FloridaWorks Business Services Closes a Successful Fiscal Year

FloridaWorks Business Services is celebrating the successful end of its fiscal year, meeting or exceeding all of its annual goals of engaging new employers and finding jobs for our citizens. FloridaWorks partners with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce and local employers to develop, recruit, hire, train, promote and retain the highest quality workforce for Alachua and Bradford counties.

By partnering with the Gainesville Chamber and the North Florida Regional Chamber of Commerce, FloridaWorks filled more than 2,150 individual job openings, far exceeding its goal of 1,050.

During the 2010-2011 fiscal year, FloridaWorks Business Services exceeded goals for its two main areas of focus: increasing employers posting jobs through FloridaWorks on EmployFlorida.com and increasing the number of registered jobseekers with vocational certificate and a two-year degree.  Business Services more than doubled its goal of engaging 80 new employers, adding more than 213 new employers to the system.

One of its main goals was showing employers that FloridaWorks had well-qualified employees in the system, said Joe Johnson, director of Business Services. To meet that goal, FloridaWorks was charged with registering 1,320 jobseekers with a two-year degree, and FloridaWorks Business Services nearly doubled that goal as well, with more than 2,549 employees added to EmployFlorida.com.

“We worked hard to add positions to put a dent in unemployment,” Johnson said. “We did, not as much as we wanted, but we’re going to keep working hard to keep filling positions.”

FloridaWorks also focused on outreach to the community and our area’s unemployed professionals. During the year it hosted two industry think tank sessions, one for healthcare and one for manufacturing, focusing on customer service skills and developing the right training for those industries.

FloridaWorks collaborated with the University of Florida and Santa Fe College to provide entrepreneurship training. This training gave a group of unemployed individuals the opportunity to work as a team to build a company around a UF technology and hopefully start their own business. It also worked with Santa Fe to provide entrepreneurial training to high school students. Through the FloridaWorks youth program, FloridaWorks identified a funding source and decided to target high school students who do not have high access to technology and would best be served by a hands-on technology approach to bring real world relevance to education and learning.

FloridaWorks’ CONNECT program, a professional networking group, also thrived. CONNECT secured more than $1.6 million in salaries for more than 70 unemployed professionals who have an associate’s degree or higher.

FloridaWorks Business Services has been recognized as being one of the best business services teams in the nation, named an ICW Region of Excellence by the US Chamber of Commerce in 2009. FloridaWorks engages directly with the business community as its primary customer by providing top-quality jobseekers for Alachua and Bradford counties.

FloridaWorks posts positions on EmployFlorida.com, pre-screens candidates for each position and can host targeted hiring events for employers.