- II. Strategic Elements
The Unified or Combined State Plan must include a Strategic Planning Elements section that analyzes the State’s current economic environment and identifies the State’s overall vision for its workforce development system. The required elements in this section allow the State to develop data-driven goals for preparing an educated and skilled workforce and to identify successful strategies for aligning workforce development programs to support economic growth. Unless otherwise noted, all Strategic Planning Elements apply to Combined State Plan partner programs included in the plan as well as to core programs.
II. c. State Strategy
The Unified or Combined State Plan must include the State's strategies to achieve its strategic vision and goals. These strategies must take into account the State’s economic, workforce, and workforce development, education and training activities and analysis provided in Section (a) above. Include discussion of specific strategies to address the needs of populations provided in Section (a).
1. Describe the strategies the State will implement, including industry or sector partnerships related to in-demand industry sectors and occupations and career pathways, as required by WIOA section 101(d)(3)(B), (D). “Career pathway” is defined at WIOA section 3(7) and includes registered apprenticeship. “In-demand industry sector or occupation” is defined at WIOA section 3(23)
2. Describe the strategies the State will use to align the core programs, any Combined State Plan partner programs included in this Plan, required and optional one-stop partner programs, and any other resources available to the State to achieve fully integrated customer services consistent with the strategic vision and goals described above. Also describe strategies to strengthen workforce development activities in regard to weaknesses identified in section II(a)(2)
C. State Strategy
The State uses the strategies below to align the core programs and required one-stop partner programs to achieve fully integrated customer services consistent with the strategic vision and goals. These strategies and initiatives strengthen workforce development activities and address weaknesses identified in section II(a)(2).
Florida’s workforce network partners are successful in reaching and serving customers to put Floridians to work. These partnerships are leveraged at the state and local levels to enhance any areas where improvements are needed. The strength of Florida’s workforce network is demonstrated through its existing relationships and the ongoing effort to identify additional opportunities for coordinated service delivery as required under WIOA. Florida’s WIOA partners have ample statewide coverage for all programs, with skilled and experienced professional team members. The state workforce investment board, LWDBs, VR and FDBS all have established business relationship teams working together to serve employers.
Continuous improvement of how Florida’s workforce network serves customers will require continued collaboration, coordination and reassessment. Working groups address data integration issues as a potential challenge for WIOA implementation. The data sharing agreement between the Department of Economic Opportunity and Department of Education was amended to address data needs to enhance reporting and analysis capabilities. The state continues exploring opportunities for further integration of technologies. Reviewing WIOA program services, programs and policies to identify duplicative efforts and potential solutions to better align agency resources and efforts is ongoing.
Florida will work to address accessibility of job network computer systems, outreach and community visibility for programs that serve job seekers with disabilities and transportation for job seekers with disabilities.
Redefining Customer Service Standards for Business Talent Support
Continuous improvement is a key value of the CareerSource Florida network. CareerSource Florida evaluates and defines standards and measures (and removes any deemed unnecessary) in customer service. This enables Florida business, especially those in key sectors aligned to state and regional economic development priorities, to fully benefit from CareerSource Florida’s training grant programs and helps facilitate seamless access to tools and services across partner/organization programs.
Independent third-party surveys of businesses receiving training grant awards revealed excellent return on investment statistics: businesses were able to retain and add new jobs and employees benefiting from the skills upgrade training experienced an increase in wages one year after training completion. CareerSource Florida continues building on its Salesforce-based Customer Relationship Management platform to improve business services.
Creating a Total Talent Delivery System
The umbrella of business support and training services available throughout the CareerSource Florida network better positions Florida to respond to short- and long-term talent needs of existing companies and those that are new to Florida. The goal is to facilitate a seamless, externally focused talent solution strategy for Florida business.
Using the market segmentation framework and planning tools in the CareerSource Florida Professional Business Development Tool Kit, developed in part through the USDOL Expanding Business Engagement grant received in 2012, helps ensure businesses of all sizes in all sectors are identified for proactive talent support strategies. CareerSource Florida’s Business and Workforce Development Unit leads network-wide webinars highlighting innovative tools and best practice methods for business services representatives/account managers who interface with business on talent needs as well as the state’s economic development organizations. The umbrellas of services have also been shared in national and state conferences to communicate the value of the CareerSource Florida network.
