State Workforce Policy and Investment Board Collaborates to Expand Education and Training Opportunities

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September 12, 2019
EDUCATION TRAINING
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ORLANDO, Fla. – At today’s meeting of the CareerSource Florida Board of Directors, business, government and community development leaders discussed strategies to continue improving Florida’s talent pipeline by increasing career readiness and workforce opportunities aligned with the needs of businesses — the state’s job creators.

CareerSource Florida, designated as Florida’s chief workforce policy organization, is focused on its role in advancing outcomes to achieve Governor Ron DeSantis’ goal for Florida to become No. 1 in the nation in workforce education by 2030, as outlined in his Executive Order 19-31.

“We will continue to collaborate, innovate and lead to ensure Florida achieves Governor DeSantis’ bold vision as the leading state for economic growth and access to great careers that lead to economic prosperity,” said Kevin Doyle, Chairman of the CareerSource Florida Board of Directors.

Today’s discussion and action planning highlighted the growing collaboration between the state’s education and workforce systems. Florida’s new educational attainment goal, now state law, was among the main topics. By 2030, through the SAIL to 60 initiative, Florida is seeking to increase to 60 percent the percentage of working-age Floridians with a high-value post-secondary certificate, degree or training experience. Florida is among 42 states with an established educational attainment goal, according to the Lumina Foundation. The new state law also establishes the Florida Talent Development Council, on which CareerSource Florida will serve.

“Governor Ron DeSantis has delivered on his promise to expand opportunities to build a strong workforce in Florida,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. “As a result, Florida is on track to be the best state in the nation for workforce education by 2030. The significance of this cannot be overstated, this is when our current second graders will be graduating high school. Diversifying workforce education programs will continue to expand opportunities for Florida families and will allow hard workers to be set up for success.”

Other topics of discussion included enhancing work-based learning opportunities for Florida students and workers to ensure they build and maintain relevant skills; work underway through the leadership of the Department of Education to evaluate the quality, including alignment with marketplace demands, of more than 1,200 state career and technical education programs, both secondary and post-secondary; and expanded opportunities to enhance college and career pathways.

Expert presenters included:

  • Eric Hall, Ed.D., Chancellor for Innovation, Florida Department of Education, who serves as the education commissioner’s designee to the state workforce board
  • Arnie Girnun, President, New Horizons South Florida, and a gubernatorial appointee to the state workforce board
  • Elisha Gonzalez, Vice President of Community Relations and Government Affairs, FAIRWINDS Credit Union, and a gubernatorial appointee to the state workforce board
  • Madeline Pumariega, Executive Vice President and Provost of Tallahassee Community College and former Chancellor of the Florida College System
  • Quentin Suffren, National Policy Director, ExcelinEd

“We are grateful for the leadership of Governor DeSantis and the state workforce development board in continuing to challenge Florida’s entire talent supply system,” said Michelle Dennard, President and CEO of CareerSource Florida. “Our work today will enhance collaboration to expand education and training opportunities for Floridians of all ages and equip them with the ever-evolving skills needed for successful careers today and in the future.”

Aligned with the governor’s priorities, one of the key work-based learning initiatives of the CareerSource Florida network continues to be working with the Departments of Education and Economic Opportunity to expand apprenticeships. This summer, the state partners launched Apprentice Florida, a public education and outreach campaign to encourage and assist businesses in establishing apprenticeships and educate Floridians about pursuing careers through apprenticeships.

“Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, I am confident Florida will be No. 1 in workforce education by 2030,” said DEO Executive Director Ken Lawson. “Working collaboratively with CareerSource Florida and the Florida Department of Education, we are making smart, strategic investments in Florida’s workforce that will sustain economic growth for years to come. Apprenticeships are a smart and creative solution to prepare our workforce and businesses for the future.”

Since 2018, the CareerSource Florida Board has designated $3.5 million to expand apprenticeships through partnerships with business, local workforce development boards and educational entities.

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About CareerSource Florida

CareerSource Florida provides oversight and 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. 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.