Heartland Workforce & Training
The individual and community-wide benefits to having a highly trained and highly skilled workforce are enormous. Not only does a highly trained and highly skilled workforce attract new industry and businesses to a local community or region, but a highly trained and highly skilled workforce can also create new jobs by themselves through new business start-up and entrepreneurship.
The greater the ability of a community or region to attract and create high-paying and high growth sector jobs, the greater likelihood that the community or region will enjoy longer periods of stable, long-term local and regional economic growth.
An important component of regional coordination is pooling resources to attract companies to the region. The motivating factor for this coordination is the recognition that job creation and retention have economic effects that spill over city boundaries.
If a company comes to one city, for example, workers from nearby cities can benefit by commuting to those jobs. Businesses in the entire region would benefit from all workers spending some of their money in their home city or nearby, and from the new business making some of its purchases within the region.
A growing economy with good paying jobs raises total regional incomes and provides additional capital for consumer spending, business investment and the funding of arts, culture and recreation amenities. Rising tax receipts strengthen governments’ ability to provide enhanced services to local residents.
More and more, economic and workforce leaders across the nation are pointing to an appropriately skilled workforce as the single most important factor in growing, attracting, and retaining companies. To ensure that the Region can produce the talent it needs, it must focus on building and strengthening all components of a seamless talent supply chain that includes PreK-12 education, community, technical, and career colleges, universities, and workforce development.
Effectively linking the private sector with training providers creates workforce “pipelines” for in-demand occupations and exposes regional students to dynamic employment opportunities in the Region. This, in turn, increases the likelihood they will be more engaged in their studies, graduate from high school and pursue college degrees.
A better educated, higher income population would likely lead to declining poverty, teenage pregnancy and crime rates. Balancing regional growth with environmental protection, smart land-use and effective planning of transportation, water and communications infrastructure ensures that the Region’s future is sustainable.
All of these positive impacts represent the ultimate “selling points” for investment in the South Central Florida workforce and higher education institutions. Here are specific assets in Florida’s Heartland:
Florida is home to 11 state universities, four major medical schools with two more in the development stages, and numerous private colleges and universities.
• Florida’s community college system accounts for almost one in 10 of the degrees conferred in the United States each year, ranking second in the nation.
• Four colleges serve the FHREDI region:
- Indian River State College: was awarded a $3.9 million grant by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to develop a new Center for Competitive Economics and Entrepreneurship (CCEE) focused on creating new high-tech jobs to help spark the region’s economic recovery and preparing students for cutting-edge careers. The Employ Florida Banner Center for Energy is located at IRSC, and so is The Employ Florida Banner Center for Homeland Security and Defense, which are able to develop and coordinate customized educational and training resources in order to grow the competitiveness of Florida.
- Palm Beach State College: will begin offering two additional bachelor’s degree programs in what are projected to be some of Florida’s most high growth career fields: nursing and information management.
- Edison State College: four new bachelor degree programs slated to begin in the Fall ’10 semester -- a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Cardiopulmonary Sciences and three Bachelor of Science Degrees in Middle School Education – Math, Science and Language Arts.
- South Florida Community College: The SFCC Foundation, Inc. serves as the lead agency for Take Stock in Children in its service area of DeSoto, Hardee, and Highlands counties. TSIC is a non-profit program which provides deserving low-income children in the community scholarships to college or vocational school and guidance from caring mentors. The program is a joint effort of the Highlands County School Board, the South Florida Community College (SFCC) Foundation, and the many citizens who help fund the program and volunteer to serve as student mentors. To date, over 300 students have been provided scholarships and mentors.
The State of Florida’s 2007-2012 Roadmap to Florida’s Future identified the need to build world-class talent as a top priority for the state’s continued development and diversification. It specifically recommended strengthening PreK-12 math and science education.
Our increasingly knowledge based economy is driven by innovation—the foundation of which lies in a dynamic and well-educated workforce equipped with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills. Going forward, more and more jobs will require at least a basic understanding of scientific and mathematical principles, a working knowledge of computer hardware and software, and/or problem solving skills developed by STEM coursework. Ensuring the availability of highly and appropriately skilled talent—with the STEM skills needed for success in the innovation economy—is one of the most pressing challenges facing businesses in Florida.