Since 2015, CareerSource Florida has generated a monthly dashboard to better track business services. Elements include number of businesses served, number of high-value services provided to businesses and number of projected trainees through state-level training grants. Under-utilized talents and skills of job seekers with barriers to employment are consistently marketed to Florida businesses.
Implementing Sector Strategies
WIOA requires sector partnerships as a strategy under federal statute. The law defines both state-level and local-level responsibilities. FL Statues 445.004(10) requires state workforce development strategy to include efforts that enlist business, education and community support for students to achieve long-term career goals. CareerSource Florida and its network collaborate with education partners to help ensure young people have the academic and occupational skills required to succeed in the workplace. The state workforce development strategy assists employers in upgrading or updating the skills of their employees and helps workers acquire the education or training needed to secure a better job with better wages. This strategy assists the state’s efforts to attract and expand job-creating businesses offering high-paying, high-demand occupations. Development of sector strategies and career pathways is a component of Florida’s WIOA Unified Plan and state workforce development strategy.
Sector strategies are regional, industry-focused approaches to building a skilled workforce and are an effective way to align public and private resources to address the talent needs of employers. Evidence from states employing this approach shows that sector strategies can simultaneously improve employment opportunities for job seekers and enhance the competitiveness of industries. Effective sector strategies rely on strong sector partnerships, sometimes referred to as industry partnerships, workforce collaboratives or regional skills alliances.
These partnerships are led by businesses within a critical industry cluster collaborating with workforce development, education and training, economic development, labor and community-based organizations. Effective sector strategies are based on the following strategic framework:
- Built Around Great Data
- Founded on a Shared, Regional Vision
- Guided by Industry
- Lead to Strategic Alignment
- Transform How Services (job seekers/worker and employer) are Delivered
- Measured, Improved and Sustained
Building on the momentum of the unanimously passed Sector Strategy Strategic Policy by the CareerSource Florida Board of Directors, CareerSource Florida developed and implemented a Sector Strategies Toolkit to assist local workforce development boards with a range of activities, like the development of industry-driven workforce goals, action plans and policies and the enhancement of business and job seeker services.
The Sector Strategy policy can be viewed at http://careersourceflorida.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/18.02.14.A.2-Sector-Partnerships-Strategy-Policy-FINAL.pdf
The Sector Strategy Toolkit can be viewed online at https://careersourceflorida.com/sector-strategies/.
CareerSource Florida has focused on building sector strategies and sector partnerships for the past several years as a proven method of strengthening talent pipelines to support regional economies. Initially, each of CareerSource Florida’s Business and Workforce Development unit’s four territory directors worked directly with local workforce development boards within one of four geographic areas of the state, holding in-person and web-based sector strategy meetings. Meetings brought together business services teams and sector strategy specialists from six local workforce development boards, and topics included sector strategy policies, data tools, targeted initiatives, state-level funding, career pathways, apprenticeships and other work-based learning strategies. The local workforce development boards shared their sector strategy efforts including best practices, barriers and lessons learned.
As the network’s sector strategy efforts have become more operationalized, CareerSource Florida’s Business and Workforce Development unit’s territory directors now align with Florida’s targeted industry sectors, specializing in supporting the following: Trade & Logistics, Corporate Headquarters and Professional/Financial Services; Advanced Manufacturing; Aviation/Aerospace; Information Technology; and Healthcare/Life Sciences. This structure helps the CareerSource Florida network deepen its knowledge of specific industries and better align efforts with state and local economic development and other partners focused on key industry sectors with opportunities for high-wage jobs and economic diversification.
Career pathways enable individuals to secure employment within a specific industry or occupational sector and advance over time to successively higher levels of education or employment in that sector. It is important for education, training and support services to be connected regionally to help individuals of all skill levels and abilities to grow in a career. Career pathways also help businesses within key industries have access to qualified workers and a qualified talent pipeline.
