How Florida uses university-employer alliances to reshape the workforce.
Gains like these are a big reason why Florida is a national leader in workforce housing rent growth. According to a report released by CBRE last month, Orlando led the country with the highest workforce housing rent growth, 7.4 percent, for the year. A total of 11 metros in the U.S. had growth rates of 4 percent or more, including Tampa and Jacksonville.
Tampa has long been a leader in employer-university alliances. Tampa-based enterprise security provider ReliaQuest announced in October that it teamed up with USF on the creation of a $1-million cybersecurity lab. Brian Murphy, founder and CEO of ReliaQuest, said the lab will focus on teaching students the skills they need to keep pace with a fast-changing industry.
“Having USF in our backyard is a huge advantage,” he says. “It is a reputable university with a large student base. They have highly engaged professors that want the university and corporate tie-in. We’re investing in the school by helping them co-teach and co-train.”
Murphy founded ReliaQuest 11 years ago and has seen his company’s recurring revenue double each year. “Total headcount now is over 300 companywide, and we will hire 200-plus people next year,” he says. “We have reached capacity in our headquarters space and have started working with brokers to find our new home in Tampa. The skyline of Tampa is going to look very different over the next five years, and our growth will contribute to that.”
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