The Sunshine Economy: Jobs

Sep 9, 2013

Credit Tom Hudson

Ian, Jay and Sal. That's them in the photo on the right. Each of them is an unemployment statistic with a story.

Ian Kramer is one of those long-term unemployed. He hasn't worked since his last real estate development project finished more than four years ago. He has a graduate degree and years of experience managing multi-million dollar deals.  But he hasn't been able to find a job even as real estate has begun to recover.

Jay Pellis is under employed. He just started a part-time job teaching GED classes to young adults as they transition out of the foster care system. Through the years, he has worked for non-profits, education companies and others in managerial and operation roles.  Before starting his recent part-time job, he had gone more than a year without steady work.

Sal Clemente worked for years managing retail and wholesale stores before transitioning into administrative work for law firms. Sal's odds of being unemployed are twice that of Ian's and Jay's.

Join host Tom Hudson every Monday at 9:00 a.m. for WLRN's ongoing series, The Sunshine Economy, a weekly look at the key industries transforming South Florida into a regional powerhouse.
Credit WLRN

That's because Sal has no college education. He's been looking for steady, full-time work for eight months.

Hear their stories Monday on The Sunshine Economy: Finding Work in South Florida.

This trio represents just a few of the thousands of South Floridians looking for work. The official unemployment rate has been dropping but there are twice as many people in South Florida today who are considered unemployed as compared to before the Great Recession began.

When Governor Rickt Scott was elected, he ran on a platform of job creation. WLRN Miami Herald reporter Gina Jordan looks at the governor's employment scorecard even as he hasn't been shy about trying to attract companies to Florida from neighboring states.

While the technology industry is small in South Florida, it holds great potential for good, high-paying jobs. Hear from technology entrepreneurs Mark Slaughter from health services company Cohealo and Brian Brackeen, founder of facial recognition software firm Kairos, about what the tech industry needs to grow beyond sunshine and warm weather.

And hear from Miamian Dago Rodriguez who worked in area restaurants for 35 years. He never went to college. After being laid off, he went back to school. He sends an audio letter to his niece as she begins her college career at M.I.T.