Excerpt from a letter Dwayne Ingram, Chairman of Workforce Florida Inc., sent to members of Workforce Florida:
It is my pleasure to announce that President/CEO Chris Hart IV has agreed to continue in his role as the chief executive of the statewide workforce investment board and Florida's Workforce System.
Chris Hart IV
Chris' strong leadership since 2007 has resulted in many improvements and accomplishments for our system. As Florida's economy continues to rebound, it's imperative that we have leadership continuity to maintain the current momentum toward achieving our 2013 goals and successfully completing several major initiatives underway. Among these:
- The statewide goal to assist 600,000 people annually with finding employment through the 24 regional workforce boards and the Employ Florida Marketplace.
- A statewide branding initiative to develop a single, unified brand identity for the entire workforce system to better leverage outreach resources and reduce confusion regarding services available to job seekers, workers and businesses.
- The development of a statewide business engagement protocol and customer relations management system to enhance business use of the public workforce system including talent recruitment, hiring and training and increase collaboration among state and regional workforce boards.
- Transformation of the current Employ Florida Marketplace job-matching tool into a robust talent repository for businesses and job seekers, both entry-level and professional.
- The development of a workforce fund-raising organization with an independent governing structure to raise and invest private funds to further advance workforce initiatives.
- An efficiency study at Workforce Florida to evaluate and improve the work flow of our talented 21-member professional staff.
Recently Chris testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training regarding further transforming the nation's workforce development system into one that is increasingly flexible, responsive and innovative. Since his committee appearance, Chris and his team have continued to field inquiries from other states regarding Florida's efforts, as our system continues to be recognized as a national model.
Earlier this week, I spoke to Ed Moore, who has gotten off to a solid start in chairing our presidential search committee, which was in the early stages of its work. With Chris' acceptance of my request to remain at the helm through December 2014, the committee is suspending its search. We will resume a presidential search next year. I want to thank Ed and his entire committee for stepping up to take on this incredible task.
The work before all of us remains significant as we continue to strengthen the workforce system even as we anticipate declining resources. Still, we are headed in the right direction with Governor Rick Scott's leadership and the unwavering commitment of our system leaders and workforce professionals -- state and local. Florida's unemployment rate is 7.7 percent, the lowest since October 2008. Last year, more than 426,000 Floridians were placed in jobs, with 111,173 former reemployment assistance claimants finding employment.