The Florida STEM Council was created in 2009 through the joint efforts of the Enterprise Florida Strategy Council, Workforce Florida, Department of Education, Florida Council of 100, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce to focus on STEM education and align STEM talent production with state business needs. www.STEMflorida.net
Heartland Educational Consortium is a STEM Charter Partner.
Workforce & Training
Availability and lower production costs are attractive features of Florida's Heartland workforce. Quantity, quality and reliability are important characteristics to be found in a workforce, and Florida's Heartland workforce measures up to those characteristics. The region's immediate population, combined with a fifty-mile radius commuting workforce, provides businesses a labor market usually identified with large metropolitan communities.
Customized Training and Incentives
Florida's Heartland REDI, in partnership with the regional Workforce Development Boards, provides numerous employer services. Customized training programs are designed to meet the specific needs of your business while the incentive programs provide a positive effect on your company's bottom line. The Workforce Career and Service Centers provide professional staff to assist in meeting your employment needs. Pre-screening, testing, recruitment and maintenance of job orders are just a few of the many services offered by this innovative partnership. Florida's Workforce program can make a difference in the cost of your expansion or relocation.
Four Workforce Boards serve the FHREDI region to help you find, train and retain qualified, motivated employees. Workforce Boards also award hiring and training incentives for employers:
- Quick Response Training
- Incumbent Worker Training
- Work Opportunity Tax Credit
- On-The-Job Training (OJT)
One-Stop Career Centers will assist businesses and job seekers in DeSoto, Hardee, and Highlands counties with Labor Market Information, employment opportunities, helpful workshops, and provide a wide range of testing and assessment services for potential employees. Please feel free to contact them at one of the following locations:
DeSoto One-Stop Career Center
2160 NE Roan Avenue
Arcadia, FL 34266-5025
Fax (863) 993-1046
Hardee One-Stop Career Center
205 Carlton Street
Wauchula, FL 33873-3317
Fax (863) 773-3949
Highlands One-Stop Career Center
5901 US Hwy 27 South, Suite 1
Sebring, FL 33870
Fax (863) 382-4237
5901 US Hwy 27 South, Suite 1
Sebring, FL 33870
Fax (863) 382-9067
Workforce on Wheels Mobile Unit
Region 20: Workforce Solutions
Workforce Solutions represents the diversity of businesses, organizations and trades that operate in the Treasure Coast Region, including Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, and St. Lucie County. They create and manage a workforce development service delivery system responsive to the needs of businesses and jobseekers.
Indian River County Business Service Center
1880 82nd Avenue, Suite 102
Vero Beach, FL 32966
(772) 494-2100 x203
Fax: (772) 770-5684
Martin County Business Service Center
2114 Rays Way
Stuart, FL 34994
(772) 214-3174 x102
Fax: (772) 932-6965
Okeechobee Career Center
209 S.W. Park Street
Okeechobee, FL 34974
Fax: (863) 462-5355
St. Lucie County Career Center
584 NW University Blvd. Suite 300
Port St. Lucie, Florida 34986
Toll Free: (866) 482-4473
Fax: (772) 398-7625
Region 21: Workforce Alliance
Workforce Alliance links businesses in need of qualified employees with individuals seeking employment opportunities in Palm Beach County. From the Coast to the Glades, their workforce solutions enable businesses and individuals to successfully compete in the global marketplace.
315 South Dixie Hwy., Ste 102
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Fax: (561) 340-1062
West Career Center
1085 South Main Street
Belle Glade, FL 33430
Fax: (561) 829-2041
Region 24: Southwest Florida Workforce Development Board
The Southwest Florida Workforce Development Board oversees workforce development initiatives in Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Lee Counties. With membership from business and community leaders, it is well positioned to keep pace with a Region that includes very diverse workforce needs.
Hendry/Glades One-Stop Career Center
215 South Francisco Street
Clewiston, FL 33440
Fax: (863) 983-7118
Immokalee One-Stop Career Center
750 South 5th Street
Immokalee, FL 34142
Fax: (239) 658-3349