Tallahassee, Fla.– Today the CareerSource Florida Board Executive Committee met to receive an update from workforce development leaders on the employment and training assistance this network has continued to provide to job seekers and business during the pandemic, while also assisting with the state’s Reemployment Assistance program.
From March 1 through May 13, the CareerSource Florida network, which includes 24 local workforce development boards, has provided employment and training services to 315,976 job seekers and 19,125 businesses. The network also has stepped up to assist Floridians applying for unemployment benefits through the Reemployment Assistance program managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. A record number of claims – nearly 2 million – have been filed from Floridians who lost their jobs either temporarily or permanently due to COVID-19.
“While public safety remains the No. 1 priority, the leadership of this network in supporting economic relief and recovery during these challenging times has remained strong and focused,” said CareerSource Florida Board Chairman Kevin Doyle following today’s Executive Committee Meeting. “Workforce boards have continued to provide services and even expanded their efforts. Now, with all 67 Florida counties reopened for business, we want to assess our next steps in supporting the economic restart as we continue to align our workforce investments and actions with the blueprint provided by Governor Ron DeSantis in his Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery.”
Without interruption, since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Florida nearly 80 days ago, the CareerSource Florida network has continued to provide employment and business services virtually, via telephone, by email and by appointment in some areas of the state. Boards that had shifted to virtual services in response to shelter-at-home orders are now reopening their career centers by appointment.
Since March 1, local workforce development boards also have assisted more than 14,000 job seekers who have been placed in employment and enrolled more than 1,300 individuals in training. Additionally, during today’s meeting, state board leaders heard the following examples of the important work to help with reemployment assistance.
CareerSource Southwest Florida, working with the Department of Economic Opportunity, trained 50 of its employees to help reset PINs for the CONNECT system. To date, the board has assisted with more than 5,000 PIN resets. CareerSource Pinellas, which has maintained face-to-face career center services while observing safety guidelines, added a parking lot Wi-Fi hot spot for customers needing high-speed Internet access but not wanting to seek in-person help. Meanwhile, CareerSource Northeast Florida expanded its own call center operations to assist more customers with employment and training needs as well as reemployment assistance. At its peak, the call center received more than 6,000 calls in one week.
“We are so grateful for how this workforce network has responded through agility and innovation to continue to provide economic opportunities for Florida job seekers, workers and businesses including those who have recently lost their jobs through no fault of their own,” said CareerSource Florida President and CEO Michelle Dennard. “The boards we heard from today exemplify the commitment statewide by workforce professionals to help Florida rebound from the economic hardships caused by COVID-19 as we not only work to recover but also, ultimately, reimagine and build our future economy.”
The Executive Committee also received an update on a $1 million fund it approved on April 30 to support rapid reemployment initiatives in counties most impacted by the pandemic and $500,000 to assist all local workforce development boards with safety readiness by helping them with expenditures for personal protective equipment as more career centers reopen to the public.
Last month, CareerSource Florida launched an integrated public and business outreach campaign, Help is Here, to direct job seekers and businesses to support needed for employment, recruitment, hiring and training as well as COVID-19 relief assistance.
To connect to help in your community, click here for a list of Florida’s local workforce development boards and their contact information.
ABOUT CAREERSOURCE FLORIDA
CareerSource Florida, with its business-led board of directors, provides policy direction for talent development programs administered by the Department of Economic Opportunity, Florida’s 24 local workforce development boards and their 100 career centers. The CareerSource Florida State Board serves as the Governor’s principal workforce policy and investment board, working in partnership with DEO, which is responsible for the state workforce system’s fiscal and administrative affairs, and local workforce development boards that serve Florida’s businesses and career seekers. Together, the CareerSource Florida network connects employers with qualified, skilled talent and Floridians with employment and career development opportunities to achieve economic prosperity. Learn more at careersourceflorida.com.