TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – This week, the CareerSource Florida Board of Directors underscored Governor Ron DeSantis’ commitment to ensuring Florida remains the most veteran-friendly state and the nation’s workforce education and economic growth trendsetter by approving approximately $20 million in discretionary job training funding to:
- Target upskilling for veterans.
- Support aviation, aerospace, and defense industries.
- Plus-up 2021 initiatives for veterans and Floridians seeking self-sufficiency.
- Provide pathways to prosperity to low-income, single and pregnant women through paid work-based learning.
- Continue funding for Incumbent Worker Training.
- Continue funding for targeted rural initiatives.
- Better braid these investments with all state agencies involved in advancing Florida’s workforce, including apprenticeship and work-based learning efforts.
The funding is part of the $230.4 million state workforce system budget approved by the board for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
“Florida has gained the reputation for being the most veteran-friendly state in the nation, in part because of the state’s commitment to workforce training and employment of its veterans,” said CareerSource Florida Board Chair Stephanie Smith. “Our board is honored to support veterans and all Floridians who can benefit from additional training resources to connect to in-demand careers in growing industries.”
“Under the Governor’s leadership and with the vision created through the 2021 Reimaging Education and Career Help (REACH) Act, this plan represents the collective wisdom of the Department of Education, Department of Economic Opportunity, Enterprise Florida, Space Florida, Department of Children and Families, our state universities, and the CareerSource Florida network throughout the state,” said CareerSource Florida President and CEO Michelle Dennard. “I’m particularly excited and grateful for our board’s support of this vision to truly customize high-value job training opportunities for Floridians who will greatly benefit from life-changing, career-aligned instruction.”
Leaders from partner entities also commended the state workforce development board’s action to provide new funding for innovative projects and initiatives that enhance economic opportunity.
“The Department of Economic Opportunity is proud to partner with CareerSource Florida to continue to prioritize Governor DeSantis’ efforts to support the state’s growing industries and ensure that Florida’s economy continues to lead the nation,” said DEO Secretary Dane Eagle, a member of the CareerSource Florida Board. “By supporting our veterans through aviation, aerospace, and defense manufacturing, Florida’s businesses, job seekers, and communities are able to thrive.”
“Through the bold leadership of Governor DeSantis and in partnership with organizations including CareerSource Florida, the Department of Education, Department of Economic Opportunity, Department of Children and Families, Enterprise Florida and Space Florida, Florida is setting a clear path for continuing to strengthen the state’s talent pipeline with the right skills and training, while helping more Floridians access resources that can lead to meaningful work and career opportunities,” said Katie Crofoot, director of the Executive Office of the Governor’s REACH Office.
“With these resources, Governor DeSantis continues to demonstrate his commitment to the economic and social mobility of all Florida residents, especially those who are economically disadvantaged and in need of a high-quality, work-ready credential,” said Florida Department of Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr., a member of the CareerSource Florida Board. “Our public postsecondary institutions, especially our state and technical colleges, are poised to provide the kind of training to meet the demands of Florida’s thriving economy. Together, we will surely achieve the goal of becoming number one in workforce education by 2030.”
On Thursday, the board also heard a presentation from board member and Department of Children and Families Secretary Shevaun Harris on the Hope Florida initiative. Led by First Lady Casey DeSantis, the initiative uses ‘Care Navigators’ to guide Floridians on individualized paths to prosperity by focusing on community collaboration among the private sector, faith-based community, nonprofits and government entities to maximize resources and opportunities.
CareerSource Florida is one of the lead state organizations and agencies implementing Florida’s 2021 REACH Act. The board heard presentations on progress toward that goal, including the development of a process to assign letter grades to the state’s 24 local workforce development boards and work underway to evaluate alignment of the local boards. The alignment evaluation process can help lead local workforce development boards to respond to the evolution in consumer preferences, workplace expectations, business needs, how people look for work, and even where and how they work. The goal is to deliver even more relevant services through system transformation and improved outcomes for customers.
More information on REACH Act implementation is available at careersourceflorida.com/boardroom/reach-act.
To find your nearest career center, please visit careersourceflorida.com/career-services/your-local-team/.
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.