Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown Transition Team Workforce Development Committee Rev. James Sampson & Dr.
Steven Wallace, Co-Chairs Report of Recommendations Presented to Mayor Brown on August 8, 2011 1. We recommend that the Mayor consider designating, appointing, contracting for, or employing (at least) one person who will be responsible for coordinating and improving Workforce Development in Duval County. This leader would facilitate and improve communication and promote alliances among the area’s job seekers, employers and educational institutions. This person could also staff the Workforce Development Council (described in #2 below) to inform workforce training providers and the school system of current and future workforce development needs. Workforce Development could fall under the scope of a senior staff member serving as the education czar/chief/liaison to the Duval County School Board, Chamber of Commerce, and other education/workforce development groups including labor and the 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 Council comprised of local leaders in economic development, education and training, employer services, employment services, workforce transportation, workforce housing, small business development, programs for target populations (veterans, ex-offenders, etc.) and labor market projections. The council would meet regularly for the purpose of advising the Mayor on current and emerging opportunities to increase the quantity and quality of jobs in Jacksonville. The council could be officially launched through a “Mayor’s Workforce Development Summit” and could work with the Mayor to convene and coordinate an annual workshop under the direction of the designated senior staff member to address Workforce Development issues with a focus on doing whatever it takes to help people prepare for and secure jobs. We recommend that the Mayor provide the vision, charge and scope for the Workforce Development Council. Subsequently, the Council would provide coordination and optimization of all agencies and organizations that participate in Workforce Development in accordance with the Mayor’s direction to: -Develop an Asset Map identifying: all currently existing programs and all organizations involved 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 comprehensive review of these to determine the effectiveness of existing programs and to identify any gaps in training services needed.
- Analyze the current unemployed and underemployed populations; especially those not currently looking (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 well opportunities that may be available in the near future. - Examine the gap between job seekers and availability of practical, first hand job information and 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 covered sufficiently elsewhere. - Convene regular meetings, workshops and summits to report findings and make recommendations. 3.We recommend that the Mayor invest in the future employment capabilities of our youth by educating, equipping and empowering them for the workforce by providing summer jobs and mentoring opportunities for those seeking employment. As an integral part of the Mayor’s “Learn to Earn” initiative, the Mayor could create a youth training/employment initiative and convene all organizations currently involved with successful experience implementing programs to employ our young people. The Council could provide assistance in finding mentors for students, paid summer internships for students in career academy programs, and business partners who will serve in an advisory role for career academies. As a long-term strategy, the Mayor should work with the Duval County School Board to restore career counselors in the high schools. 4.We recommend that the Mayor, or his designee, identify, research, and secure all federal, state and private funding resources available for workforce development. All resources should be leveraged along with local dollars to the maximum extent possible. All agencies and organizations should be evaluated for their effectiveness in providing equal opportunity and access to Workforce Development, for the persons (especially dislocated workers) that live in the urban core because those citizens’ unemployment rate is four (4) times higher than the national average. 5.We recommend that federal dollars sent to this region be proportionally allocated and spent based on the demographics and unemployment figures in the region and the urban core as documented by the Workforce Development Council, or other appropriate authority. This will ensure that Dislocated Workers in our communities will have equal access 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 federal dollars). 6.We recommend that the Mayor make workforce literacy a priority for funding allocations, while maintaining focus on early literacy programs. This can be accomplished through the continuation of support and funding for those agencies and organizations that have a proven record of passion, capacity and commitment to educate, equip and empower all of our children, the unemployed and underemployed citizens of our City. 7. We recommend that the Mayor’s chief education officer work closely with all Duval County Public Schools, private schools , the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce, and all Colleges and Universities to optimize the impact of high school Career Academies on the targeted and effective preparation of Jacksonville’s future workforce in alignment with the anticipated employment needs and opportunities in the City. 8.We recommend the Mayor continue funding the Jacksonville Commitment Scholarship Program to assure that no high school graduate in Jacksonville is denied the opportunity to attend college due to limited income. This “human capital” investment will allow Jacksonville to take full advantage of talented low income citizens who will bring an unprecedented level of educational qualifications to the improvement of economic development and prosperity in our City. 9.We recommend that the Mayor seek other organizations that will provide access and opportunities for Workforce Development, for those persons who may not fit established organizations and agencies requirements, criteria, standards, or profiles. For example, reading programs could be implemented in prisons to improve reading skills prior to release. 10. We recommend that the Mayor (funding is a must) work with faith-based organizations and non-profits to further Workforce Development efforts. Many churches around Jacksonville teach for free English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. These efforts could be expanded to writing and math skills as well. (second chance programs) 11. We recommend and encourage the Mayor to facilitate collaboration and alliances among 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 of contact for all job/workforce services, agencies, and programs. The continuum of services should be marketed together in a way that students, job seekers,
underemployed workers, etc. will be able access the service/training/job needed. If there is already a sufficient marketing plan in place through WorkSource, the Mayor could increase or better target marketing efforts to communicate its purpose and services. We trust that the recommendations from this committee will provide strength, structure, and stability to the process of workforce development this Community.
Definition of Workforce: the workers engaged in a specific activity or enterprise <the factory's workforce>: the number of workers potentially assignable for any purpose <the nation's workforce> Definition of Development: the act, process, or result of developing <development of new ideas> <an interesting development>: the state of being developed <a project in development>: a developed tract of land; especially, one with houses built on it Mission Statement: Educate, Equip and Empower Motto: Lifelong Learning We have worked to fit our recommendations into the criteria provided by our Co-Chairs as follows: 1) The proposals fit within the scope of the Mayor’s authority/duty; 2) The proposals are sensitive to the resources available; and, 3) The proposals have been tailored to impact the largest number of citizens.