Tallahassee, Fla. – CareerSource Florida’s two state-level training grant programs are receiving high marks from businesses that use them, according to a new report by the state Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA). Highlights of the report on the Quick Response Training and Incumbent Worker Training grant programs were provided by CareerSource Florida Business & Workforce Development Senior Vice President Andra Cornelius, CEcD, during the CareerSource Florida Board of Directors Quarterly Meeting today.
By statute, OPPAGA must evaluate each program for effectiveness and value to the state’s taxpayers every three years and include recommendations for consideration by the Governor and Florida Legislature. The state-funded Quick Response Training grant program provides partial reimbursement to businesses in target industries that are expanding in or relocating to Florida and need to train new hires. Federally funded Incumbent Worker Training grants help existing businesses, especially small businesses, train current employees to remain competitive and grow.
For the Quick Response Training grant program, a majority of companies surveyed reported the program had a positive or very positive impact on their business. At least half reported the state-funded grant played a role in the decision to expand in or relocate to Florida. The program benefits the new employees as well, with average wage increases of up to 12% after training.
Of businesses that received Incumbent Worker Training grants, 25% reported they gained new business, contracts or sales due to the grant. Wages for trainees increased by up to 9%. Businesses cited benefits including increased employee knowledge and productivity, process efficiency gains, credential attainment and reduction in turnover.
“The CareerSource Florida Board of Directors is grateful to Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature for continuing to support Quick Response Training and Incumbent Worker Training as valued workforce development tools,” said CareerSource Florida Board Chair Stephanie Smith, senior director of government relations for Anthem, Inc. “Together, these programs have helped fund training for nearly 400,000 Florida workers, leading to higher wages for the employees and better productivity for the businesses.”
Board members also received an update on implementation of a new collaborative program to assist veterans and military family members that spans 12 counties in Northwest Florida. The partnership includes CareerSource Escarosa, CareerSource Okaloosa Walton, CareerSource Gulf Coast and CareerSource Chipola as well as military bases, state colleges and community organizations.
Funded through a Get There Faster: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Governor’s Reserve Funds grant allocation approved by the board last June, the Northwest Florida Military Outreach Collaboration will include designated military career assistance navigators, referrals to community resources and supportive services and career training in addition to services currently available through the Disabled Veterans Outreach and Military Family Employment Advocacy programs.
Four other local workforce development boards also received approval for projects funded through the veterans and military spouses grants. Details on implementation of those projects, as well as updates on implementation of Get There Faster: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Governor’s Reserve Funds grants allocated to expand services to at-risk Floridians and low-income returning adult learners across the state, are available in the board packet at this link.
Board members also received information on work underway to modify Florida’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Unified State Plan, activities at the Department of Economic Opportunity, and work underway by the entire CareerSource Florida network to assist job seekers and businesses statewide, presented by Stacy Campbell-Domineck, president of the Florida Workforce Development Association as well as president and CEO of CareerSource Polk.
For more information about the CareerSource Florida board, including presentations and upcoming meeting information, please visit careersourceflorida.com/boardroom/.
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.