Majority rate the state of Florida poor or average in its ability to produce qualified IT workers
March 3, 2008 — Ft. Lauderdale-based technology placement specialist, PROTECH released the results of its sixth annual survey of IT leaders in which 58% of respondents characterized state and local government’s commitment to developing the technology sector as ‘weak’. In addition, 61% rated the state of Florida’s ability to produce qualified technology workers as ‘poor’ (23%) or ‘average’ (38%). The survey of targeted over 350 chief executives in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach with direct responsibility for their organization’s technology operations and was conducted in January.
The outlook for the sector as a whole seemed more positive, while the effects of the housing market continued to contribute to recruiting woes:
- 58% reported technology budget increases for 2008
- The average budget increase reported was 5% over 2007
- 75% said that their technology budget was adequate in relation to actual need
- 67% viewed the current health of tech-related purchasing as being neutral, 25% saw it as very strong and 8% said it was in decline
- 92% viewed the current health of tech-related hiring as being neutral, 8% saw it as very strong and 0% said it was in decline
- 55% of respondents said that cost of living was the most difficult challenge in attracting new employees
“The key message in the data is that the high-tech industry is not a priority, and it should be. The technology industry continues to provide strong economic growth for states like California and Texas, and Florida could miss out on this growth if we do not better support our strong base of tech innovators and entrepreneurs.” said PROTECH CEO Deborah Vazquez. She said the survey results show serious concerns about the future. “Technology business leaders and public officials have been actively engaged in a dialogue but, she added “The executives in this survey seem to be saying, ‘Where’s the action?”.
PROTECH (www.protechfl.com) is South Florida’s IT placement specialist, providing search and contracting services across IT disciplines from development, infrastructure and project management to marketing and executive leadership. Headquartered in Broward County, the company helps IT, HR and executive management by serving as a knowledgeable and discrete resource for securing quality talent, expertly matched to the demands of their technical environment and corporate cult
PROTECH CEO, Deborah Vazquez, was quoted in an article by the South Florida Business Journal “Times are changing as workplace diversity gets better.”
Deborah Vazquez, CEO of PROTECH, was featured in an article in the South Florida Business Journal “It was a very good year for local technology and innovation.”
PROTECH’s 2007 Tech Survey results were featured in an article in the South Florida Business Journal “Techies consider hitching occupational star to trek out of state IT Jobs.”
PROTECH Wins Second Place in South Florida Business Journals’ Business of the Year Awards in HR Category
In annual South Florida Business Journal Business of the Year awards, PROTECH took home second place in the the Human Resources under $10 Million Category.
LATEST NEWS January 10, 2005
Tech Alliance plans employment panel
A nonprofit organization that works to foster technology development and discussion plans a
presentation to help employers learn about the latest industry employment trends and how to
improve their appeal to recruit and keep the best employees.
The South Florida Technology Alliance said its “Outlook 2005: Attracting, Retaining and
Developing Talent,” is to begin at 6:30 p.m., Jan. 27. A networking reception starts an hour
Deborah Vazquez, Protech chief executive officer, is to moderate a panel discussion to feature
insights and findings from local experts in corporate technology, human resources, search and
staffing, software development and education.
Panel members are to include Bill Hicks, Ultimate Software chief information officer; Alicia
Blain, Visa International vice president of information systems; Barry Shiflett, Florida
International University’s graduate program director of career management services; Kathleen
Bocek, Campus Management vice president of human resources; and Tom Holmes, JM Family
Enterprises vice president of operations.
The meeting is to be at Citrix Systems, 851 West Cypress Creek Road, in Fort Lauderdale. It costs
$15 for members and $25 for non-members, if registered in advance. To register, go to
© 2005 American City Business Journals Inc.
Posted on Mon, Nov. 17, 2003
Experience gives IT staffer an edge
When it comes to filling job positions in the world of information technology, more than just bits and bytes
Deborah Vazquez, who runs ProTech, an IT staffing company in Miami, believes her firm has managed
to thrive even after the Internet bust of recent years because she comes from the IT world herself.
