300+ partners, collaborating to transform talent

The FutureMakers Coalition is a collective impact initiative working to ensure Southwest Floridians have an education beyond high school so they can fill in-demand jobs and adapt to a changing economy.  They work with over 300 individuals representing 100+ partner organizations from business, education, government, philanthropy, and the nonprofit sector to achieve their bold goal: to ensure 55% of adults between the ages of 25 and 64 have college degrees, workforce certificates, and other high-quality credentials by 2025.

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Tessa LeSage
Director, FutureMakers
April Mesa
Navigator Coordinator
Aysegul Timur
President, Florida Gulf Coast University



Winner of the Good Jobs Challenge

In partnership with Florida Gulf Coast University, southwest Florida received $22.9M through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Good Jobs Challenge.  The work is focused on the Southwest Florida Equitable Jobs Pipeline, accelerating credential attainment and job placement in four leading local industries: healthcare, manufacturing, education, and transportation, distribution, and logistics.  FutureMakers convening power and proven record of collective impact gave the region a considerable advantage in receiving the competitive award.


Securing employer commitments to hire retrained adults

Through their demonstrated success in support adults to re-enroll in postsecondary pathways and complete high-quality credentials, FutureMakers have secured 2,552 hiring commitments from 70 employers in a single year (2022).

Key Initiatives

Southwest Florida Equitable Jobs Pipeline

FlFlorida Gulf Coast University, together with FutureMakers Coalition at Collaboratory and other partners, developed the Southwest Florida Equitable Jobs Pipeline to upskill the regional workforce and stimulate economic development.

FGCU Jobs Pipeline Logo

The Equitable Jobs Pipeline will connect underemployed and unemployed Southwest Florida residents with training for industry-recognized credentials and, ultimately, careers with local employers committed to this partnership. More than 1,700 local job seekers, including those from underserved populations, who face barriers to education, employment and career advancement will be fast-tracked for professional advancement.

This regional collaboration is developing a long-term solution to reduce those barriers. Because talent lives here – but needs a path to opportunity.

The first four target industries for the Equitable Jobs Pipeline are:

  • Health care
  • Manufacturing
  • K-12 public education
  • Logistics

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Navigators for Returning Adults

A program of FutureMakers Coalition, navigators support adults who need to earn a credential to start or advance in a career in the region.  Serving a five county region, a team of Navigators aid individuals in removing barriers to re-enrollment and completion of credentials and degrees aligned to workforce demand.

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Building Rural Learning Systems

FutureMakers was selected to participate in national cohort program to strengthen rural learning systems.  Working deeply in Hendry County, FL, multiple stakeholders have co-developed new strategies to improve postsecondary outcomes for high school students and adults.  Driven in part by a new transport hub, the county is creating new pathways to meet today’s and tomorrow’s labor demand.

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