Business & Economy

UWF Haas Center to present veterans’ data storytelling event

The Haas Center at the University of West Florida will play host to “A View of the Veteran and Defense Workforce in Northwest Florida,” an event that will cover the role veterans and the defense industry play in the regional economy.

The event will focus on veteran and defense industry demographics, occupation profiles and educational attainment rates, among other topics. It will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 1, at the Studer Community Institute Building in downtown Pensacola.

“The defense industry is a major component of the Northwest Florida economy,” said Amy Newburn, assistant director of the Haas Center. “Government, including federal government services and military, represent about a third of the gross regional product of the four-county area.”

The four-county area consists of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties.

“Because of this, we are a region with a high concentration of veterans, military personnel and military families,” Newburn said. “It is important to be able to find data points that help tell their story and contributions to our region, as well.”

“A View of the Veteran and Defense Workforce in Northwest Florida” is the third event in the Haas Center’s Citizen Economist series. Through Citizen Economist, launched earlier this year, the Haas Center aims to make economic data and research available in an approachable, easy-to-understand way.

“The first three events in the series have focused on inclusive, data-based storytelling for different groups in the region,” Newburn said. We hope to offer data and information that promotes conversation and educates the community on real-time data points.”

Joining Haas Center staff will be retired U.S. Navy Captain Chris Middleton, who serves as University President Martha Saunders’ military liaison and as director of strategic innovation for the University of West Florida Division of Research and Strategic Innovation, which oversees the Haas Center.

In addition, Bob Foster, program coordinator with the Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program at the University, will speak on veteran entrepreneurship.

The event is free, but registration is required. For more information and to register, visit UWF Haas Center Facebook.