Personnel note: Karen Bowling to be University of North Florida’s first VP of Jobs
Karen Bowling [Photo: Jax Chamber]

Bowling's diverse career takes yet another turn.

A trailblazer in many ways, Karen Bowling is again taking on a new role as the University of North Florida’s first Vice President of Jobs.

Bowling, who has already enjoyed a diverse career, will take on an ambitious portfolio “cultivating relationships with external partners that advance internships, externships, career immersion and permanent job placement for UNF students and alumni,” the school announced Thursday.

With a job market decimated by COVID-19-related economic shutdowns, the role is timely, notes UNF President David Szymanski.

“Creating strong job opportunities for our students is of the utmost importance. This position will help serve as an engine of our economy by connecting our highly qualified pipeline of talent with the businesses and companies that need their skills,” Szymanski said.

“Bowling will work alongside business and community leaders in engaging our well-prepared students and strengthening their employment pathways during these challenging times and beyond.”

Bowling will remain director of UNF’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation.

“To stay competitive and deliver for our students, we will continue to ensure that they not only get the finest academic education, but also the desired skills and attributes employers seek in our graduates,” Bowling said. “This position will allow UNF to further incorporate the needs and requirements of potential employers throughout all of our University’s initiatives and bring together our stakeholders to better help students get on the path to a successful career.”

Bowling is the former CEO of Solantic Urgent Care, a company she cofounded with Gov. Rick Scott in 2001.

After Solantic’s sale in 2011, Bowling went to work for Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown as the city’s chief administrative officer. She moved on to Foley and Lardner shortly before the 2015 election.

Bowling currently serves on the Judicial Nominating Commission for the 4th Judicial Circuit. She is immediate past chair of the Florida State College of Jacksonville Board of Trustees and former member of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Staff Reports


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