Tallahassee, Fla. — June 22
Florida earned the top spot in the second annual Enterprising States report just released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Chamber Foundation. After being ranked No. 2 last year for its workforce and training, the Sunshine State moved into the lead based on measures including job placement, the affordability and efficiency of its higher education system and the number of high school students enrolled in advanced placement courses. The nationwide report also touted Florida’s Quick Response Training (QRT) Program.
As the statewide workforce investment board for Florida, Workforce Florida remains focused on getting unemployed Floridians back to work and fostering economic growth through talent development.
Helping to advance these efforts are the state’s 24 Regional Workforce Boards that direct nearly 100 One-Stop Centers that provide employment and training assistance to Floridians and a range of services to businesses as well as the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation.
More than 80 percent of adults receiving training and intensive workforce services through the state workforce system found a job, with a nearly 90 percent retention rate, during the past year.
Meanwhile, administered by Workforce Florida, the state-funded QRT grants program advances job creation and retention by supporting customized skills upgrade training for new and expanding businesses. Businesses receiving these grants decide not only what training is needed, but who delivers it to their employees.
Forty-two Florida companies have received training grants this fiscal year to hire and train nearly 8,000 new or currently employed workers. For every dollar of public funding invested in QRT, these companies will invest nearly $8 in training. Workers have experienced a 36 percent average wage increase following training using QRT. The program is recognized nationally for its lack-of-red-tape requirements and low overhead. Underscoring QRT’s contributions to Florida’s economic development efforts, the Legislature – with the support of Gov. Rick Scott – allocated $6 million (up from $3.3 million this year) for grants to businesses in the new fiscal year that starts July 1.
The 2011 U.S. Chamber report, released June 20, states that education and training of workers is at the center of a new paradigm for economic growth. The report estimates that by 2018, 63 percent of jobs will require some type of post-high school training credential. Florida is moving in the right direction, as the Enterprising States report ranked it first in high school advanced placement intensity and job placement efficiency, second in higher education efficiency and third in college affordability among the 50 states.
Source: Workforce Florida