Released on January 2021, CyberCoast is FloridaWest Economic Development Alliance’s campaign that designed to lure top cyber talent away from Silicon Valley and other major tech hubs to the Florida Panhandle, where professionals can keep their old jobs while working remotely.
According FloridaWest Economic Development Alliance, Greater Pensacola has a good, strong concentration of cybersecurity: companies and government contractors and federal. Therefore, cyberseciruty is targeted specific niche of the campaign.
Known as the Cradle of Naval Aviation, Pensacola welcomes thousands of military recruits each year to Naval Air Station Pensacola, where they receive cybersecurity and cryptographic training. The area’s local high-school and higher-education institutions, including Pensacola State College and the University of West Florida, also offer cyber programs and curricula.
Greater Pensacola is home to more than 450,000 people. The city and its surrounding region are already home to offices for defense, aerospace and tech organizations such as Northup Grumman, Raytheon Aerospace, and Argo Cyber Systems, as well as a satellite office for the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). According to the Haas Center at the University of West Florida, the Greater Pensacola region was home to 10,309 cyber-related jobs in 2019.
As part the “CyberCoast” campaign, FloridaWest also launched a marketing website (cybercoastflorida.com) as well as social media ad campaign. FloridaWest also started reaching out to local-area tourism boards, hotel operators and real-estate companies to procure lodgings and other incentives for qualified cybersecurity professionals so they can work remotely in the area as part of a week-long trial.
CyberCoast campaign also feature sunshine, beachy backdrops and tax-free living as part of its strategy. Beside of that, FloridaWest Economic Development Alliance is also encouraging infosec pros to apply for local jobs, while also enticing companies to move their operations to the region.