TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, the CareerSource Florida Board of Directors approved the next steps in a multi-year comprehensive plan to further elevate Florida’s already #1 in the nation talent pipeline. Today’s board vote consolidating Florida’s 24 local workforce development boards into 21 boards will better serve Floridians in need of employment services, job training and upskilling. The plan also includes overall statewide system improvements and enhanced regional planning.
The consolidation and system improvements were required components of the Reimagining Education and Career Help (REACH) Act, passed by the legislature and signed into law by Governor DeSantis in 2021, which mandated a reduction in the number of local workforce development boards and a comprehensive review to enhance outcomes for businesses and individuals. The plan approved today follows more than 10 months of collaboration among CareerSource Florida, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the REACH Office and the Department of Education as well as contracted services through Ernst & Young (EY).
The EY team reviewed and analyzed data from all 24 local workforce development boards and the state of Florida and engaged more than 700 local stakeholders as part of a comprehensive analysis of the current system with a focus on opportunities for enhancement.The research identified three options for alignment and consolidation of local workforce development boards. The CareerSource Florida Board ultimately approved the plan they found most beneficial, the least organizationally impactful, and most driven by direct input from stakeholders.
“With today’s board vote, Florida will continue its lead nationally in ensuring our state workforce system is responsive to today’s needs as well as proactively planning for the future needs of both employers and Floridians seeking new or better jobs,” said CareerSource Florida Board Chair Stephanie Smith. “Through reduced bureaucracy, increased state support of local workforce development boards and stronger coordination of workforce development services and planning, the CareerSource Florida network can better anticipate and meet industry needs in this ever-evolving market.”
The extensive review and research led to two additional implementation strategies: system-wide improvements led by DEO and CareerSource Florida to support local workforce development boards, and regional planning that will result in greater access to resources for local workforce development boards.
Overall, the implementation of today’s plan will improve:
- Access to workforce training options, while never decreasing access to services;
- Collaboration among economic, educational, and governmental agencies;
- Consistent services to businesses and workforce across the state;
- Alignment of workforce development with economic development;
- Elimination of administrative layers to help focus on workforce development;
- Flexibility in allocating resources to businesses and workforce development;
- Opportunities for businesses to partner within their industry clusters; and
- Accountability of workforce-related programs.
Review the Florida Workforce System Transformation Plan for more information and a map of the newly aligned boards.
“Florida’s record-low unemployment under the leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis is further evidence that a future-focused, industry-responsive state workforce system is vitally necessary to continue to grow our economy,” said CareerSource Florida President and CEO Adrienne Johnston. “The employee- and employer-focused approach approved by the CareerSource Florida Board today demonstrates our commitment to continuous improvement and strengthening the integrity, transparency and accountability of the state workforce system.”
“This is an opportunity to strengthen and expand our services to ultimately serve our communities in a much broader capacity,” said Marci Murphy, president of CareerSource Brevard, which will consolidate with CareerSource Flagler Volusia to become a new workforce board serving all three counties. “With the merging of teams comes new perspectives, new strengths and new opportunities, as well as the ability to refine and standardize aspects of our operations.”
“CareerSource Flagler Volusia and CareerSource Brevard share the same values and focus,” said CareerSource Flagler Volusia President and CEO Robin King. “Merging talent and resources will allow us to explore opportunities to develop innovative ways to serve our business community and the workforce throughout the tri-county area.”
“Today’s board approval of the Florida Workforce System Transformation Plan is the next step toward achieving Governor DeSantis’ goal for Florida to be the No. 1 state in the nation for workforce education,” said board member and Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Acting Secretary Meredith Ivey. “The DEO team is ready and eager to collaborate with CareerSource Florida and the REACH Office to implement system-wide improvements to elevate and enhance services that we provide to Floridians, businesses, and communities.”
The alignment and consolidation recommendations will be posted on careersourceflorida.com for public comment and forwarded to the Governor for consideration. Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the Governor is responsible for designating local workforce development areas served by local workforce development boards. The CareerSource Florida network served 50,770 businesses and provided employment and career development assistance to 86,503 seekers who successfully secured employment in the most recent fiscal year.
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.