth. Moreover, pursuing education has become more affordable, so it’s crucial for students to explore options aligning with their learning style and long-term aspirations early on to maximize future opportunities.

Are there experiences you recommend for students still in or transitioning from secondary or postsecondary education to help better prepare them for the workforce?

I advocate for engaging in internships or similar experiences to gain firsthand insight into prospective careers. Testing the waters allows individuals to ensure that their career aspirations align with the realities of various roles. Given the evolving nature of the professional landscape, it’s essential to continuously reassess one’s career path to ensure fulfillment. As the majority of waking hours are spent in a career, finding a rewarding vocation is paramount.

Any other nuggets of wisdom you have for Florida’s youth as they prepare to join Florida’s workforce?

Remain open to new opportunities, recognizing that many individuals end up in roles unrelated to their field of study. Education serves as a valuable investment, fostering skills such as adaptability and patience that are invaluable in life. Embrace challenges and be unafraid to attempt new endeavors, as failures often pave the way for future successes. The willingness to take risks and persevere through setbacks is key to personal and professional growth.

Learn More about
The Able Trust
Youth Programs

High School High Tech (HSHT) provides high school students with all types of disabilities the opportunity to explore jobs or postsecondary education leading to in-demand careers. HSHT links youth to a broad range of academic, career development and experiential resources and experiences that will enable them to meet the demands of the 21st century workforce.

Futures in Focus is intended to support students from grades 6 to 12 (aged 12-22) who have a disability documented by an IEP or 504 Plan. 

  • Improve participation in education and vocational-related activities leading to increased employment opportunities for middle/high school students with disabilities.
  • Connect students to resources that assist them with education and employment pursuits, such as Florida’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.
  • Increase enrollment in postsecondary education/training.