Agency for Workforce Innovation

For Immediate Release 
September 11, 2009  

Governor's Press Office


Recovery Act Funds Providing Additional Job Placement and Job Training Services

Florida’s 24 regional workforce boards invite Floridians seeking work to utilize a variety of new or expanded services funded by the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The programs include additional job training, individual counseling, enhanced assistance for local businesses and outreach services to assist more Floridians. 

The programs will vary by local workforce board, and are expected to have a positive impact on Florida’s economy.

These workforce programs are made available statewide through $165 million in federal Recovery dollars over three years. Local workforce boards are using these dollars to fund the programs for eligible participants.

Details for Job Seekers and Employers

For details on each regional workforce board’s program, please contact the workforce board in your area. For contact information, please visit:

At this time the following details are available:

Scroll down to find the region that serves your Florida County for more information.

Region 1 – Workforce Escarosa (Escambia, Santa Rosa)

Career Exploration through Increased Counseling

Funding received through the Recovery Act is providing Workforce Escarosa the opportunity to provide additional one-on-one services to customers seeking employment. Workforce Escarosa has expanded its Career Counseling capabilities by hiring professional counselors to assist customers seeking employment through self-directed job search activities.

In addition, Workforce Escarosa has hired a counselor to work specifically with ex-offenders seeking employment. These counselors provide guidance in assessing existing skill sets and expanding them to other businesses. Through assessments and one-on-one counseling, customers can make a more informed decision regarding employment opportunities and additional training that may be required.

Individual Training Accounts

With the help of funding received under the Recovery Act, Workforce Escarosa has increased Individual Training Account amounts to $7,500 per participant annually for postsecondary education. If a customer also receives a federal PELL Grant, he/she can now use PELL funding to assist with day-to-day living expenses while attending school rather than being required to apply PELL funds to tuition costs. Workforce Escarosa is also utilizing Recovery Act funding to assist individuals attending school with support services such as child care and transportation.

Businesses and job seekers interested in the programs above should contact Kathy Karshna at (850) 607-8748 or For more information, visit

Region 2 – The Workforce Development Board of Okaloosa and Walton

For information, visit

Region 3 – Chipola Regional Workforce Planning Board (Calhoun, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Washington)

Expanded Training Opportunities

Recovery Act funding has allowed the Chipola Regional Workforce Development Board to expand training programs as well as start an on–the-job training program targeted toward adults ages 24 and older. 

For more information, visit

Region 4 – Gulf Coast Workforce Development Board (Bay, Franklin, Gulf)

Career Management, Training

As a result of Recovery Act funding, the Gulf Coast Workforce Board is providing additional workforce services to meet the changing needs of workers and employers.  The workforce center is offering intensive one-on-one career management services and short-term training opportunities to help unemployed and underemployed workers achieve higher earnings. Training is also being provided to employed workers to help them retain/advance in their jobs as well as help their employer be more competitive.

For more information, visit

Region 5 - WORKFORCE plus (Gadsden, Leon, Wakulla)

Recovery Services to Unemployment Compensation Beneficiaries

Unemployment claims customers are eligible to receive Recovery Act-funded intensive job search services designed to get them reemployed more quickly. Each customer has the opportunity to create a job search plan that meets his or her individual needs based on an assessment of current skills, the local labor market and the job seeker’s interests.  This program will be accessible through June 30, 2010 as long as funds are available.

Businesses and job seekers interested in the program should contact (850) 922-0023, (866) WFP-JOB1 toll-free, or visit

Recovery Services to Adults and Dislocated Workers

Recovery Act funding is providing WORKFORCE plus the opportunity to identify job seekers to receive targeted services such as occupational skills training, paid work experience and intensive career counseling.  In order to be eligible for these services, participants must be age 18 or older, selective service registered, economically disadvantaged, and be receiving or have exhausted unemployment compensation benefits. This program is scheduled to be available October 1, 2009, through June 30, 2010.

