Economic Development

SWFL Inc. is committed to supporting, protecting and promoting businesses in Lee, Collier and Charlotte Counties. To make that possible, we actively work on solutions that help businesses succeed.

Workforce Talent & Retention

Connecting students with local area employers and helping educators train for in-demand jobs.

Workforce Housing

Supporting and advocating for policies that increase the amount of available homes that are affordable for the workforce and the community.

Water Quality

Protecting our region’s water quality, which directly impact our local economy and quality of life.

Invest In Your Community

We don’t make progress by dreaming – we make progress by doing. When we get legislation passed and projects funded, Southwest Florida wins. We need your help to keep these projects in front of legislators.

Our Policies

Our vision is to build a vibrant and prosperous community in Southwest Florida where businesses and people thrive.
Every policy, program and challenge we take supports that vision.

SWFL Inc. has developed several programs to connect students with area employers, as well as help area schools learn which skills local employers need from the incoming workforce:

Talent Pipeline Management is a framework developed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that helps employers communicate their skill needs with schools, so educators can help students train for in-demand jobs. In short, it’s one big step towards addressing the skills gap and benefitting our region’s workforce. This program will launch in Southwest Florida in fall 2021.

Learn More

Career Compass is a partnership with Florida Gulf Coast University that connects graduating seniors with employers in their field for mock interviews. This helps students experience the kinds of great jobs available to them right here in SWFL and gives employers insight into the incoming workforce. We launched this program in early 2019 and are grateful for the financial support of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation to continue to offer this program.

Contact us here to have your company participate

Workforce Signing Day celebrates high school seniors who are entering the workforce immediately after high school graduation. Our first Workforce Signing Day was held with the School District of Lee County in May 2021, and we continue to expand this program.

Contact us here to learn about sponsorship opportunities

Our region can expect to see half a million more residents in the next eight to 10 years, and we are already facing an issue with providing housing that is affordable for the workforce we need. This includes not only teachers and public service heroes, but accountants, professional service workers and entry-level employees with four-year degrees.

Southwest Florida businesses need employees. And those employees need a place to live.

  • SWFL Inc. supports fully funding the Sadowski Housing Trust Fund in the upcoming fiscal year. This is a fund that helps first-time homebuyers purchase a house.
  • We support and advocate at the state level for policies that increase the amount of workforce housing available for our community members. This includes zoning changes to incentivize multi-unit development.
    • What that means: For example, Lehigh Acres was created with pre-platted lots, which makes it difficult for multi-unit projects to be built. A local bill to change zoning could fix this and give builders the ability to construct more housing for our workforce.

SWFL Inc. is a proud partner of the Southwest Florida Alliance of Chambers, which came together to address the water quality concerns of area businesses in 2018. Today, we regularly advocate at the state and federal level for specific policies to protect our region’s waterways, which directly impact our local economy and quality of life. These policies include:

  • Supporting sustained funding for Everglades Restoration projects including the Everglades Agricultural Area reservoir, the C-43 Reservoir, and water storage projects north, south, east, and west of Lake Okeechobee.
  • Supporting stronger stormwater standards for urban and rural landscapes; to reduce nutrient pollution that feeds harmful algal blooms in our water.
  • Supporting funding for local governments to implement their own water quality improvement projects, including upgrades to advanced wastewater treatment systems and septic-to-sewer conversions to reduce nutrient pollution.
We Want to Hear From You

If you have a community issue you’d like us to address please let us know.