FloridaWorks 2009 In Review

2009: A Year to Remember at FloridaWorks

While unemployment rates soared throughout the year around the state, the FloridaWorks region maintained one of the lowest unemployment rates in Florida. FloridaWorks helped bring new jobs to the area, CONNECTed professionals to jobs and worked to integrate and grow the workforce pipeline. FloridaWorks was also honored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Gainesville 2009 Region of Excellence

The partnerships between the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, Council for Economic Outreach, North Florida Regional Chamber of Commerce and FloridaWorks were recognized for taking an innovative industry approach to integrating multiple organizations that are committed to the economic well-being of Alachua and Bradford Counties.

Recent successes from this collaborative TEAM (Targeted Economic Achievement Machine) have led to one of the lowest job loss rates of any area in the state of Florida during this recession, more than 200 new jobs generated in the height of the recession, one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state and a community at the forefront of Green Technology, Biotechnology and Health Sciences training.

For these reasons, FloridaWorks was honored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Competitive Workforce as Gainesville was named the 2009 Region of Excellence. Read more

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

FloridaWorks welcomed Enterprise Rent-A-Car to the Gainesville area in conjuction with Council for Economic Outreach. The employer that Business Week Magazine ranked as “one of the best places to launch a career” three years in a row, is brought 200 new jobs to our area. Read more

FloridaWorks Youth Program for Emerging Industries

FloridaWorks was awarded a grant of $500,000 from Workforce Florida, Inc. for the Youth Program for Emerging Industries. The program will serve 350 at-risk youth in Alachua and Bradford Counties. The youth will receive training in green technologies, healthcare or IT.

WINGS – Workforce Innovative New Generation Solutions Grant

Workforce Florida, Inc. awarded FloridaWorks with the WINGS (Workforce Innovative New Generation Solutions) Grant this fall. The grant provides funding to train individuals in green technologies. Employed workers will have the opportunity to receive training to enhance their skills for promotion, and unemployed workers will receive training to give them the skills necessary to find a job. Read More

Employ Florida Healthcare Workforce Initiative

FloridaWorks was also awarded a grant from Workforce Florida, Inc. for healthcare, the Employ Florida Healthcare Workforce Initiative. This program will train individuals in various healthcare fields. Opportunities for both employed workers looking upgrade their current skills for advancement in the workplace, and opportunities for unemployed workers looking to change careers will be available.

Summer Youth Program

The FloridaWorks Summer Youth Employment Program served nearly 500 at-risk youth in Alachua and Bradford Counties. FloridaWorks partnered with Santa Fe College to provide Energy Auditor training, OSHA-10 training, and National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) “Your Role in the Green Environment” training for 120 youth participants in the program. Santa Fe College also provided training for youth in video media. Another 42 youth received Solar Installation training, OSHA-10 training, and the NCCER “Your Role in the Green Environment” training though partnerships with the School Board of Alachua County and the Department of Juvenile Justice. In partnership with the International Carbon Bank and Exchange (ICBE), FloridaWorks was able to offer youth training in Carbon Footprinting. Students who did not participate in training courses received a paid internship at local private and public businesses. For more information, you can read more:

Alachua YouthBuild

Alachua YouthBuild was designed for out of school youth 16-24 that lack a high school diploma/GED and would like assistance attaining educational, occupational and leadership skills enabling them to become economically self sufficient. Alachua YouthBuild is a comprehensive youth and community development program which seeks to simultaneously address core issues facing low-income communities— education, housing, jobs and leadership development. Alachua YouthBuild engages young people by offering an alternative to the traditional school, 50 percent of time is spent in educational pursuits—namely a GED. 40% of the time is spent in construction/ job skills training, and 10 percent is spent in leadership development. Alachua YouthBuild is scheduled to serve 61 youths over the course of two years with an additional year of follow up services. Alachua YouthBuild has partnered with Santa Fe College to assist with Adult Education and NCCER Core Instruction—students will also work on a “Green Home” for the City of Gainesville. Alachua YouthBuild has also partnered with Alachua Habitat for Humanity to build four houses over the next two years.

Our Region’s Got Talent

‘Our Region’s Got Talent’ was a morning of workshops, presentations and discussions focused on helping retain Gainesville’s talented workforce. Along the way, participants met three guides to help them on their journey. Human resources professionals Eva Del Rio, Linda Hildebrand and Gerald “Zag” Zagaiski, presented workshops focused on getting your foot in the door, your resume and the art of the interview. Read more


FloridaWorks helped jobseekers prepare for a tough job market with seminars and launched a unique networking group of displaced professionals. CONNECT creates weekly networking opportunities for professionals with associate degrees or higher, or five or more years experience in an industry, and local human resources recruiters. Each week we cover different professional insights on transition, and twice a month HR recruiters conduct mini interviews for open positions in their organizations. To date, 26 professionals have found jobs through this networking organization. To join the next CONNECT meeting click here.

Annual Meeting

Find out what is in store for our region at the FloridaWorks annual meeting on Friday, January 22, 2010 from 11:30 – 4:00 at the Best Western Gateway Grand. Join us and our community partners for coffee house style discussion about current and future workforce needs. For more information, please click here. RSVP to Celia Chapman cchapman@fmsworks.com or call 352.244.5148.