County part of bold workforce initiative

FloridaWest today announced that Escambia County is one of five communities joining the Inclusive Development Network (IDN), an ambitious new initiative designed to advance inclusive workforce development within the selected regions through a focus on reaching underserved populations.

Escambia County joins Cleveland, Ohio; Corpus Christi, Texas; Coweta, Oklahoma and Spokane, Washington. They were selected from more than 35 applications for the Network’s first cohort of communities.

“Escambia County and Greater Pensacola are looking forward to a great future and we need that prosperity to include all of our citizens. By participating in this innovative network, we can build a greater future for all of us.”

Scott Luth, FloridaWest CEO

An initiative of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), the Inclusive Development Network will work to identify and implement strategies that reduce equity gaps in local workforce development. The Inclusive Development Network is made possible by funding support from ECMC Foundation and JPMorgan Chase & Co

“Although our economy is growing, segments of our communities are still struggling with poverty, wage stagnation and underemployment. In local economic development, a focus on working adults and inclusivity can help ensure that every member of the community has the opportunity to thrive. Each of the communities selected for the Network will help build and scale an inclusive new approach to workforce development.”

CAEL President Marie A. Cini

Participating communities were selected based on their geography and size, as well as their existing and proposed reach with underserved populations.  FloridaWest EDA will assemble a leadership team in partnership with Achieve Escambia and Careersource Escarosa that includes representatives from business and industry, education, government, and the community.

Through a specialized planning process facilitated by CAEL, the leadership teams from the selected communities will hone inclusive workforce development strategies to create education, job and career opportunities for residents of all demographics.

The Inclusive Development Network will be supported by partnerships with national experts, including International Economic Development Council (IEDC), Burning Glass Technologies, Avalanche Consulting Inc. and Quest Site Solutions.

“This work is about promoting economic inclusion for working adults at the local level,” said ECMC Foundation President Peter J. Taylor. “Together, these leaders will blaze a new trail to a more equitable and prosperous future for working adults, families and communities.”

To learn more about the IDN, visit