Workforce Florida Inc., the statewide workforce investment board of business and government leaders, last week announced the availability of a $2 million Quick Response Training Challenge Grant for employers in Florida's logistics and trade industry.
The special grant is intended to help the state's logistics and trade sector become more competitive by improving the skills of existing and new employees hired during the next year.
Florida's economic development organization, Enterprise Florida, Workforce Florida and the Florida Chamber of Commerce have also teamed up to create a new web portal for logistics and international trade. The portal, freightmovesflorida.com
, consolidates resources and information about the goods movement and trade sectors in one convenient location.
Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Rick Scott is leading a trade mission to Santiago, Chile, this week with more than 100 representatives from Florida businesses, higher education institutions and other organizations to expand investment and export opportunities. Almost 20 Florida manufacturers will be matched with Chilean buyers through the U.S. Commerce Department's Gold Key program.
Chile is Florida's seventh largest trade partner with nearly $7.7 billion in trade. Exports from Florida have expanded by 53 percent in the last two years, and two-way trade has grown 262 percent since the implementation of the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement in 2004, according to the governor's office.
The trade mission also aims to attract more Chilean cargo through Florida ports. The Port of Panama City is the top port for Chilean copper, and Miami International Airport is the top entry point for Chilean salmon. - Eric Kulisch