Florida Named No. 1 State in Workforce and Training

Leading Quick Response Training Grant Program

In August, Florida was named the No. 1 state in workforce and training by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Chamber Foundation. The Chamber’s report highlighted states and their initiatives to redesign government, create jobs and generate future prosperity.

According to the Enterprising States 2011; Recovery and Renewal for the 21st Century report, Florida ranks among the top three states for its job placement system, the number of high school students in Advanced Placement courses, the higher education system and its affordability.

“In addition to the affordable higher education system,” said Kim Tesch-Vaught, FloridaWorks Business Services vice president of workforce, “we also have a proactive, life-long learning strategy that matches workforce training resources to businesses through the state-funded Quick Response Training (QRT) grant program.”

The report recognized the QRT program as a crucial driver for job creation and retention in the state. The QRT Program is an employer-driven training program that assists new businesses in training new employees and provides existing Florida businesses with the necessary training for expansion.

According to Workforce Florida Inc., 42 Florida companies have received training grants since July 1 to hire and train nearly 8,000 new or currently employed workers. For 2011, the state legislature allocated $6 million for training grants for businesses.

Workforce training is also a key component in job creation. More than 80 percent of adults who received training or services from Workforce Florida found a job in 2010, with a retention rate close to 90 percent. Workforce is customizing its training programs to fit the needs of employers, displaced workers and emerging industries with the assistance and partnership of colleges and the business community.

“This latest top ranking is a testament to the value and success of our ongoing efforts to solidify Florida’s vision for a winning, globally competitive workforce with education and training programs that sustain and strengthen the talent supply for our state’s businesses,” said Chris Hart IV, Workforce Florida president and CEO.

To view Florida’s ranking in other categories, such as entrepreneurial activity, business tax climate and the Chamber’s Small Business Survival Index, click here for the full report; or click here for more information on Florida’s Quick Response Training grant program.