Florida's Advantages: Education and Workforce
United for Success in Florida
Education, workforce and economic development agencies combine forces in Florida to grow a ready supply of talent.
When Deutsche Bank came to Jacksonville in 2008, it was for the purpose of building a service center to support the German-based bank’s operations around the globe. That move brought a completely new set of skills to the Jacksonville market, which meant that new hires would have to be trained in general about the products investment banks sell to clients as well as applications and processes specific to Deutsche Bank. “We knew we’d be hiring a large number of employees just out of school and without previous
financial institution experience,” says Erik Simonsen, COO, Deutsche Bank Jacksonville. “Training was obviously of huge importance to us.” Deutsche Bank had the necessary personnel — in-house trainers and subject matter experts from around the world — but it needed funds to help offset the cost of thousands of hours of training. Workforce Florida stepped up to help with a QRT grant of more than $400,000, and to date, 600 employees have been trained. “Our site has been a success,” says Simonsen, “and much of that can be attributed to support from Workforce Florida and the state of Florida in general.”
The nearly 90 One-Stop Centers throughout the state are the bricks-and-mortar entry points to Florida’s comprehensive workforce system. Here, employers and job seekers can find answers to their employment questions as well as direct access to a wide array of workforce services — many of which are available free of charge.
One-Stop Centers offer:
Choctawhatchee Electric Cooperative Inc. (CHELCO)
The 6th largest of Florida’s 16 member-owned electric cooperatives and supplier of electricity to 40,000 residential and commercial accounts in northwest Florida, CHELCO saw the writing on the wall: Changes in the way energy will be delivered in the future via automated systems and smart grids means that line technicians and other incumbent workers must learn a new set of skills. So CHELCO called on Workforce Florida and the Walton County School District for help. The combination of a Quick Response Training grant worth more than $150,000 and a company match helped pay for the instructor, equipment and curriculum development needed to bring the skills of more than 150 CHELCO workers up to date. Says Susan VanBuren, CHELCO’s manager of employee development and training, “Workforce Florida was there, ready to roll up their sleeves and provide the assistance we needed to help our employees get comfortable with the new technology. Having the grant helped speed up our timeline. We didn’t have to re-invent the wheel.”