With an ideal location in the north central part of the state, Hawthorne Industry Park benefits from an expansive skilled labor force. Over 1.6 million workers live within a 60-mile radius of the Park.
The extensive workforce ensures a steady supply of skilled workers in a region known for affordable wages. The average wage in the Park’s 60-mile radius is $55,475, which is lower than both Florida’s average wage of $62,489 and the national average’s $68,838. The cost of living in the area is 3.7% below the national average.
Weyerhaeuser goes beyond this demographic information. Partnering with VisionFirst Advisors, we analyze in-depth data, including “What-If” analyses, to provide meaningful, successful strategies to prospective businesses and industries.
The ability to effectively compete in today’s workforce requires the K-12 school system prepares students properly. The “A-rated” Alachua County School District boasts many achievements, including the average SAT score of 1260 (highest in the state and much higher than the national average) and ranking in the top 12% of school districts in Florida. Alachua County also has one of the most renowned International Baccalaureate programs in the state.
The area is fortunate to have two nationally ranked post-secondary institutions, University of Florida (ranked #5 Public University in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report) and Santa Fe College (ranked #1 Two-Year College in the U.S. by The Aspen Institute). Many of the programs offered at both institutions have been designed to meet the specific needs of today’s workforce, among them advanced manufacturing, welding, automation and production technology, pneumatics and motors, engineering technology, agriculture, food and resource economics, supply chain management, logistics, transportation, forestry and food sciences.
Hawthorne Industry Park partners with CareerSource North Central Florida, which offers a wide variety of services to help employers connect with the right workers, many of which are available free of charge. In addition to services such as job postings and employment fairs, employers can benefit from customized training programs to give employees new skills.
The State of Florida is committed to workforce development with an extensive offering of programs to enhance opportunities for employees and employers. For a complete list of competitive advantages, visit Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.