Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, CareerSource Florida recognized the noteworthy accomplishments of the state’s workforce system as Florida’s economy continued its strong recovery in 2021. In addition to assisting more than 96,000 Floridians who secured employment over the past fiscal year, the CareerSource Florida network is implementing the 2021 Reimaging Education and Career Help (REACH) Act, creating a consumer-first workforce system to enhance equity and access to workforce services, including supply-and-demand-aligned job training that promotes upward mobility.
CareerSource Florida, the Governor’s principal workforce policy and investment board, was tasked under the REACH Act with appointing and facilitating a new state Credentials Review Committee focused on strengthening and modernizing our state’s workforce.
“With Governor DeSantis’ leadership, Florida’s workforce and education systems are transforming our service delivery models to provide innovative education and training opportunities that meet current and future business needs,” said CareerSource Florida Board of Directors Chair Stephanie Smith, senior director of government relations for Anthem, Inc. “I am excited for the development and work of the Credentials Review Committee, which will put our state in the best position to connect job seekers with rewarding, in-demand career paths and ensure employers have the talent needed to compete.”
2021 accomplishments of the CareerSource Florida network include:
- Assisting 96,293 Floridians who secured employment, including more than 5,800 military veterans.
- Providing recruiting, hiring and training services to more than 53,700 businesses.
- Awarding $5.9 million in Incumbent Worker Training grants to 122 businesses, with an emphasis on small businesses, projected to train more than 4,300 workers.
- $8.4 million in Quick Response Training grants awarded to 16 businesses, projected to train more than 3,000 new and existing employees.
Through the Get There Faster: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funds, Governor DeSantis directed CareerSource Florida to make the following opportunities available for veterans and their spouses, at-risk Floridians, and rural communities:
$8.6 million to expand training for veterans, spouses
CareerSource Florida, in partnership with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and Florida Department of Education (FDOE), awarded $8.6 million to local workforce development boards across the state to expand career and workforce training opportunities for military veterans and spouses seeking employment. In June, the CareerSource Florida Board of Directors approved funding for the competitive grants to reach and assist a greater number of military veterans and spouses of active duty military and veterans with employment challenges such as homelessness or service-related disabilities.
Additional grants to support at-risk and low-income Floridians seeking career help
Also approved in June by the CareerSource Florida Board, the following grant awards for local workforce development boards collaborating with state or technical colleges and other community partners are planned:
- $5 million to provide low-income adults and youth with training opportunities with a focus on industry-recognized cloud computing or other information technology credentials of value identified by the state Department of Education.
- $5 million for at-risk Floridians receiving public assistance, including those recovering from substance use disorder or returning from justice system involvement to receive education and work skills training and assistance in finding employment to achieve self-sufficiency.
Rural Workforce Initiatives
Allocated by the CareerSource Florida Board and in collaboration with DEO, $2 million in grants to enhance workforce and training services was awarded to 11 local workforce development boards serving rural communities across the state. The grants will expand access to job seeker services and collaboration between local workforce development boards and state and/or technical colleges, with a focus on programs serving veterans and military families as well as Floridians with barriers to employment.
Expansion of Apprenticeship Opportunities
In support of a successful partnership between CareerSource Florida and Lockheed Martin, the College of Central Florida opened a state-of-the-art apprenticeship lab for job seekers with an interest in global security and aerospace. CareerSource Florida aided in building the apprenticeship program and identifying grant opportunities to defray training costs. CareerSource Citrus Levy, the local workforce development board, assists Lockheed Martin in identifying candidates for the apprenticeship program. Apprentices can earn college credit toward an associate degree in engineering technology.
Additionally, several local workforce development boards, working in partnership with the state Department of Education, state colleges and businesses, have initiated or launched a number of new registered apprenticeship programs in targeted industries, including healthcare and manufacturing. With start-up funds allocated by the state board last year, all 24 local workforce development boards now have an apprenticeship navigator point of contact for businesses. Visit apprenticeflorida.com for more information about how registered apprenticeship programs can benefit businesses and individuals.
Credentials Review Committee
As required by the REACH Act, the CareerSource Florida Board Executive Committee appointed the inaugural members of the state’s first Credentials Review Committee, tasked with implementing a process for evaluating credentials for inclusion on the new Master Credentials List. The Credentials Review Committee includes 18 leaders in business, education, economic development, community development, labor and state and local government.
Gig Workers and Employers
This year, CareerSource Florida introduced new resources for Floridians seeking remote or flexible job opportunities. Gig work, typically facilitated through online applications or platforms, bridges the gap between traditional, independent, and non-traditional work arrangements, allowing more flexible options for freelancers and job seekers. Employers and job seekers in the gig economy now have access to the Gig Economy Resource Guide and the Gig Economy Dashboard.
Accountability and Transparency
The CareerSource Florida Board of Directors approved several policies in 2021 to strengthen accountability and governance within Florida’s workforce system. The board also approved additional measures to provide flexibility in assisting job seekers who face specific challenges with employability. Accountability and transparency remain top priorities for the CareerSource Florida network to ensure investments and actions earn and protect the public’s trust.
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.