KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott joined a town hall in Kissimmee with Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló regarding Hurricane Maria. The following was announced:

  • A $1 million investment in 12 of Florida’s local workforce development boards to assist families displaced by Hurricane Maria seeking employment;
  • Following Governor Scott’s request to the federal government, FEMA will now provide case management services for families displaced by Hurricane Maria now in Florida; and
  • At the Governor’s direction, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) today sent letters to local housing authority officials and community leaders to identify local and federal resources so there is better coordination in the joint local, state and federal response to housing needs for Puerto Rican families in Florida. See one of the letters HERE.

Governor Scott said, “Today, I was proud to attend a town hall with Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló and announce a $1 million investment for 12 of Florida’s local workforce development boards to continue to assist families displaced by Hurricane Maria seeking employment. To date, the CareerSource Florida network helped more than 7,600 Puerto Ricans find jobs in Florida and this investment will connect even more individuals with great jobs. I was also proud to announce today that following my request, FEMA has agreed to provide case management services to Puerto Rican families in Florida. These services will assist families on an individual basis with planning for their recovery needs.

“Finally, today, at my direction, DEO sent letters to local housing authority officials and community leaders to help identify resources and to help assist in coordinating a joint local, state and federal response to housing needs for families displaced by Hurricane Maria. We look forward to receiving this information and continuing this important work with our local and federal partners to find housing solutions. Florida is the most welcoming state in the nation and we will continue to do everything possible to help the Puerto Rican families recovering from Hurricane Maria in our state.”

Executive Director of DEO Cissy Proctor said, “The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and our partners continue to work diligently with communities across the state to provide assistance to displaced Puerto Rican jobseekers and families. We are currently assessing housing and employment services so that we can better meet the needs of those who came to Florida for help after the devastation of Hurricane Maria.”

CareerSource Florida President and CEO Michelle Dennard said, “The CareerSource Florida network is a resource for all Floridians seeking new or better careers, and we are here to help make those connections for Hurricane Maria survivors looking to begin new lives. Our network of dedicated workforce professionals continues to work tirelessly to assist Floridians and businesses recovering from Hurricane Irma, new arrivals fleeing the devastation of Hurricane Maria, and any individual who needs employment assistance.”

Representative Bob Cortes said, “I’d like to thank Governor Scott and our many partners across the state for their continued efforts to support Puerto Rican evacuees coming to Florida and still working to rebuild months after Hurricane Maria. I’ve seen the devastation on the island first-hand and heard directly from evacuees in communities across the state. Many of these families lost everything, and finding job opportunities is a huge step forward in rebuilding their lives. The best assistance for any family going through a tough economic time is a job for the parents. Our Florida model should serve as an example for the entire country.”

Representative Rene Plasencia said, “As fellow Americans, and now fellow Floridians, our priority is connecting displaced Puerto Ricans with every resource they need to thrive in our state. With this additional funding, CareerSource will have the capacity to help hundreds of more families. We will continue to work with Governor Scott and our federal, state and local partners to address the needs of Puerto Rican evacuees to ensure full recovery for every family.”

Representative David Santiago said, “I’m proud to join Governor Scott and leaders across the state standing united for Puerto Rico and the full recovery of its families following Hurricane Maria. With over 254,000 job openings across the state, Florida is full of opportunities for evacuees to find a job to help support their families.”

The funds, allocated by CareerSource Florida and distributed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, are designated for employment services to assist evacuees in the five counties served by CareerSource Central Florida: Orange, Osceola, Lake, Sumter and Seminole counties. CareerSource North Central Florida, CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion, CareerSource Flagler Volusia, CareerSource Brevard, CareerSource Tampa Bay, CareerSource Pinellas, CareerSource Research Coast, CareerSource Palm Beach County, CareerSource Broward, CareerSource South Florida and CareerSource Southwest Florida also received funds to provide career assistance to evacuees. More than 7,600 individuals displaced by Hurricane Maria have sought services through the CareerSource Florida network’s local career centers thus far, primarily in the Orlando area, Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

The types of services for individuals displaced by Hurricane Maria that will be provided by the 12 local workforce development boards through this additional funding may include some or all of the following:

    • Individual career consulting services
    • The creation of a Specialized Job Development Team
    • Extended hours at our Career Services Centers
    • Increase access to English for Speakers of Other Language services
    • Hiring events
    • Increased partnerships with community-based organizations
    • Surveys to assess employment needs
    • Social media and/or direct email and/or texting and/or paid outreach

Governor Scott’s announcement follows two recent roundtables to discuss Puerto Rico relief efforts held in Doral and Orlando. CareerSource Central Florida and CareerSource South Florida are providing employment services at Multi-Agency Resource Centers in the Orlando area and Miami International Airport to Puerto Rican families displaced by Hurricane Maria. Several local workforce development boards have held recruiting fairs and workshops to assist Floridians and others impacted by Irma and Maria. For additional information about employment opportunities, please visit, available in English and Spanish.

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