Note to readers: This is the first of two stories looking at the young professional workforce in Southwest Florida.
Noel Davies grew up in Fort Myers and graduated from Fort Myers High School. He went to the University of Florida for undergraduate studies, then got his law degree from Florida State University.
The 28-year-old took a job in Chicago, before returning to Fort Myers to work for Roetzel & Associates. He practices land use and real estate law and is a co-chairman of the Urban Land Institute’s Young Leaders Group.
“Two winters in Chicago was two too many for me,” he said. “I was excited to come back to the area in large part due to the growing young professional population down here and I’m excited to build my practice in a community where there’s a lot of people that I know.”
Davies rents a place off McGregor Boulevard in Fort Myers. All of his family, including his sister, lives in Naples. He enjoys playing tennis and golf, and is training for the New York City Marathon in November.
“Since I’ve come back, I’ve seen a lot of my peers that have grown up who have left the area sometime after college, come back and are really enjoying the area,” he said.
Young professionals like Davies are becoming more of a force here. They are an important ingredient in Southwest Florida’s economy and they are destined to grow in importance as the region matures.
Research reveals anecdotal trends, many of which might be expected. Others could be considered at least a little surprising.
CareerSource Florida is a network of professionals that works with employers to align their demand for skilled talent with the needs of Floridians seeking employment.
“From a workforce perspective, we think of young professionals a lot … there are starting to be more social organizations in this area for young professionals,” said Jim Wall, spokesman for CareerSource Southwest Florida. “They may want to be a part of boards for local and regional associations such as the Southwest Florida Technology Partnership and we need to get them involved, to make sure those opportunities are there for those who want to stay” here.
Click on the following link for the full News Press article by Casey Logan: Young Professionals