What brings you to Tallahassee?
I have been working as a workforce development executive for nine years and then worked as a grant writer for a nonprofit as the executive for three years. During that time I had been searching for an opportunity to get back into the workforce development system because I felt I had all the skills required in order to make an impact wherever I landed. It so happened that WORKforce plus at the time was looking for someone with my skills and came across my LinkedIn page. With Kim Moore leaving and Richard Williams acting as the interim, I was invited to come down from Indiana and be interviewed. I was pleasantly surprised as I flew into the Tallahassee Airport seeing the trees and the hills. Being a flatlander all my life, this was a great change. I was offered the job in March and started in April 2013.
How has CareerSource Capital Region evolved over the years?
The federal investment in workforce began in the 60s with the Manpower law that was largely concentrated in the largest cities. The law then changed to the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) where it became divided up by territories. The next step that Congress took was to pass the Job Training and Partnership Act (JTPA) and set up local Private Industry Council’s driven by majority business leaders. In 1998 Congress passed the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). This built on the previous Private Industry Councils (PICs) and made them Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs). In this region, our entity began in 2000 as the Big Bend Jobs and Education Council Incorporated. I believe when Kim Moore came on board that the name was changed to WORKforce plus. And then last year, after a year of interviews of our customers both business and job seekers, the CareerSource moniker was chosen for the entire state. This common identity has been a very positive step forward for the system.
What do you want visitors and local’s to know about CareerSource Capital Region that they may not already know?
Since we are federally funded, we don’t have the advertising wherewithal of a similar size for-profit company, we do the best we can in our budget to get the word out about what we do. Our goal is: to provide the talent that our local businesses require in a just-in-time manner. For people who have been laid off or lost a job, we are the source of career advice assessments and help to get them reemployed.
How has Tallahassee’s economic growth impacted CareerSource Capital Region?
Unfortunately with the continued year-to-year layoffs of our largest employer, the state government, there has been little progress made on economic growth. And with the decision by the state government not to give one or 2% raises each year to the people that work for the state, this is actually depressed the local market when it comes to average wage for the type of skills that are available. The outcome of that, is that we do not keep our graduate students for the most part because there are very few opportunities other than starting your own business in this region. And it is not an attractor to people outside the region to come to work here.
What’s next for CareerSource Capital Region?
We are going to be changing our service delivery model to an integrated model where we will serve everyone coming into our system and our staff will be trained and proficient on all of the funding streams we have so that we will be able to service our job seeking customers better and with more resources. For our business community, we have allocated a significant percentage of our budget and have a high quality business solutions team that is out calling on our business community. Since we are federally funded, at this point our services are free. However the future does indicate that our nonprofit board will have to start to think about sustainability as federal funding has been cut by 50% since the year 2000.
To be more business and professional friendly, we will be moving our Career Center to the old Department of Commerce building on Blair Stone Road in April. This will increase our efficiency and maximize our space utilization. Our current location at 2525 South Monroe is 10,000 square feet too large and the building is in run down condition.
What social media does CareerSource Capital Region use?
We have a Facebook page and are putting out job information daily on our social media which includes Twitter and Facebook primarily.
Describe CareerSource Capital Region in five words or less –
“Solutions that work for you”. Our systems three pillars are Collaborate. Innovate. Lead.