The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has awarded a grant worth more than $893,000 to CareerSource North Central Florida.
Alachua County announced the “WIOA Get There Faster” grant award Tuesday. The money will go to serve participants between last October and September 2023.
“This was a competitive grant and is one of a few awarded,” Phyllis Marty, CEO of CareerSource North Central Florida, said in a statement. “It is in times of low unemployment (like now) that at-risk individuals can achieve employment in career positions to support growing our business community. Winning this competitive grant will add fresh resources to our CareerSource NCFL programs to benefit both our workforce and business customers.”
According to a county press release, the award provides education and work skills needed by at-risk Floridians. The state defines at-risk individuals as those who are receiving public assistance, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Social Security Disability Insurance, individuals recovering from substance use disorders and re-entering society from incarceration.
Eligible participants will receive ongoing employment services and support to remove employment barriers. The program is designed to increase the likelihood of securing and keeping good employment, decreasing the reliance on public assistance.
According to the county, CareerSource services include enrollment in secondary and post-secondary education that leads to an industry-recognized credential of value, dedicated case manager and job coach. CareerSource also works with other agencies to deliver services such as assessments, housing, mental wellness, work-based learning opportunities and transitional support such as childcare, transportation and employment-related supplies.
The most recent data shows Florida’s unemployment rate is 4.4 percent as of December. Last summer Alachua County registered a record number of open jobs totaling more than 12,000, but in recent months local employers have been able to fill many of those positions.