FL 2030 Benchmarks

FL2030 Trailblazer Spotlight – Adrienne Johnston, CareerSource Florida

Tell us a little bit about CareerSource Florida.

CareerSource Florida serves as the Governor’s primary workforce policy and investment board, comprising of 33 members from various sectors, including industries, education, and state partners. Appointed primarily by Governor DeSantis, as well as the House Speaker and Senate President, our diverse board is committed to advancing the prosperity of workers and employers, reducing welfare dependency, and enhancing economic self-sufficiency.

CareerSource Florida is an integral part of the state’s larger workforce network, collaborating with local, state, and federal partners, including FloridaCommerce and 24 local workforce development boards to address barriers to employment and support businesses.

Although we are just one component of the broader workforce network, our impact is significant. We facilitate access to education, training, and meaningful employment for job seekers, while also aiding businesses in finding, developing, and retaining skilled employees. By identifying and promoting in-demand career pathways, facilitating training and certification, and fostering partnerships, we strive to create a robust and thriving workforce that benefits both individuals and businesses across the state.

What made you join the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Community Development Partnership (CDP) Council and Board of Trustees? What would you say to other Florida leaders about the benefit of this partnership?

One of the primary reasons I chose to be part of the Florida Chamber Foundation’s CDP Council and Board of Trustees is the unparalleled opportunity it provides to engage directly with business leaders across the state. This collaboration enables us to stay at the forefront of industry challenges and swiftly respond to the evolving needs of Florida’s workforce. By fostering strong ties with these leaders, we ensure that the CareerSource Florida network remains agile, adaptable, and relevant in the face of dynamic economic landscapes.

Moreover, it allows us to showcase the impactful work that the CareerSource Florida network is doing to assist individuals facing barriers to employment. Our network is committed to empowering these individuals, equipping them with the necessary skills and resources to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Through this partnership, we have a unique platform to raise awareness among business leaders about the pivotal role they can play in expanding their talent pool through work-based learning opportunities supported by CareerSource Florida.
To other Florida leaders, I would strongly advocate for embracing such partnerships that transcend organizational boundaries. The collaboration between CareerSource Florida and the Florida Chamber Foundation exemplifies the power of synergy in addressing workforce challenges. By working together, we amplify our impact, foster innovation, and contribute to the overall prosperity of our great state.

What are CareerSource Florida’s particular areas of interest as they apply to reaching the Florida 2030 Blueprint goals aimed at making Florida a top 10 global economy by 2030?

Even with so many businesses hiring, we know many Floridians need assistance to get on a career path that will support them and their families. The CareerSource Florida network’s workforce programs help all job seekers, including veterans, people with disabilities, people who didn’t finish high school, and people just looking to make a career change. We help with resume writing, preparing for interviews, researching companies and openings that might be a good fit, workforce training, including scholarships for in-demand occupations, and recruiting events. We connect Floridians with employment opportunities and businesses with talent from entry level to professional.

Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, Florida continues to be a leader among our nation’s largest states with our low unemployment rate and strong job growth. The CareerSource Florida network helps employers of all sizes recruit, hire, train, and retain employees. Based on a company’s specific needs, Florida’s local workforce development boards provide guidance through every step of the hiring process at no cost. Additionally, we provide workforce training grants to both new and existing businesses to help Florida’s employers grow and remain competitive.

Finding qualified people to fill openings can be challenging, so the CareerSource Florida network offers training grants to offset the cost of customized training to ensure new hires have the skills businesses need. We also offer paid internships and work experience programs that offer businesses the opportunity to give potential employees a chance at no cost. Generally, these are candidates who may have some training but minimal work experience, or they may be candidates whose job-specific skills need updating.

Additionally, we work closely with the state college system to help job seekers acquire industry-recognized credentials to help fill those technical skills gaps, and with the Department of Education to expand apprenticeship programs in non-traditional industries such as healthcare, information technology, advanced manufacturing, and even hospitality.

Click here to learn about the Florida Chamber Foundation’s CDP Council, which is uniting Florida businesses for good around the Florida 2030 Blueprint.

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