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Artificial Intelligence’s role in return-to-work for Southwest Florida

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Posted at 6:55 AM, Jun 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-24 11:31:50-04

FORT MYERS, Fla – Many Southwest Floridians are still working from home, more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic.

A big question on many minds: Will we ever see a full return-to-work, and if so, when?

Fox 4 spoke with CareerSource Southwest Florida to help answer those questions.

CareerSource works with several local business owners to understand their hiring needs, so they have a good grasp on what most companies are doing.

It said the short answer is yes, we will see a return-to-work for a majority of companies.

While it is seeing some offer hybrid return-to-work models, CareerSource said most are requiring employees to come back.

A big reason they need an in-person workforce has to do with emerging trends in automation.

“The workforce in Southwest Florida is certainly going to change. We're going to see more automation. We already see it today. A lot of people may not be aware but there's automation and AI already in healthcare, manufacturing, construction. That is going to continue. What we're really going to need, it’s the emotional or people skills per se, emotional intelligence in the workforce,” explained Janeth P. Castrejon, Communications Manager at CareerSource Southwest Florida.

She said right now, there's no substitute for things like customer service, getting along with other people, and empathy.

And while this helps us get a better picture of the future of our workforce in the short-term, what about the long-term?

CareerSource Southwest Florida is hosting the third part of its trilogy series about meeting the future workforce needs of our community.

Today’s symposium will feature state legislators and policymakers who will address the needs business owners and education leaders have brought forward.

It will begin at 8:30 and is open to the public. To register, click here.