For Alachua Bradford Regional Workforce Board d/b/a CareerSource North Central Florida (CareerSource NCFL), the Ready to Work grant has been a huge success. According to the grantee, “it has paved the way for a new era of workforce development in north central Florida that is focused on business success and growth through a skilled workforce.”
CareerSource NCFL has achieved its goals of addressing “work readiness, job skills training, work internships, and job placement activities for long-term unemployed (LTU) and underemployed jobseekers in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) industries including healthcare, biotechnology, information technology, and engineering. By the end of the grant on December 31, 2018, CareerSource NCFL and its partners successfully completed all training activities and surpassed all participant and training goals. A total of 823 participants were served across all three partnering workforce boards, exceeding their goal by 37 percent. Of the 823 participants, 639 enrolled in training with an 89 percent completion rate. Seventy-eight percent of 300 participants that completed classroom-based training earned a credential and 603 individuals obtained employment. One hundred and sixty-five (165) employers participated in the program to provide a total of 402 jobseekers paid work experience (internship) opportunities.
In addition, the grantee received continuous positive feedback from employers and participants regarding the significant impact of the STEM Ready program throughout the grant. A few examples of the testimonials and success stories include:
- Marlana Armstrong, a STEM Ready participant and founder of O-Bio Inc.
- James Coats, founder of STEM Ready employer partner Phalanx Defense Systems
- Paul Jackson, a STEM Ready participant that completed a paid internship with Phalanx Defense Systems
- James Parenteau, Business Development Lead at STEM Ready employer partner Viper Q
- Nick Bivilac, a STEM Ready participant now working for Viper Q