Businesses and job seekers interested in the program should contact (850) 875-4040 in Gadsden County, (850) 922-0023 in Leon County, or (850) 926-0980 in Wakulla County; dial (866) WFP-JOB1 toll-free or visit

Employed Worker Training Grant

This employer-based training project is designed for current employees of a company, including new hires in need of skills training. The training is for job-specific skills or industry-specific skills necessary to help employees keep their jobs and/or advance in the company while meeting the employer’s need to be more competitive in the marketplace. Employers located within the three counties of the WORKFORCE plus service area, Gadsden, Leon and Wakulla, are eligible to apply for grants not to exceed $5,000.

Businesses and job seekers interested in the program should contact WORKFORCE plus at (850) 414-6085 and ask to speak with a Business Consultant or visit

On-the-Job Training

This reimbursement program for employers provides up to 50 percent of salary costs for up to eight weeks. The employee must be a new hire, and the employer must agree to train the individual to maximize the potential of the new hire. On-the-Job Training is generally conducted on-site at the place of business, but it can also be done in conjunction with classroom training at educational institutions.

Businesses and job seekers interested in the program should contact WORKFORCE plus at (850) 414-6085 and ask to speak with a Business Consultant or visit

Healthcare Resurgence Grant

WORKFORCE plus has been awarded a grant by Workforce Florida Inc. to assist the following target groups: jobseekers, current college students, current healthcare workers and healthcare providers & employers.

Jobseekers - Training is being provided by educational partners in the following areas: CAN, medical assisting and home health aide.

College Students – Assistance in pursuing certifications and/or degrees in a healthcare related field.

Employers and Employees – Encouraging employee participation in Continuing Education Units (CEU) or training in OSHA, HIPPA, IV Therapy and CAN.

Anyone interested should contact their local WORKFORCE plus office and apply at (866) WFP-JOB1.

Operation Reemployment

Operation Reemployment is a training program designed to create “green” employment opportunities.” This new initiative provides an opportunity to learn how to make homes more energy efficient and create long term cost savings.

To be eligible to participate, an applicant must be unemployed or underemployed and/or meet income eligibility and criteria set as a requirement of the grant.

If you meet one of the above criteria, contact your local WORKFORCE plus office and apply at (866) WFP-JOB1.

Region 6 – North Florida Workforce Development Board (Hamilton, Jefferson, Lafayette, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor)

For information, visit

Region 7 - Florida Crown Workforce Board (Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Union)

For information, visit

Region 8 – WorkSource (Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns)

Learn Return & Earn

WorkSource is using Recovery Act funding to offer Learn, Return & Earn, a program that provides information and access to training scholarships for unemployed people across Northeast Florida. Individuals who have lost their jobs during the current recession, regardless of industry, may qualify for a scholarship to train for a new job in a high-demand industry. For more information, visit

WorkSource Mobile Access Points

WorkSource is deploying vans with more than 100 wireless-enabled laptops to provide career information, workshops and employment leads in community facilities throughout the region. Services are being provided to neighborhoods most in need to expand outreach beyond the One-Stop Career Centers located in each county on the First Coast.

For more information, visit

Region 9 – Alachua/Bradford FloridaWorks

For information, visit

Region 10 – Citrus Levy Marion Regional Workforce Development Board

West Ocala Green Jobs Project

Workforce Connection brought together education, economic development and community leaders in West Ocala to collaborate on utilizing green jobs training and small business development to create a better economy and quality of life. The area has been faced with higher unemployment than many other areas of Marion County. The group, formed in May, has experienced positive results.  With assistance from a community donation, 29 business and community members from West Ocala received scholarships to the recent CFCC Green Business Summit.

A pilot training program for up to 30 people, funded by Workforce Connection, will launch to train unemployed individuals from West Ocala in core green building practices, weatherization, building retrofitting and solar installation.

One-Stop Grand Opening

In response to the needs of displaced workers in Ocala, Workforce Connection opened a new location, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, to provide services to job candidates and employers. Open since June 23, 2009, the office is located at Workforce Connection Paddock Park, 3300 SW 34th Ave., Suite 148, Ocala.  The direct phone number for the new location is (352) 291-9555.

