IT recruiter struggles to find qualified SWFL candidates

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NAPLES, Fla. Southwest Florida is behind the times when it comes to one of the nation’s fastest growing industries, says one recruiter.

And it could be costing residents job opportunities.

Christian Gehring’s job is to fill empty office spaces in Windsor Office Suites at 5660 Strand Court. One of his clients, Ersast LLC, is having a difficult time finding a qualified local computer programmer.

“They’ve been recruiting over two months now,” Gehring said. “They’re unable to find any talent locally.”

Gehrig believes Southwest Florida schools, like FGCU, are partially to blame due to their limited curricula in computer programming and coding classes.

“IT talent is really important for the growth of our region, and it’s important in lots of different types of industries, not just specific IT industries,” Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce president Michael Dalby said. “We have to continually fill that pipeline of talent, whether that’s developing talent at FGCU or whether it’s recruiting talent into the area.”

Ersast will continue its search for another 30 to 60 days, Gehring said. If it proves unsuccessful, the company will relocate to Massachusetts.

FGCU didn’t respond to a request for comment about whether it has plans to expand its IT curriculum.

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