In support of career pathways, CareerSource Florida directed the development of career pathways-focused resources and tools. Downloadable tools are used by the CareerSource Florida network and their partners in the development and expansion of career pathways for their local and regional areas. These tools include PowerPoint templates, guides, webinars and informational maps. The objectives of the tools are to: describe the process to create career pathways and showcase examples of successful demand-driven models; illustrate how pre-apprenticeship, registered apprenticeship and other work-based learning modalities may be incorporated into career pathways efforts; and identify existing and emerging career pathways efforts and explore opportunities to align and integrate regional pathways plans, activities and resource investments. With the continuing expansion of career pathways, especially in key target sectors identified in each local workforce development board’s two-year plan, Florida’s workers will have the skills needed to obtain good jobs and employers will have the workers they need to remain competitive and to prosper.
Advanced Manufacturing Business Intelligence Research and Sector Strategy Approach Services
This initiative began in 2014 and resulted in the promotion of business growth through better connectivity of Florida’s advanced manufacturers to existing public and private resources essential for increased competitiveness and profitability, leveraging the workforce and talent development assets within the state. The Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Leadership Council (AMWLC) under the direction of FloridaMakes, Florida’s Manufacturing Extension partnership, staffs and coordinates efforts through Florida’s 13 Regional Manufacturing Associations (RMAs). The AMWLC, composed of RMAs and Florida manufacturers, serves as Florida’s manufacturing voice concerning workforce development and talent delivery systems, ensuring Florida’s workforce network has a deeper understanding of and is responsive to the talent needs of the state in this sector.
The AMWLC’s web page can be accessed at https://www.floridamakes.com/what-we-do/workforce-training-development.stml
Expanding Apprenticeship Opportunities
With ever-increasing momentum statewide, Florida continues to support apprenticeship expansion through progressive policies and funding investments for optimal impact. To expand career pathways linked to apprenticeships and work-based training opportunities, the CareerSource Florida Board of Directors unanimously approved the first statewide Apprenticeship Strategic Policy for Florida’s workforce system. This policy defines the state’s strategic vision for apprenticeships while providing local workforce development boards with the guidance they need to boost systemic change at the local level. A work-based training administrative policy was also developed this year to further support local workforce development boards as they offer training activities that are sector focused and industry led. Together, these strategic tools are driving deliberate innovation that benefits employers and career seekers.
CareerSource Florida Strategic Policy 2019.02.13.A.1 defines CareerSource Florida’s vision for apprenticeship and presents opportunities for innovation of this time-tested and trusted method of skills development for Florida’s targeted industries. This policy directs local workforce development boards to identify opportunities for new or expanded apprenticeships in targeted sectors, engage underrepresented populations in apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs, and support apprenticeships with WIOA or other program funds through Individual Training Accounts, on-the-job training wage reimbursement, customized training, incumbent worker training, pre-apprenticeships, and supportive services. This policy can be viewed online at http://careersourceflorida.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Apprenticeship-Policy-2019.02.13.A.1.pdf
The CareerSource Florida administrative policy operationalizing Work-Based Training provides guidance to local workforce development boards on requirements for implementing work-based training programs, including apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships. In the next two years, the state workforce system will work with its state and local partners to develop apprenticeship programs for targeted industries that can be used across the state. The CareerSource Florida administrative policy operationalizing work-based training can be viewed online at http://www.floridajobs.org/docs/default-source/lwdb-resources/policy-and-guidance/guidance-papers/2019-guidance-papers/adminpol100_work-basedtrng.pdf?sfvrsn=93de7fb0_2
Guidance including answers to frequently asked questions about registered apprenticeships and Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs can be viewed online at http://careersourceflorida.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/FAQs-Registered-Apprenticeships-and-IRAP-020119.pdf
In March 2019, Governor DeSantis formally announced $1.75 million in grants allocated by the CareerSource Florida Board of Directors to help career seekers acquire the skills needed for in-demand occupations through new and expanded pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs. At least 20 local workforce development boards around the state are now actively working to establish or expand apprenticeships with business and education partners. In May, the CareerSource Florida Board of Directors approved a 2019-2020 fiscal year budget that includes an additional $1.75 million investment in apprenticeship expansion.
