Photo:Manuel — now an Electronics Associate at Lockheed Martin in Ocala — and Bonnie Webb, his career counselor
Your Connection to Open Positions
Florida's career centers link job seekers to companies with positions to fill.
Florida’s regional workforce boards and the nearly 100 career centers they operate across the state work closely with area employers to recruit applicants and provide training for workers to fill positions. Why should that matter to you?
» Career Center Counselors Know the Talent Needs in Your Job Market
Companies that are working with the career centers in your area have clearly defined criteria for available positions. They work closely with the career center counselors to fully explain the skills and experience needed to be most successful in those positions.
» You Can Be Trained for Available Jobs
As a job seeker, you may not meet all the qualifications for a position, but with the right training, you could be a strong candidate. Your career counselor will help you identify your strengths and tailor your skills to appeal to specific career opportunities. In many cases, training grants are available to help you get the training you need for the position. In addition, there are cases where On-the-Job Training (OJT) assistance will allow the employer to be reimbursed for a portion of your wages while you learn how to do the job — a strong incentive to the company.
» You’ll Find an Advocate
You’ve heard the old saying, “It’s not always what you know; it’s who you know.” At the career center, your counselor has employer connections and can advocate for you. Career counselors provide resume assistance, test preparation, interview training and more. And because they are often the people who present potential candidates to the employers, they can serve as your ally and cheerleader!
Your local career center can be just the boost you need.
After graduation from Ocoee High School in June 2011, Manuel Fuentes III wasn’t ready to take on the challenge of college. He moved in with his dad and step-mom to look for a job in Ocala. After 10 months of unsuccessful attempts to find employment, Manuel’s step-mom suggested he go to his local career center.
Manuel, now 20, said his confidence level was “nonexistent” when he first stepped into the career center last May. Working with his career counselor, Bonnie Webb, Manuel shared that he really wanted to become an electrical engineer, but his assessments revealed that his math skills needed considerable improvement. Bonnie signed him up for math skills training, and with tutoring and encouragement, Manuel also participated in resume workshops and interview skills training.
Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin, a global aerospace defense, security and advanced technology company, was on a fast track to interview, train and hire 30 new electronics associates at its Ocala operation. The company turned to the career center for help.
The hiring process required training, hand-eye coordination testing and a security clearance. Successful candidates also needed to score a “4” or better on the Florida Ready-to-Work Assessment in applied mathematics, reading for information and ability to locate information.
Manuel was ready. He took “Gold” (the highest level possible), scoring a minimum of “5” on all three areas of the Florida Ready-to-Work Assessment. With that credential, he applied for the job, landed an interview and was hired for what he considers his “dream job.”
Manuel plans to continue his college education to become an electrical engineer and move up the career ladder at Lockheed Martin. Fortunately for Manuel, Lockheed Martin is one of many manufacturing companies across the state that provide tuition reimbursement to help their employees grow toward new goals. Manuel says he is prepared for the commitment to college because he is confident in himself and the career path he has identified.