Vazquez, 39, started out as a programmer.
Most of the eight people on her staff have similar backgrounds. So, they can speak the lingo of a client
company’s chief information officer or its CEO.
”We can decipher between someone who is truly qualified for the job” and someone with minimal
experience, says Vazquez, who started the firm in 2000.
Now Miami-based ProTech has survived the downturn in the economy, the rash of corporate scandals, and
Funded with $100,000, ProTech grew by 53 percent last year and is on track to double its growth in 2003.
Vazquez also added two minority investors this year.
ProTech’s focus is filling IT jobs in any industry. The firm has clients in financial services, healthcare,
media, and software. The talent the firm finds usually comes from South Florida.
ProTech has amassed a large database of local talent. Those in the database have already been interviewed
and their references have been checked. So when ProTech gets a job requisition, it can more quickly
present a list of viable candidates to a client. Vazquez says about 95 percent of the placements come from
ProTech’s own database.
Since the beginning of the year with the economy picking up, Vazquez says more companies are hiring.
Right now, the biggest demand is for database administrators and systems and network engineers.
There’s less demand for security engineers, which had been the hot job after Sept. 11.
Vazquez also says contract workers are being hired permanently.
Despite the increased hiring, she still sees a lot of resentment from workers. ”Many people feel overworked
and underpaid. Companies are doing more with less,” says Vazquez, an active member of the South Florida
CIO Council. “Companies are trying to produce the numbers for shareholders, so they have to cut corners
and cut costs.”
With the pressure to trim expenses, Vazquez is seeing increased consolidation and outsourcing of IT
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The consolidation also has spilled over into Vazquez’s own work. When she started the firm, she says, there
were 15 to 20 other companies providing the same services she was.
Now, the number has dwindled to less than five.
To paraphrase Martha Stewart, less competition is a good thing.
ProTech plans to open an office in Broward County next year.
BIG GAINS EXPECTED
Right now, there’s no major out-of-state venture capital firm with offices in Florida.
Sure, firms like Atlanta-based Noro-Moseley Partners travel throughout the state often, visiting the
companies they have already invested in and looking for new deals. But none have set up an outpost in the
But Les Croland, an attorney at Edwards & Agnell in Fort Lauderdale who works with start-ups and
venture capital firms, expects this situation to change once The Scripps Research Institute has set up a
branch in Palm Beach County.
With a cluster of bio-tech companies being spun off as the research done by the Scripps scientists
eventually is commercialized and brought to market, Croland expects venture capital firms finally will have
good reason to plant permanent roots in this state.
”The VC find it hard to get their arms around what’s in Florida. [All the companies] are so spread out
through the state,” says Croland.
In the San Diego area, where Scripps is based, some 300 to 500 companies have been spun off from the
The start-ups also should come from work by scientists from some of Florida’s own universities who will
work in conjunction with Scripps researchers.
Like many others in Florida’s business, academic and government communities, Croland is excited about
Scripps’ impact on the state and its economy.
”It will change the landscape of South Florida and the entire state,” he says. “This is the biggest thing to
happen to Florida since Disney and NASA.”
TV SHOW DEBUTS
TodoBebe’s Spanish-language TV show for expectant and new parents debuted on the Telemundo network
The half-hour weekly show is produced by the Hallandale Beach-based company that got its start in 1999
as an online retail and information website on pregnancy, birthing, and child-rearing in Spanish. The show
will be seen on Telemundo stations in Miami, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Houston and Orlando.
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AOL Latino, an arm of America Online that’s focused on the U.S. Hispanic market, has signed as the
show’s online sponsor for its initial launch.
TodoBebe, which produces a weekly radio show, also partnered with several medical associations and
hospitals for the show, including Miami Children’s Hospital, and Pediatrix Medical Group, which cares for
high-risk pregnant women and babies in intensive-care units around the country.
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