Panama City, FL is a hub for some of the most advanced technology companies in the nation. With its unique resources, top-notch education system, and desirable coastal lifestyle, the area is ripe for technological growth. Steve Millaway, founder and CEO of TechFarms incubator and TechFarms Capital, has been a major contributor to allocating more funds to emerging tech businesses and connecting the business network of Northwest Florida. Thanks to his management of customer relations in the region, as well as his extensive connections with the industry through ITGulfcoast and ITEN WIRED, Ly has a global vision of the strength of IT in Northwest Florida.
The number of incubator, accelerator, and informal investment programs that are popping up in Northwest Florida is inspiring startups. Their commitment to their companies and organizations is motivating students who want to contribute to the economic success of Northwest Florida. With the introduction of new technologies such as automation, artificial intelligence, and cryptocurrencies, job openings in the tech sector are abundant across the country. A variety of technology education centers are preparing future industry talent and recruiting existing candidates, including established institutions such as the University of West Florida and training organizations such as Global Business Solutions Inc (GBSI), Invictus Knowledge Institute, and Networks of Florida. In addition to some of the most favorable tax rates in the country, Northwest Florida is also home to people who are revolutionizing the world of technology and thriving both locally and across the state and increasingly in the region. With nearly 15% of Department of Defense members calling Northwest Florida home, reaching out to veterans seeking employment after military service has been a challenge for the area in the past.
By providing affordable or free opportunities for students to experience non-traditional, practical, and interactive learning and exploration of new technologies and STEM concepts, organizations are engaging students from an early age to create a generational transformative impact. Millaway supported this initiative and credited UWF, Northwest Florida State University, Gulf Coast State University, and the numerous trade schools in the area for filling initial positions in manufacturing, engineering, and software development. So how can technology companies in Panama City attract and retain top talent? Here are four ways:
- Offer competitive salaries: Companies should offer competitive salaries that reflect current market rates for tech talent.
- Provide attractive benefits: Companies should provide attractive benefits packages that include health insurance, retirement plans, flexible work schedules, etc.
- Create a positive work environment: Companies should create a positive work environment that encourages collaboration and innovation.
- Invest in training: Companies should invest in training programs that help employees stay up-to-date on industry trends.