Green Job Videos

Workforce Connection has produced a total of eight videos for the Green Business Summit, highlighting green jobs such as energy auditing, light-emitting diode lighting, water meters, organic farming, paper recycling and hybrid cars. All videos were photographed with a compact digital video camera and produced by Workforce Connection staff and may be viewed at

DZ Atlantic Recruiting

Four orientation sessions related to a nuclear construction opportunity were hosted by Workforce Connection in Citrus and Levy counties in June 2009.  The 242 job candidates in attendance included laid-off construction and manufacturing workers.  The recruitment, screening and training project assisted DZ Atlantic, a Day & Zimmermann company based in Norfolk, Virginia, and a contractor with Progress Energy, to identify and train qualified candidates for Progress Energy’s outage scheduled for this fall.

Journeymen in the crafts of electricians, structural fitters, iron workers, pipe welders, pipe fitters mechanical helpers and firewatch were recruited. Qualified candidates received online NANTEL nuclear power training prior to their interviewing with the company. 

For more information, visit

Region 11 - Center for Business Excellence (Flagler, Volusia)

For information, visit

Region 12 - Workforce Central Florida (Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake, Sumter)

Training, scholarships and work experience opportunities

Workforce Central Florida is utilizing Recovery Act funds to add and expand several opportunities for businesses and job seekers. 

Job seekers can benefit from 1,300 additional training scholarships of $2,500 to $5,000; paid work experience opportunities for 700 job seekers; additional training slots for healthcare and green industry training; special projects in digital media, optics/photonic and new & emerging occupations within the healthcare industry; and an Entrepreneurial Training Initiative, among other programs.

Additional training opportunities are available to employers through seminars, library materials, and the conversion of some seminars to web-based delivery to improve the programs’ efficiency and reach.

For more information, visit

Region 13 – Brevard Workforce Development Board

For information, visit

Region 14 – WorkNet Pinellas

Industry Career Camps

Young adults and students age 17 to 24 can earn up to $600 in performance incentives in three career camps focusing on culinary arts, information technology and hospitality. Each program provides young adults with the opportunity to earn industry recognized credentials, career exploration activities, job shadowing and job placement assistance. Businesses and job seekers interested in the program should contact Robyn Poppick at or (727) 507-4300 x 3012.

Employed/Incumbent Worker Training Program

WorkNet Pinellas has entered into an agreement with Solar Source to train 25 electricians, roofers and other licensed contractors as Photovoltaics Installers. The Installer 1 Certificate is a program with two components, the first being an introduction to photovoltaics, and the second being more focused on hands-on lab work, site analysis, and project management. Businesses and job seekers interested in the program should contact Kristin Dailey at or 727-504-4300 x3004.

For more information, visit

Region 15 – Tampa Bay Workforce Alliance (Hillsborough)

For information, visit

Region 16 - Pasco Hernando Workforce Board

For information, visit

Region 17 – Polk County Workforce Development Board

For information, visit

Region 18 – Suncoast Workforce Board (Manatee, Sarasota)

For information, visit

Region 19 – Heartland Workforce (DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands)

Heartland Workforce (HW) received approximately $1.2 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.  About $500,000 is targeted for youth, $385,000 for adults and $379,512 for dislocated workers.

Programs for Youth
HW partnered with the Highlands County School Board (HCSB) to coordinate and provide a year-round ARRA-funded co-operative education program.  A rigorous and relevant curriculum is being taught.   The co-operative business colleagues are active partners in delivering the curriculum, with the result being more skilled and prepared work-ready youth. HCSB has served 14 youth year-to-date. Services include:  Basic skills enhancement, tutoring, alternative secondary school services, and preparation for unsubsidized employment opportunities, along with links to the job market and to local and regional employers.

Last summer, an HW partnership with local educational institutions provided summer youth activities that included job shadowing, work readiness, and work experience opportunities for the youth within our region. The programs focused on career decision-making and developing skills to secure employment. Career options included green occupations in alternative energy, recycling, wastewater treatment, and power plants. Health-related professions, manufacturing, and careers within the broadcasting industry were also stressed. With an emphasis on work-related safety, many students received Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) certifications.  The summer youth programs served 239 youth. Two-hundred thirty three (233) youth demonstrated a documented increase in work readiness skills. 

