Skip to Main Content
The Office of Engagement coalitions serve as alliances for collaborative action, impact and growth in our region. When community challenges are too large or complex for one agency or organization to tackle, the Office takes the lead in bringing the right people together to discuss issues and present solutions. We lead on coalition efforts to address urgent situations, empower the community, provide resources, and create long-term and permanent social change. Currently, the Office operates the Talent Development Network, Life Sciences South Florida, and Urban Potential Laboratories. Learn more below.

Urban Potential Laboratories (UP Labs)

FIU has partnered with JPMorgan Chase to meet the everchanging needs in the labor market and establish the Urban Potential Laboratory (UP Labs). UP Labs engages non-traditional and Pell grant-eligible learners in a 14-week program designed to prepare them for middle-skills jobs in the health care industry. These jobs, which require more education than a high school diploma but far less than a four-year degree, have been identified as in-demand by employers that have partnered with UP Labs. They also pay a living wage as defined by Miami-Dade County.

In its first year, UP Labs will prepare learners for jobs in the health care industry. Each learning lab session will focus on one of the following program components:

  1. Academic: Courses in basic skills, some may qualify for college credit
  2. Technical: Competency-based training
  3. Emotional Intelligence: soft-skills and professional skills development
  4. Experiential: Internships/Apprenticeships/Job Shadowing



Application Requirements

  • 18 years or older
  • Meet financial eligibility requirements
  • High School Diploma/GED
  • Less than a Bachelor's Degree
  • Must be able to commit 15 hours a week for 14 weeks 

Learn more here.

Follow UP Labs on social media: 

twitter_png29.png@uplabsfiu     2000px-f_icon.svg.png  @Urban Potential Laboratories      social-instagram-new-square2-512.png  @uplabsfiu

About Talent Development Network

The Talent Development Network (TDN) is a first-of-its-kind regional program pioneered by South Florida's local academic and economic development institutions with the goal of creating internship opportunities to foster the growth of university graduates and local businesses. Florida International University, along with six major academic institutions, the Beacon Council, and others work to link talented students with the high-paying internships they need. Local businesses identify rising talent early and lend a hand in cultivating South Florida's future workforce. Learn more about TDN. 

The Office of Engagement serves as the operational arm of the initiative, working to:

  • Increase retention, graduation, and job placement rates for students
  • Increase the availability of paid internship opportunities
  • Match students with prospective employers
  • Align internship programs with key learning outcomes 

Follow TDN on social media: 

twitter_png29.png@tdnmiami      2000px-f_icon.svg.png  @MiamisTalent      social-instagram-new-square2-512.png  @tdnmiami

Internships are a crucial part of what helped shape me. It not only provides students insight into industry and what work might be like, but also gives them connections for future employment opportunities.Michael Ragheb, Founder and President of Knowledge Careers

Life Sciences South Florida


Life Sciences South Florida (LSSF) draws on inspiration from successful clusters such as Silicon Valley in California and the Research Triangle in North Carolina to fuel the momentum of Florida' fast-growing life sciences industry. It creates a link between world-class colleges and universities, renowned institutions and industry partners to drive research and high-paying jobs in the industry. Learn more about LSSF here.

The Office of Engagement serves the coalition by assisting the membership institutions as they pursue the following goals: 

  • Establishing a shared communication portal, technology platform, research core facilities, and institute commercialization
  • Conducting an extensive asset map and cluster analysis
  • Recruiting, developing, and retaining talent in the region
  • Creating, developing, and strengthening programs designed to increase STEM student and workforce development within the region