Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

One Company’s Solution To The Widening Skills Gap

When Lockheed Martin made the decision to build a new research and development facility that would add 500 new jobs, it chose to do so in Orlando at its Missiles and Fire Control (MFC) site

skillsAs any CEO in the science, technology, engineering or manufacturing space already knows, the STEM shortage is real. Baby Boomers are retiring in droves, leaving companies struggling to fill skilled jobs with a limited pool of talent. According to Chief Executive’s most recent CEO Confidence Survey, the availability of a skilled workforce ranks No. 2 among CEOs’ greatest concerns, the No. 1 fear being another recession.

The U.S. aerospace industry faces unique challenges in the quest for talent. An Industry Week survey found that 39 percent of aerospace companies predict an “extreme” impact on their business growth due to the dearth of skilled or technical workers in the pipeline. So when Lockheed Martin made the decision to build a new research and development facility that would add 500 new jobs, it chose to do so in Orlando at its Missiles and Fire Control (MFC) site.

Although most associate Florida with tourism, the Sunshine State has a rich legacy in aerospace, from the first commercial airline flight in 1914 to NASA’s presence at the Kennedy Space Center to today’s commercial rocket launches. As a result, the state is home to more than 11,000 aerospace and aviation companies. Lockheed Martin, which has had a footprint in Orlando for decades, has more recently watched the Corridor emerge as a hub for technology and advanced manufacturing. “Attracting STEM talent is competitive no matter where you are,” says Frank St. John, executive vice president of the MFC business. But in Orlando, companies like Lockheed Martin enjoy distinct advantages: a college—University of Central Florida—that ranks in the top five for aerospace and defense, according to Aviation Week, and a pool of more than 500,000 college students within a 100-mile radius. “We’re actually producing more software engineers in our pipeline than Austin [is producing],” says Tim Giuliani, president and CEO of the Orlando Economic Partnership.

“One of the key factors in choosing Orlando was the innovation we see here.” – KPMG U.S. Chair & CEO Lynne Doughtie

That’s an advantage for Lockheed Martin and one the company utilizes. Its College Work Experience Program with UCF gives both undergraduate and graduate students a chance to work in various departments across Lockheed Martin and gets them on the company’s radar screen earlier on. “Due to the nature of our work, employees need to be U.S. citizens and eligible to obtain a U.S. secret security clearance,” St. John adds. “Partnerships such as these help to build a diverse pipeline of clearable talent early in a person’s career.”

Another partnership with Valencia Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing Training Center allows Lockheed Martin to provide classroom speakers and to be directly involved with curriculum development. “The schools we recruit from in Florida have robust and diverse populations in majors that are of interest to us,” says St. John. “We also lead outreach efforts for K-12 students to help inspire them to pursue STEM careers, reaching tens of thousands of students annually.”

Last year, consulting firm KPMG broke ground on a new $430 million learning, development, and innovation facility in Orlando, after looking at 49 other potential cities. “One of the key factors in choosing Orlando was the innovation we see here,” according to KPMG’s U.S. Chair and CEO Lynne Doughtie.

For KPMG and Lockheed Martin, it didn’t hurt that the region recently made a $15 billion investment in infrastructure and in new theaters, museums and art venues; its ranking by Realtor.com as the third most popular city for millennial is a bonus, as well. “That’s promising for a business, especially when combined with the world-class airports here, as our employees travel frequently,” says St. John.

But ultimately, access to talent is the greatest perk. “Being centrally located in the high-tech I-4 corridor enables healthy competition for the best and brightest talent amongst companies in the region.”

About the Orlando Economic Partnership
The Orlando Economic Partnership (the Partnership) works to provide the Orlando region with quality jobs, economic growth, broad-based prosperity and a sustainable quality of life. It is a not-for-profit, public/private partnership representing seven counties – Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole and Volusia – as well as the City of Orlando. To learn more visit https://orlandoedc.com/home.aspx.


MORE LIKE THIS

  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events

    Roundtable

    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)

     

    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.