TALLAHASSEE - Amid signs of Florida's increasing strength as a go-to state for new and expanding businesses, Florida's 24 regional workforce boards and the nearly 100 One-Stop Career Centers they oversee continue to demonstrate their success in helping Floridians get to work. In May, regional boards reported assisting more than 27,000 Floridians who found employment. Since January, more than 150,000 job placements have been reported statewide including about 33,700 job seekers who had been receiving unemployment compensation.
These placements are an indicator of hiring and underscore gains made to support Florida's continued economic recovery. Governor Rick Scott has emphasized, as a top priority for his administration, initiatives to put Floridians to work and make the state more attractive and responsive to new, relocating, expanding and existing businesses, which create and sustain jobs. In a recent CEO survey for Chief Executive magazine, Florida rose to No. 2 in a ranking of best states in which to do business based on several areas including workforce quality, up from No. 3 the previous year and from No. 6 when Governor Scott took office.
"As more businesses expand in the Sunshine State and as new businesses call Florida home, our regional workforce boards link them to job seekers with the skills they need to compete and grow," said Governor Rick Scott. "The placements signal that Floridians are getting to work and we will continue our focus on job creation and business growth until every Floridian who wants a job has an opportunity to find one."
May's Monthly Job Placement Report shows 27,145 individuals were placed in jobs. Of these individuals, 6,298 -- nearly one quarter -- had previously been receiving unemployment compensation.
"The staff and leaders at Florida's regional workforce boards and One-Stop Career Centers are on the front lines of our efforts to support job growth and retention," said Chris Hart IV, President/CEO of Workforce Florida Inc., the state's chief workforce policy organization. "Regional workforce boards' consistent job-matching efforts are helping Florida families advance financially, while strengthening the state's economy."
The top 10 ranked regional workforce boards for reported job placements in May are:
Pasco Hernando Workforce Board - Pasco and Hernando counties - Board Chair Lex Smith and President/CEO Jerome Salatino
Heartland Workforce - Desoto, Hardee and Highlands counties - Board Chair David Royal and President Roger Hood
Workforce Solutions - Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties - Board Chair Angie Metcalf and President/CEO Richard Stetson
Chipola Regional Workforce Development Board - Calhoun, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, and Washington counties - Board Chair Darrin Wall and Executive Director Richard Williams
Gulf Coast Workforce Development Board - Bay, Franklin, Gulf counties - Board Chair Gary Ross and Executive Director Kimberly Bodine
Florida Crown Workforce Board - Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist and Union counties - Board Chair Jennie Reed and Executive Director John Chastain
Workforce Connection - Citrus, Levy and Marion counties - Board Chair Suzanne Mills and CEO Rusty Skinner
South Florida Workforce - Miami-Dade and Monroe counties - Board Chair Alvin West and Executive Director Rick Beasley
WorkNet Pinellas - Pinellas County - Board Chair Dr. Tony Leisner and President Ed Peachey
Brevard Workforce - Brevard County - Board Chair Jack Rood and President Lisa Rice
Among the thousands of Floridians who found new jobs in May after seeking workforce services is Mrs. Tammy Loschiavo. After losing her job in October 2011 and receiving unemployment benefits, Mrs. Loschiavo turned to her local workforce board, Workforce Solutions and landed a new job as a front-desk and office assistant at Water's Edge Dermatology in Okeechobee. Through an on-the-job training grant offered by the local board, a portion of Mrs. Loschiavo's wages were reimbursed to her new employer for a period of time while she gained the requisite job skills.
"On-the-job training reduced the cost of hiring me for my employer and helped me land the perfect job," said Mrs. Loschiavo. "I'm a people person and am enjoying getting to know the patients as well as my co-workers, who have been wonderful to work with. I'm also more relaxed about money since I can contribute to my family's financial well-being."
The Monthly Job Placement Report was developed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and Workforce Florida in response to Governor Scott's call for enhanced performance measurement to support economic recovery and growth. It highlights job-placement achievement and facilitates the identification and sharing of best practices. The report also provides another measurement of Florida's economic activities.
Data from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Labor Market Statistics Center, also reflect the state's strengthening economy. Florida's 8.7 percent unemployment rate in April 2012, down from 9.0 percent the previous month, is the lowest rate since January 2009. The number of jobs in Florida was 7,325,300 in April 2012, up 52,600 jobs compared to a year ago. The industries gaining the most jobs were professional and business services (+24,400 jobs, +2.3 percent) and private education health services (+24,200 jobs, +2.2 percent). Meanwhile, data show seven Florida regions gained manufacturing jobs over the past year.
To view the Monthly Job Placement Report and a list of Frequently Asked Questions, go to http://www.floridajobs.org/workforce-board-resources/program-monitoring-and-reports/monthly-regional-workforce-board-job-placement-reports.
Florida's workforce system is made up of Workforce Florida, the statewide workforce investment board; the Department of Economic Opportunity, the state agency responsible for policy implementation and administrative and fiscal management; and 24 regional workforce boards and nearly 100 one-stop career centers charged with the design and delivery of local workforce services.
For more information on Workforce Florida or its state and local workforce partners, visit WorkforceFlorida.com. Please visit EmployFlorida.com to list a job opening or search for jobs and access a wide array of workforce resources.