Gov. Rick Scott has signed into law Senate Bill 7040, which aligns Florida’s nationally recognized workforce system with the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014. WIOA provides key guidance and updates to the workforce system in every state, with a focus on delivering customer-driven workforce solutions and enhanced customer service through an integrated job-driven network.
“Connecting our talented workforce with career opportunities, building prosperity and ensuring Florida remains a national leader in workforce development is at the heart of everything we do,” said CareerSource Florida President and CEO Chris Hart IV. “We applaud the Governor, Florida Legislature and our partners for their focus throughout this process of continuous improvement and exemplary customer service.”
Many of the innovative workforce development priorities and expectations of the federal law already are in place in Florida. Florida’s new legislation also requires a heightened level of collaboration with partners to ensure the state’s workforce system remains market relevant and focused on meeting the needs of businesses, job seekers and workers.
Cissy Proctor, CareerSource Florida Board member and Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, said, “The best way to assist unemployed Floridians is to help them get a job, and at DEO we are working with our partners every day to bring more jobs and opportunities to Florida workers. By integrating our efforts with CareerSource Florida, the Department of Education and many others, Florida’s workforce development system continues to help job seekers get new jobs.”
Senate Bill 7040:
- Expands the board membership of CareerSource Florida to include representation from core partners and the vice chairperson of Enterprise Florida, Inc.;
- Changes the methods of measuring performance accountability and preparing the state unified plan;
- Amends the reference and nomenclature throughout Florida statutes to reflect the terminology and workforce assistance structure contemplated by WIOA;
- Requires local workforce development boards to include representations from a private education provider on the local boards; and,
- Expands employment protections of National Guard members who are ordered into active duty.
“The Florida Department of Education Division of Career and Adult Education looks forward to promoting and enhancing educational opportunities offered to Florida’s adult students while working with the core partners of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, said Chancellor and CareerSource Florida Board Member Rod Duckworth. “I believe this Act will enhance the educational pathway for our adult students and allow them to move into employment and a career.”
“The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act implementation bill brings unparalleled opportunities for Florida’s workforce programs to better identify and collaborate to meet the needs of Florida’s employers and job seekers,” said Director of the FLDOE Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Aleisa McKinlay. “The core partnerships forged here are far more than ‘nominal,’ and in creating Florida’s first Unified Plan for Employment, we’ve already grown closer – and better – together than any of us were in our separate domains.”
“We are excited to work with CareerSource Florida and all of our partners to expand employment outcomes for our customers,” said FLDOE Division of Blind Services Director Robert Doyle. “Last year, the Division achieved record success in the number of blind and visually impaired Floridians who entered and reentered the workforce. With the signing of SB7040, more Floridians will have the opportunity to enter the job market, and maintain or advance in employment. Through this collaboration, we will continue to strengthen accessibility of systems of persons with visual disabilities, and assist businesses in meeting their hiring goals. Thank you to the Governor and those involved with the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in Florida.”
WIOA requires states to formulate and submit four-year plans describing how they will fully integrate their workforce and talent development systems. In 2015, Florida’s Legislature created a task force to engage key stakeholders and develop recommendations for Florida’s unified plan to implement WIOA. The task force recommendations were approved by the CareerSource Florida Board of Directors in November 2015. The final unified state plan was submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor on March 30, 2016.
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About CareerSource Florida
CareerSource Florida is the statewide workforce policy and investment board of business and government leaders charged with guiding workforce development for the state of 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 or 1-866-352-2345.