Eight workforce regions in the CareerSource Florida network are offering Startup Quest® to provide unemployed and underemployed professionals the training and skills to become entrepreneurs and create new jobs in their community.
Forbes recently reported that independent workers, many of them entrepreneurs and small business owners, will make up half of the nation’s workforce by 2025. The trend is moving away from just “I want to find a job” to “I want to create my job.” Here in Florida, the Startup Quest® program is gaining national attention – as evidenced by a $12 million U.S. Department of Labor grant – for its innovative approach to entrepreneurship and community collaboration. Startup Quest® prepares highly educated individuals to create jobs for themselves by building businesses and partnerships with NASA and various Florida universities. Other graduates of the 10-session program, now operating in eight regions of the state, have made themselves more expert additions to existing high-level jobs.
To date, Startup Quest® has 1,190 graduates, 558 of which are employed and 154 of which are self-employed.
Here are some case studies from CareerSource North Central Florida:
Consider Startup Quest® graduate Sandy Primack. He lost his job after three decades working for high-tech companies including AT&T, Lucent Technologies and IBM. Since graduating from the Startup Quest® program, Primack has created his own company, negotiated a licensing agreement with the University of South Florida for their patented technology, and is developing software that teaches children to read through phonics.
Less than a year after Mary Ohlfs graduated from Startup Quest®, Mary Ohlfs signed a licensing agreement to commercialize a cutting-edge NASA technology. Mary has now started a company — LifeNet Systems, Inc. — based off of the road barrier technology used by her Startup Quest® team. LifeNet Systems will commercialize the NASA technology to create net roadway barriers that replace concrete and steel barriers.
Startup Quest® continues to equip highly educated but under- or unemployed Floridians with the unique training needed to create their jobs and opportunities through partnerships like NASA . As you continue to cover entrepreneur stories and the issues of job training, we would love to connect you with program founder Angela Pate, a leader in rethinking economic development; or any of our Startup Quest® graduates or mentors.
Find a Startup Quest® location near you!
- CareerSource Brevard
- Career Source Broward
- CareerSource Capital Region
- Careersource Flagler Volusia
- CareerSource North Central Florida
- CareerSource Northeast Florida
- CareerSource Pinellas
- CareerSource Tampa Bay