The Florida Legislature passed House Bill 7071, which included a $10 million appropriation for the newly created Florida Pathways to Career Opportunities Grant Program. These grants will enable high schools, career centers and postsecondary institutions to partner with businesses and industries, as well as offer high-quality pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship opportunities.
CareerSource Florida also launched Apprentice Florida, in partnership with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and the Florida Department of Education. This statewide outreach initiative is aimed at making Floridians aware of the benefits of registered apprenticeships, encouraging businesses to build apprenticeship programs of their own and ensuring those programs have the resources needed to be successful.
An increasing number of Florida businesses are turning to apprenticeships to build a quality workforce with the exact skills they need to be competitive. According to USDOL, businesses that offer apprenticeship programs see significant benefits to their bottom line: 97 percent of employers recommend apprenticeships as a training model; for every dollar spent on apprenticeships, employers receive an average return on investment of $1.50; and 91 percent of apprentices who complete an apprenticeship program are still employed nine months later. CareerSource Florida is focused on helping expand apprenticeship opportunities in six key industry sectors: advanced manufacturing, healthcare, information technology, hospitality, trade and logistics and construction.
The Florida Department of Education’s goal is that 7 percent of persons with disabilities participate in apprenticeship workforces. To aid the Department in achieving this goal, the FDBS is working with the Division of Career and Adult Education to review and select appropriate apprenticeship models – with a goal of increasing participation of the Division’s consumers by 10 percent. The FDBS will collaborate with businesses and employers to encourage sponsorship of registered apprenticeship programs and develop an outreach plan to market programs and increase awareness of all services.
By continuing to invest in businesses and career seekers through apprenticeship opportunities, in collaboration with statewide partners, Florida is strengthening its current and future workforce.
Enhancing Performance Measurement
The CareerSource Florida Board of Directors prioritizes transparency and accountability as Florida continues to enhance performance in serving businesses and job seekers, with a focus on targeted industries, training and opportunity populations. In 2019, the state board authorized the development and implementation of the Continuous Improvement Performance Initiative, which can be accessed at https://performance.careersourceflorida.com/CIP.
Authorized by Florida law (Section 445.004(6)(b), Florida Statutes), the Continuous Improvement Performance Initiative represents the evolution of how CareerSource Florida measures, tracks and improves performance at the state and local levels. The Continuous Improvement Performance Initiative aligns with the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Primary Indicators of Performance, and includes additional measures specifically aligned with goals and strategies of the state of Florida. The launch of the Continuous Improvement Performance Initiative website represents a major milestone as Florida moves forward in how performance is tracked and improved at both state and local levels.
The Continuous Improvement Performance Initiative was designed and developed based on input from local workforce development board leaders during strategy planning and feedback sessions. Team members from CareerSource Florida and the Department of Economic Opportunity conducted best practices research, historical data analyses and evaluation of past systems. A statewide Performance Advisory Council, consisting of local workforce development board representatives, was established to provide feedback and recommendations for continuous improvement. WIOA core leaders and the CareerSource Florida Board of Directors received frequent updates throughout the design and implementation phases.
The initiative includes three key metrics with additional credit for serving individuals with barriers to employment and for providing staff-assisted, high-value services to business establishments in up to five board-selected industry sectors:
- Employment Rate 1st Quarter After Exit: The percentage of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and Wagner-Peyser participants who exited the system and had certified wages the first quarter after exit.
- Participant Training Rate: The percentage of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act participants who received training services.
- Business Penetration: The number of business establishments provided a staff-assisted, high-value service by a local workforce development board.
To help local boards develop strategies that lead to strong performance on the Continuous Improvement Performance Initiative as well as enhanced service to their customers, CareerSource Florida and DEO offer ongoing technical assistance through webinars, one-on-one telephone consultations and in-person presentations, including trainings at the annual Florida Workforce Professional Development Summit.
