FloridaWorks Receives a Nearly $12 Million Grant

Description of Business Advocacy and Self-Employment Consortium (BASEC)

FloridaWorks, a Local Workforce Investment Board (LWIB) for Florida Region 9 – Alachua and Bradford Counties, received a $11.95 million grant from the United States Department of Labor and has established a consortium with seven other Florida LWIBs to form the Business Advocacy and Self-Employment Consortium (BASEC).   The seven LWIBs serve 17 counties: Alachua, Bradford, Gadsden, Leon, Wakulla, Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns, Flagler, Volusia, Brevard, Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Broward.

These eight regions represent regions that make up almost 43% of Florida’s civilian labor force and 41% of the number of unemployed individuals.  The goal of the nearly $12 million dollar project is to expand an existing successful program, Startup Quest.

Startup Quest provided a series of entrepreneurial trainings, technical assistance and business mentoring to degreed, displaced professionals in the Alachua and Bradford Counties. This program was formed by partnerships and collaborations between FloridaWorks, the University of Florida Office of Technology Licensing, the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, 14 entrepreneurs and 12 investors. Since May 2011, three University of Florida technologies are licensed; one University of Florida technology is under negotiation for licensing; 14 companies were formed; 19 of the participants became self-employed and 63 became employed. Click here to learn more about Startup Quest.

The expanded Startup Quest will combine the efforts and resources of multiple-state stakeholders including BASEC, the public university, community college education systems, federal laboratories and state/regional business leadership and economic development organizations to reach hundreds more Florida jobseekers.

The project’s intent is to expand the successful original Startup Quest’s proven promising practice to the BASEC members. Each region has a unique demographic, economic and geographic profile to provide the project with the diversity needed to promote a rigorous random assignment program evaluation. The project will also focus on serving military veterans returning from deployment overseas. Additionally, the project will work to guide statewide policy that provides self-employment as a viable career alternative for many long-term unemployed workers.

The Startup Quest design specifies the employer as the customers and the job seeker as the resource developed for the customer to expand and create more jobs. Because the Startup Quest design provides for better integration of business services into the workforce system, business/employer relations will strengthen and services improved.

For questions, contact your local Business Services:

– Alachua County, 352.334.7100

– Bradford County, 904.964.5278