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Workforce Development Transition Policy Committee Report

Workforce Development Transition Policy Committee Report

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Published by Timothy Gibbons

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Published by: Timothy Gibbons on Aug 08, 2011
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11/08/2013

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Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown Transition TeamWorkforce Development CommitteeRev. James Sampson & Dr. Steven Wallace, Co-ChairsReport of RecommendationsPresented to Mayor Brown on August 8, 20111. We recommend that the Mayor consider designating, appointing, contracting for, oremploying (at least) one person who will be responsible for coordinating and improvingWorkforce Development in Duval County.This leader would facilitate and improve communication and promote alliances amongthe area
s job seekers, employers and educational institutions. This person could alsostaff the Workforce Development Council (described in #2 below) to inform workforcetraining providers and the school system of current and future workforce developmentneeds. Workforce Development could fall under the scope of a senior staff memberserving as the education czar/chief/liaison to the Duval County School Board, Chamberof Commerce, and other education/workforce development groups including labor andthe private sector. However, we strongly recommend that these two positions(Education and Workforce Development) remain separate.2.We recommend that the Mayor establish a Workforce Development Councilcomprised of local leaders in economic development, education and training, employerservices, employment services, workforce transportation, workforce housing, smallbusiness development, programs for target populations (veterans, ex-offenders, etc.)and labor market projections. The council would meet regularly for the purpose ofadvising the Mayor on current and emerging opportunities to increase the quantity andquality of jobs in Jacksonville. The council could be officially launched through a
Mayor
s Workforce Development Summit
and could work with the Mayor to conveneand coordinate an annual workshop under the direction of the designated senior staffmember to address Workforce Development issues with a focus on doing whatever ittakes to help people prepare for and secure jobs.We recommend that the Mayor provide the vision, charge and scope for the WorkforceDevelopment Council. Subsequently, the Council would provide coordination andoptimization of all agencies and organizations that participate in WorkforceDevelopment in accordance with the Mayor
s direction to:
-Develop
an Asset Map identifying
:
all
 currently
existing programs
and
all organizationsinvolved in Jacksonville’s workforce development network with the inclusion of a description of the capabilities and capacity of each such organization. Also included would be a comprehensivereview of these to determine the effectiveness of existing programs and to identify any gaps intraining services needed.
 
-
 Analyze
the current unemployed and underemployed populations; especially those not currentlylooking (the chronically unemployed for reasons of literacy etc).-
 Analyze
workforce development initiatives in cities with similar demographics.-
Inform
dislocated workers of employment opportunities that are available, as wellopportunities that may be available in the near future.-
 Examine
the gap between job seekers and availability of practical, first hand job informationand training. Determining whether the targeted individuals are receiving adequate support.-
Concentrate
on:- The jobs and education in the industries that employ the majority (78%) of our workers;Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) areas;Emerging opportunities (Seaport and Spaceport);- Skills common to all small employers (Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Labor etc.);- Remedial English and mathematics skills required for all jobs, unless this is coveredsufficiently elsewhere.-
Convene
regular meetings, workshops and summits to report findings and makerecommendations.
3.We recommend that the Mayor invest in the future employment capabilities of ouryouth by educating, equipping and empowering them for the workforce by providingsummer jobs and mentoring opportunities for those seeking employment. As an integralpart of the Mayor
s
Learn to Earn
initiative, the Mayor could create a youthtraining/employment initiative and convene all organizations currently involved withsuccessful experience implementing programs to employ our young people. TheCouncil could provide assistance in finding mentors for students, paid summerinternships for students in career academy programs, and business partners who willserve in an advisory role for career academies. As a long-term strategy, the Mayorshould work with the Duval County School Board to restore career counselors in thehigh schools.4.We recommend that the Mayor, or his designee, identify, research, and secure allfederal, state and private funding resources available for workforce development. Allresources should be leveraged along with local dollars to the maximum extent possible.All agencies and organizations should be evaluated for their effectiveness in providingequal opportunity and access to Workforce Development, for the persons (especiallydislocated workers) that live in the urban core because those citizens
unemploymentrate is four (4) times higher than the national average.5.We recommend that federal dollars sent to this region be proportionally allocated andspent based on the demographics and unemployment figures in the region and theurban core as documented by the Workforce Development Council, or other appropriateauthority. This will ensure that Dislocated Workers in our communities will have equalaccess to Workforce training and development. (i.e. if the urban
 
core has a 40%
 
unemployment rate it should not be receiving a disproportionate amount of the federaldollars).6.We recommend that the Mayor make workforce literacy a priority for fundingallocations, while maintaining focus on early literacy programs.
 
This can beaccomplished through the continuation of support and funding for those agencies andorganizations that have
 
a proven record of passion, capacity and commitment toeducate, equip and empower all of our children, the unemployed and underemployedcitizens of our City.7. We recommend that the Mayor
s chief education officer work closely with all DuvalCounty Public Schools, private schools , the Jacksonville Regional Chamber ofCommerce, and all Colleges and Universities to optimize the impact of
high schoolCareer Academies
on the targeted and effective preparation of Jacksonville
s futureworkforce in alignment with the anticipated employment needs and opportunities in theCity.8.We recommend the Mayor continue funding the Jacksonville CommitmentScholarship Program to assure that no high school graduate in Jacksonville is deniedthe opportunity to attend college due to limited income. This
human capital
investmentwill allow Jacksonville to take full advantage of talented low income citizens who willbring an unprecedented level of educational qualifications to the improvement ofeconomic development and prosperity in our City.9.We recommend that the Mayor seek other organizations that will provide access andopportunities for Workforce Development, for those persons who may not fit establishedorganizations and agencies requirements, criteria, standards, or profiles. For example,reading programs could be implemented in prisons to improve reading skills prior torelease.10. We recommend that the Mayor (funding is a must) work with faith-basedorganizations and non-profits to further Workforce Development efforts. Many churchesaround Jacksonville teach for free English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. Theseefforts could be expanded to writing and math skills as well. (second chance programs)11. We recommend and encourage the Mayor to facilitate collaboration and alliancesamong all existing and new Workforce Development providers by developing a[marketing consortium] to promote the Mayor's vision.The Mayor should strive to unify marketing/outreach so there is a single source ofcontact for all job/workforce services, agencies, and programs. The continuum ofservices should be marketed together in a way that students, job seekers,

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