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b. 1. Work-Based Training Models

If the State is utilizing work-based training models (e.g. on-the-job training, incumbent worker training, transitional jobs, and customized training) as part of its training strategy and these strategies are not already discussed in other sections of the plan, describe the State’s strategies for how these models ensure high quality training for both the participant and the employer.

Current Narrative:

Adult and Dislocated Worker Program Requirements

Work-Based Training Models
Quick Response Training (QRT) and Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) programs are flagship training programs of CareerSource Florida. These market-relevant programs provide timely training driven by industry’s needs and choice of training providers. QRT and IWT serve as powerful tools for workforce investment in leveraging public/private funds for targeted training for in-demand skills to maximize use of limited public sector funds. Most businesses receiving training grants are within the state’s targeted industries, ensuring investment in economically prosperous jobs for Florida’s continued growth.

Quick Response Training Program
Established in 1993, the Quick Response Training grant program provides state-level funding for customized training to new or expanding businesses. During 2014-2015, Florida enhanced the application process for businesses to quickly respond to training objectives in demand-driven areas. In Fiscal Year 2016-2017, CareerSource Florida awarded Quick Response Training grants of nearly $10.6 million to support skills upgrade training for 4,851 new and existing employees.

The Florida Legislature provided funding to develop and launch a strategic marketing and business outreach plan for Florida’s nationally recognized Quick Response Training program. The marketing plan was developed to identify a long-term vision and strategic objectives for Quick Response Training. Recommendations for communications and outreach tools and tactics to enhance the program’s competitive position and market outreach were considered, based on research that provided a greater understanding of business customers and potential customers; key influencers, including, but not limited to, economic developers, site selection consultants, and workforce development professionals, particularly those within the CareerSource Florida network who provide employment and training solutions for businesses of all sizes; education and training partners and stakeholders; and public policy leaders. The plan provided a clear, concise roadmap for CareerSource Florida’s current and future investments in the marketing and promotion of Quick Response Training among businesses, including small businesses and key influencers.

This project enabled CareerSource Florida to implement marketing strategies for messaging of business services including Quick Response Training grants to internal and external audiences. CareerSource Florida developed an education and marketing toolkit for partners, marketing and brand-building materials such as brochures, digital outreach, including website enhancements, and social media outreach and advertisements and media placements to support strategic marketing and business outreach objectives.

Incumbent Worker Training Program
Established in 1999, Incumbent Worker Training grants provide funding for customized training including skills upgrade training to existing for-profit businesses. This grant enables Florida to effectively retain businesses and help them stay competitive by supporting skills-upgrade training for existing full-time employees. In Fiscal Year 2016-2017, CareerSource Florida awarded Incumbent Worker Training grants totaling more than $1.9 million to help companies train and retain more than 4,005 full-time employees. Trainees’ wages increased more than 11 percent on average within fifteen months of completing IWT-supported training. Florida’s IWT program is funded $2 million annually, with additional funding at the discretion of the CareerSource Florida Board of Directors. Funding priority is given to small businesses and those located in rural, enterprise zone, brownfield or inner-city areas and businesses in targeted industries.

Since its inception, more than $100 million in requests for IWT funding have been received and 58 percent of the requests have resulted in awards. Extensive outreach through digital advertising, presentations and workshops has been conducted to ensure that as many small businesses as possible are aware of the benefits of the IWT program. IWT is popular and meets a critical need for Florida’s businesses. For every $1 of IWT funds invested in training, companies matched $7.39.

Transitional Jobs and On-the-Job Training
Florida increased available training opportunities through alternative methods such as Transitional Jobs and On-the-Job Training (OJT). LWDBs are encouraged to leverage current partnerships and develop new ones with local businesses and industry to support economic development in their communities. The coordination of workforce training programs with economic development strategies as envisioned by Florida Law begins at the LWDB level and is coordinated at the state level by CareerSource Florida.

LWDBs may allocate up to ten percent of local Adult and Dislocated Worker funds to transitional jobs for individuals with barriers to employment. LWDBs offering transitional jobs as an alternative training model must ensure transitional jobs are time-limited, wage-paid, subsidized work experiences that help individuals who are chronically unemployed and/or have an inconsistent work history. Transitional jobs are used to assist these individuals establish a work history, develop skills to access unsubsidized employment and progress in the workplace. The LWDB’s transitional jobs strategy/model is incorporated into its local plan and must include local definitions for chronically unemployed and inconsistent work history. The local plan must include the duration for transitional jobs and the strategy the board uses to promote or encourage the individual’s transition into a permanent job when the subsidy ends.

OJT ensures high-quality training for both participants and employers as both have a vested interest in the program’s success. Employers have the unique opportunity to train potential candidates the correct and most efficient way to perform tasks for their company at a subsidized cost. Participants receive direct training and experience which increase their skillset. Participants gain new skills to meet the requirements of a new occupation or industry, becoming better equipped to compete for available jobs. All OJT experiences are provided through contracts between local employers and the LWDB.

Customized Training
Customized training is designed to meet the specialized skill needs or requirements of one or more employers. Customized training is conducted through a commitment by the employer to employ an individual upon successful completion of training. The employer is required to pay a share of the cost of the training. Customized training offers opportunities for employers to train individuals to their specific needs and gives the individual a chance to learn and gain desired skills specific to an employer or industry.