Those partnerships continued this summer, with the local educational institutions providing summer youth activities that included job shadowing, work readiness, and work experience opportunities for youth, aged 14 to 24, within our region.  This summer, the programs again focused on career decision-making and developing skills to secure employment.  Career options included occupations in the medical field, child care, production, maintenance and repair, and a host of other career options. With a strong focus on work-related safety, many students received Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) certificates again this year.  This year, summer youth programs served 123 youth. 

Adult and Dislocated Workers
ARRA provides a focus on hard-to-serve populations and places a priority on serving people meeting low-income guidelines. To meet those requirements, HW issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) on June 26, 2009 with an expected goal of employment for all enrolled participants. The following programs are now under way:

  • Partnership with Tri-County Human Services to coordinate and provide transitional services to forty-five offenders/ex-offenders. Services include transitional housing, transitional transportation to job interviews and work, job development and training coordination, and ongoing counseling/soft skills training to assist with job retention once employed. Currently seventy (70) applicants are enrolled and have received Core and Intensive Services and forty-three (43) are enrolled in training. 

  • A partnership among HW, Avon Park Housing Authority, and South Florida Community College (SFCC) was in place to provide combined hands-on and classroom training programs for fifteen homeless and low-income individuals. The training will result in the skills and certifications needed for employment in a “green” construction-related industry.  The program served seven (7) individuals who have completed training and certification and are seeking employment. 

  • In response to the request to address initiatives related to Economic Development, Curriculum Development, Senior Populations, Green Jobs Training and Science and Technology, HW has hired a Business Liaison who is working with the Economic Development Organization in DeSoto County to enhance business growth and retention.  The Liaison has met with the DeSoto County Economic Development Advisory Committee, and has attended the following meetings: a USDA Business and Community Development Workshop, a FHREDI and an E-Florida Business Incentive Workshop, the Realtor Commercial Real Estate Marketing Workshop, the FHREDI Manufacturing Association conference, and the DeSoto County Tourism Development Council meeting.  Information presented at these sessions is then presented by the Liaison to employers in DeSoto County.  An Enterprise Zone brochure, the DeSoto County EDO Website and a Business Assistance Guide have also been created, all of which include workforce information.  The Liaison coordinated and lead the Enterprise Florida familiarization tour of DeSoto County that included Enterprise Florida program administrators from Orlando.  Efforts designed to provide outreach to target employment opportunities for Dislocated Workers included participation in the DeSoto County Business Expo at the Turner Center and making contacts with employers in the medical community where information was provided on available resources to support workforce education and training activities; to support hiring activities; and to provide information on the local economy and labor market.  To market HW Business Services, the Liaison promoted the Wings Entrepreneurial Summit held on June 19th. Marketing of the workshops resulted in direct contact with numerous businesses resulting in future appointments and job order possibilities.  The Liaison continues to attend and participate in meetings of the Tourism Development Council, Economic Development Advisory Committee, and the DeSoto County Board of County Commissioners.  Participation on the Desoto County BOCC Economic Development Committee has allowed the Liaison to work with the county on four potential projects.  One of the projects would retain 52 jobs and create 192 jobs in a targeted industry.  The other three projects would create untold jobs in construction, retail, and professional services.  Marketing materials were developed to promote Heartland Workforce services, explaining training options, promoting One- Stop services, and introducing Heartland Workforce to these projects as a future partner. 

  • Working with SFCC, a contract was created to develop and implement curriculum for short-term phlebotomy training.  The initial pilot targeted ten unemployed and under-employed individuals seeking to enter or upgrade their skills in the health services field. Nine (9) individuals have completed the training and are seeking employment. 

  • Unable to negotiate a contract for services to individuals with disabilities, HW has hired an ARRA-funded WIA Career Counselor (CC), to determine applicant eligibility and to provide information and training to individuals with disabilities and to dislocated workers.  The CC is continuing with her outreach efforts to work with tri-county agency partners to coordinate assistance in an effort to maximize service delivery while avoiding duplication of service. Outreach efforts conducted year-to-date include: Vocational Rehabilitation, South Florida Community College, DeSoto County Economic Development Office, Hardee County Health Department, DeSoto County Family Service Center, Desoto County Chamber of Commerce, Ridge ARC, Alpha & Omega Crisis Center, Catholic Charities in DeSoto, and St. James Catholic Church.  

