State Leaders Recognize September as Workforce Development Month in Florida
Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis proclaimed September as Workforce Development Month in Florida in recognition of the collaborative efforts between the Governor’s Office, state agencies and workforce leaders to make Florida the best state in the nation for workforce education by 2030. Workforce Development Month in Florida is a time to celebrate the progress made towards strengthening workforce education opportunities for Floridians. Since 2019, Florida has invested more than $5 billion in workforce education initiatives.
“On behalf of the Governor’s workforce policy board, we are grateful to the dedicated professionals of Florida’s workforce system who help employers find qualified, skilled talent to meet our state’s evolving workforce needs,” said CareerSource Florida Board Chair Stephanie Smith. “Florida’s workforce professionals make a positive difference in the lives of Floridians every day, and our state and communities are stronger as a result.”
In 2021, Governor DeSantis signed the Reimagining Education and Career Help (REACH) Act to support workforce education and strengthen the pipeline between the classroom and the workforce through the collaboration of state agencies and the REACH office. The Act established the REACH Office under the Executive Office of the Governor to streamline workforce education and career help efforts across Florida’s workforce resources and agencies including the State University System, the Florida Department of Education, the Florida Department of Children and Families, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Space Florida, Enterprise Florida and the CareerSource Florida network.
“Under Governor DeSantis’ decisive leadership, workforce development is a key pillar of economic development, and as a result the state continues to outperform the nation in economic success by virtually every measure. As a result, when much of the nation was still figuring out how to open, Florida was leading the nation in businesses and schools being open, creating new businesses and never slowing the talent pipeline down,” said Department of Economic Opportunity Secretary Dane Eagle. “DEO is proud to support Governor DeSantis in bringing his vision to life and partner with workforce professionals at the state and local levels to provide opportunities for all Floridians to prosper.”
Since 2018, Florida has awarded more than 318,000 rapid credentials through Florida College System programs and school district postsecondary training programs which include career certificates, industry certifications, applied technology diplomas and college credit certificates. These rapid credentials allow Floridians to gain high-quality skills and fill jobs in high-demand fields quickly and efficiently.
“Governor Ron DeSantis has set a goal for Florida to lead the nation in workforce education by the year 2030, and our state has truly become a flexible partner for business and industry, oftentimes backwards-designing programs at the request of new and growing companies and communities,” said Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. “During this administration, our collective $5 billion investment in workforce education and job training means Floridians have access to numerous pathways to career success, including new rapid credentialing programs that can be completed in 20 weeks or less, leading to an in-demand, high-wage occupation.”
“Thanks to the leadership and vision of Governor Ron DeSantis and the support of our partners, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice was able to launch our new workforce education initiative, Project Anchor,” said Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Eric Hall. “This first-of-its-kind initiative provides a pathway for our youth to achieve long-term success and is just another example of how Florida is leading the nation in creating opportunities for career advancement for all citizens.”
“With the implementation of the REACH Act, Florida is further elevating workforce education and training by strengthening our state’s emphasis on collaboration among workforce agencies to grow jobs and assist Floridians in their career journeys,” said CareerSource Florida President and CEO Michelle Dennard. “We’re grateful to Governor DeSantis for recognizing September as Workforce Development Month in Florida and extend our appreciation to the dedicated professionals whose daily efforts improve lives and our economy.”
“Job growth in Florida has been substantially better than the national average because we have a Governor who, within his first 100 days in office, set a goal to make Florida the No. 1 workforce state in the nation. Core to his mission is making sure our workforce is able to meet the needs of employers,” said Bob Ward, president and CEO of the Florida Council of 100. “Florida has pushed innovative initiatives that give the emerging workforce the skills they need to find good job opportunities.”
The state’s comprehensive workforce development system includes the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, CareerSource Florida, the Florida Department of Education, Enterprise Florida, Employ Florida and the state’s 24 local workforce development boards and 100 career centers, as well as Florida’s universities, state colleges and technical colleges. Florida’s workforce development system assists hundreds of thousands of Floridians and businesses by providing exceptional service, resources, and career development opportunities, helping employers find qualified, skilled talent to meet our state’s evolving workforce needs.