(Gainesville, Fla. – December 2, 2016) In a press release published December 1, 2016, by the White House, the Alachua and Bradford counties area is one of 20 new communities named a Tech Hire community by the White House. The Tech Hire initiative seeks to, “bring new jobs to local economies, facilitate business growth, and give local residents a pathway into the middle class,” according to the release.
“Announcements like today’s validate our belief that Alachua and Bradford counties are top destinations in the country for tech employers and workers to grow and thrive together,” said Patricia Evans, Board Chair for CareerSource NCFL and Bradford / Clay Market President for Capital City Bank. “On behalf of our board of directors, I want to congratulate Santa Fe College and all of our partners who collaborate selflessly each day to ensure our area provides every opportunity for success for our businesses, workers, and residents.”
Since 2011, CareerSource NCFL has secured nearly $32 million in federal grants to support the growth of tech jobs across industry sectors in Alachua and Bradford counties. STEM Ready, a five-year, $10 million federal grant program launched in 2014, provides paid internships and training for long-term unemployed individuals for jobs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-based jobs with area businesses as worksites. The program has recruited nearly 100 worksite participants which are available to over 200 interns in Alachua and Bradford counties.
In August 2016, CareerSource NCFL announced it had been awarded a $4M grant through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Strengthening Working Families Initiative to introduce Opportunity Quest in Alachua and Bradford counties. Opportunity Quest will pair entrepreneurial skills training with technology skills training to help eligible workers become self-employed or employed in technology occupations. The program will also provide access to childcare support through partner agencies to allow parents to fully maximize their training time. Using the grant, CareerSource NCFL will train up to 250 custodial parents with children under the age of thirteen over the four-year life of the grant at no-cost to participants. The program is expected to roll out to residents in early 2017.
The White House press release with a summary description of each named community is available here.