Interested businesses and job seekers should contact Ann Martin, Special Projects Coordinator, at (863) 385-3672, ext. 292 or  For more information, please visit

Region 20 – Workforce Solutions (Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, St. Lucie)

Enhanced Partnership 

In looking for ways to better serve the community with federal Recovery Act funding, Workforce Solutions, through an enhanced partnership with Indian River State College (IRSC), will place career planners at each IRSC campus in the counties served by Workforce Solutions. This strategic placement will allow for better identification and expedited service of potential clients in need of training and support. This partnership will also significantly increase the clients served by allowing for cross-training of Workforce Solutions Career Planners and IRSC’s staff to better identify potential clients at multiple access points for services available from either partner.

Businesses and job seekers interested in the program should contact Glenda Matesic at (772) 335-3030, ext. 427 or

Request for Proposals – Occupational Skills Training 

Workforce Solutions has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for class-size occupational skills training for one or more of the occupations in demand and/or occupations targeted by the Recovery Act in the area served by Workforce Solutions. The classes will be filled exclusively with Workforce Solutions’ referred customers, age 16 and older, who meet eligibility criteria. The preference is for training in high-skill, high-wage occupations that match industries targeted by our local economic development partners. These industries include bio-technology, bio-medical research, bio-fuels, healthcare, other life sciences, advanced manufacturing (marine, aviation/aerospace, and exports), digital media, software development, warehousing and distribution, corporate headquarters, agri-science and other professional/technical services.

Occupations tied to environmental/green industries, energy conservation (including weatherization and green construction), alternative and renewable energy development, healthcare, and information technology (broadband communications) are targeted by the Recovery Act.  The RFP calls for short-term, comprehensive training that qualifies students for an industry-recognized certification or apprenticeship.

Businesses interested in the program should contact Glenda Matesic at 772.335.3030 x427 or For more information, visit

Region 21 – Workforce Alliance (Palm Beach)

For information, visit

Region 22 – WorkForce One (Broward)

Surviving the Recession Seminars

WorkForce One has held six Surviving the Recession seminars cosponsored by the Chambers or the Broward Alliance for businesses to provide information about WorkForce One’s free recruitment services, the Short-Time Compensation Program and loan opportunities available through the Small Business Administration. WorkForce One has additional seminars planned to assist businesses with layoff aversion.

WorkForce One is also teaching “How to Use Social Networking to Uncover the Hidden Job Market” in its professional placement network, and conducted a half-day seminar on “How to Get Government Contracts” for companies wishing to expand their business market. Members of the marine industry were targeted to provide tips on getting manufacturing contracts that use the skill set of the marine industry even if the contracts themselves are not marine-related. A similar seminar is planned in the future.

Green Training

WorkForce One has funded a training program for “Green IT” which looks at energy conservation in the design and execution of computer network administration.  Workforce Florida Board member Andy Perez is providing the training.

For more information, please visit

Region 23 - South Florida Workforce Board (Miami-Dade, Monroe)

For information, visit

Region 24 – Southwest Florida Workforce Development Board (Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee)

Rapid Recovery

The Rapid Recovery program is an outgrowth of collaborations between Edison State College, area CEOs and the Southwest Florida Workforce Development Board. Rapid Recovery courses include training for work in industries including health care, information technology, finance, Internet services and many others.  Many courses can be completed in 90 days or less and carry national certifications. With funding through the Recovery Act, more than 150 students are enrolled in the program during the current summer session and at least 75 more students are scheduled to start this fall. Ongoing increases in enrollment are planned.

Recovery Services to Adults and Dislocated Workers

The Southwest Florida Workforce Development Board, through Recovery Act funds, has enrolled more than 500 people in Adult and Dislocated Worker training programs through its network of more than 20 eligible training providers. These job training programs will help distribute an estimated $559,000 to adults and $2.5 million to dislocated workers.

Businesses and job seekers interested in these programs should contact Tracy Lansberry, programs director, at (239) 225-2500, ext. 15238 or For more information, visit

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