Providing Quality Services to People with Disabilities
Recognizing the unique challenges Floridians with disabilities may face in finding a job, the CareerSource Florida network continues leading, investing and participating in initiatives to connect people with disabilities to employers. The Abilities Work web portal at abilitieswork.employflorida.com helps link employers and job seekers with disabilities. The Abilities Work help desk is administered by Vocational Rehabilitation and is a resource to support the linkage between employers and qualified job seekers with disabilities. More discussion on this portal can be found in section II(a)(2)(A) of this plan.
Other key employment initiatives to assist Floridians with disabilities include:
Employment First Florida
Seven of Florida’s state agencies and nonprofit organizations, including CareerSource Florida, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), the Department of Economic Opportunity, the Department of Education (Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services, VR and FDBS), the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, RESPECT of Florida and the Department of Children and Families (Mental Health and Substance Abuse) came together through an interagency cooperative agreement. This collaboration improves coordination of services that help people with disabilities obtain employment and achieve self-sufficiency.
The Employment First collaborative developed a comprehensive and coordinated statewide communications plan to improve outreach, describing services available to support employment and training for people with disabilities. This initiative responds directly to a key recommendation of the Governor’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities. Information about Employment First can be obtained on the website for the Florida Development Disabilities Council at employmentfirstfl.org/.
The Florida Unique Abilities Partner Program
The Florida Unique Abilities Partner Program recognizes businesses that are committed to providing career and financial opportunities to individuals with unique abilities and to assisting organizations that support them. Participating businesses demonstrate their dedication to strengthening communities and the economy by helping these Floridians with untapped talents become more independent and by partnering with other businesses, organizations and state resources in this endeavor.
Information about the Florida Unique Abilities Partner Program can be obtained on the Department of Economic Opportunity’s website at http://www.floridajobs.org/unique-abilities-partner-program.
The Family Café is an expo-style annual event held over several days each summer in Orlando that connects Floridians with disabilities and their families with information, training and networking opportunities. For several years, VR, FDBS and other WIOA partners have been involved in planning the Family Café and presenting useful information. CareerSource Florida is a primary sponsor of the Family Café and helps connect job seekers with disabilities and their families with employment resources and employers at the event each year. These efforts provide a valuable opportunity to raise awareness of employment and training resources available through the CareerSource Florida network and core partners.
The June 2019 Family Café drew more than 12,800 participants. CareerSource Florida, DEO and several local workforce development boards provided onsite employment assistance and resources.
Ticket to Work
Nineteen Florida LWDBs are designated as Employment Networks by the Social Security Administration, enabling their participation in the federally funded Ticket to Work program. Through Ticket to Work, recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance and/or Supplemental Security Income receive priority assistance such as job search, career planning and skill building through participating CareerSource Florida network career centers.
These services enhance efforts of job seekers to find and retain a job and to work toward self-sufficiency. Participating LWDBs receive funding from the Social Security Administration for workforce services provided to “ticketholders.”
The Gig Economy and Florida’s Workforce System
The CareerSource Florida Board of Directors established a priority initiative to explore the impact of the gig economy on Florida’s workforce system. A six-month study was launched in January 2019 with the purpose of furthering CareerSource Florida’s understanding of the gig economy and the potential workforce, education, and economic development implications in Florida. The study, with technical assistance provided by Cambridge Systematics, synthesized national research, gathered Florida-specific data and trends, and engaged workforce partners in discussions about the future of work.
CareerSource Florida is one of the first workforce development organizations nationally to explore the implications of gig work and entrepreneurship in a comprehensive, research-driven manner. This initial undertaking reveals significant potential areas of opportunities for local workforce development boards and other partners to meet the future independent workforce needs of gig economy businesses and workers. CareerSource Florida will continue working with WIOA core partners and members of a multidisciplinary workgroup to address areas of opportunity and implement policies and programs as directed by the CareerSource Florida Board of Directors.
The Study on the Gig Economy and Florida’s Workforce System can be obtained online at: https://careersourceflorida.com/about-us/reports-and-publication/
2. Strategies to Align Core Programs
Additional strategies to coordinate with state plan programs and align core programs are addressed in section IV.