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Local News

'Workforce Toolbox' Aims To Connect Service Groups With Potential Employees

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  Florida West is teaming up with CareerSourceEscaRosa to host a free workshop on Friday, aimed at helping match groups who help people, with people who need jobs.

It’s called a “Workforce Toolbox,” and seeks to do a couple of things: dispel a misconception that there are no jobs out there, and find solutions to what Florida West CEO Scott Luth calls a disconnect between workers and potential employers.

“There’s a lot of information online now, and different job postings,” Luth said. “But when we actually talked to some folks who were looking for a job, some of the folks either haven’t been job seekers for a while, or they’re in a job that may require or demand sufficient training. So a big part of what we want to do is to see if there’s a way to close that gap.”

The local unemployment rate has dropped from double-digit unemployment, when job seekers were more aggressive in finding opportunities, to around five percent, which has tightened up the workforce.

Friday’s workshop will provide churches, non-profits and public service agencies with information on how to refer and direct individuals to no-cost tools, resources, and programs available through CareerSource EscaRosa.

“Whether it’s organizations that support or help the homeless; whether it’s individuals from our food pantries in the community, and our community centers” said Luth. “They’re great resources and great opportunities to have one-on-one contact with the citizens. But we want to make sure if they know about the resources in the community.”

Some of the “Hot Jobs” the past few weeks have included Drivers, Millwrights, and Patient Care Technicians. Luth says special attention will be given to the so-called “special populations” in the community, such as veterans. In cases, they’re sought by companies because of the discipline they learn in the rigidly-structured military.

The workshop also serves as an awareness campaign to get people to use the programs, which are taxpayer-funded. And industries are sending out the same message.

“We’re looking for great people to go to work, and hear on the other side that we have good folks that are looking for great job opportunities,” Luth said. “And what we’re seeing is there’s obviously a gap in that process.”

After the workshop, both Workforce EscaRosa and Florida West will sit down and decide if they’ll hold them on a regular basis. Luth says much will depend on turnout and need.

The “Workforce Toolbox” is set for Friday beginning at ten a-m at the CareerSource EscaRosa offices at 3670 North L Street. Registration is at events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/