Friday, June 22, 2018
Business

State workforce boards unifying under new name: CareerSource Florida

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott's directive to rebrand Florida's 24 regional help wanted centers under a single name will soon be a reality as the state replaces "workforce" with CareerSource Florida.

Some local workforce officials say it's a smart move that is long overdue. Some don't like it.

Early last year, Scott included the rebranding in his budget proposals after programs in Tampa and Orlando misspent public money and "workforce" developed image problems.

After 18 months, lots of research and about a half-million dollars, the state will soon launch its new identity.

"There's more to be gained by unifying than by maintaining a system that's fragmented with 25 different names," said Adriane Glenn Grant, vice president of external affairs at Workforce Florida, the state agency overseeing local boards that match job-seekers with employers, using federal funds.

Those boards now have separate identities: Workforce Net in Pinellas County, Tampa Bay Workforce Alliance in Tampa, Workforce One in Broward and South Florida Workforce Investment Board in Miami.

"We're very supportive," said Roderick Beasley, director of Miami's board, which is soon to become CareerSource South Florida. "It allows for unity in how the system needs to be marketed to employers. The state has done a fantastic job in ensuring that everyone's at the table."

Palm Beach County also backs the name change, spokesman Tom Veenstra said. He noted that market research showed a "lack of awareness and clarity" about the workforce mission. The state hired Ideas Orlando, a marketing firm, to develop a new brand at a cost of $498,000, and is helping to pay for the costs of new signs, business cards and other items.

Broward isn't as enthusiastic. With an unemployment rate of 5.8 percent, the state's lowest, the current system works well, said Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler, chairman of the county's workforce board.

Seiler said the name change is a wasteful exercise, and he chafed at the state's insistence on a specific typeface font, website colors and other features. The font costs $174, the state said.

"This is crazy," Seiler said. "We deal with people who are unemployed and are looking for work, and we do it well. … It just seems like a tremendous waste of resources."

Rusty Skinner, CEO of workforce efforts in Citrus, Levy and Marion counties, said he's worried that the change may cause confusion. He doesn't favor local workforce programs losing their local identities, either.

"It's as if we're all McDonald's franchise holders. We all have the same look, the same menu," Skinner said. "Are the 'brand police' going to come after me?"

Candace Moody of First Coast Workforce Development in and around Jacksonville said the rebranding is a positive step, but it's taking too long.

The rebranding also allows for each local program to add a local signature or "geolocator," such as CareerSource Pinellas or CareerSource Tampa Bay in Hillsborough.

Ed Peachey, CEO of workforce agencies in Pinellas and Hills­borough, did not respond to requests for comment.

Career Source is also the name for Massachusetts' job matching programs, and as Workforce Florida CEO Chris Hart IV noted, Texas switched to a single statewide brand six years ago.

"This is a no-brainer," Hart said.

Steve Bousquet can be reached at [email protected] or (850) 224-7263.

Comments
Tampa Bay workforce development initiative looks to Houston for lessons

Tampa Bay workforce development initiative looks to Houston for lessons

The biggest hospitals in Houston had a problem.To earn a prized institutional certification, they needed more nurses with bachelor of science degrees in nursing.But local colleges were more focused on turning out nurses with two-year degrees who, to ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

TAMPA — The days ahead were supposed to be bright.For weeks, the future of health care tech company CareSync had been thrown into question as founder and CEO and founder Travis Bond unexpectedly departed, kicking off multiple rounds of layoffs. But t...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Coal and gas hold onto their share of electricity production, despite massive push for renewables

Coal and gas hold onto their share of electricity production, despite massive push for renewables

Here’s an intriguing set of facts: Coal produces the same percentage of the world’s electricity as 20 years ago. Oil and gas remain about level, too.Same for nonfossil fuel sources. In other words, the massive push towards renewables over the past co...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Brink: Why have Florida’s working-age men left the labor market in droves

Brink: Why have Florida’s working-age men left the labor market in droves

A cancer lurks within Florida’s otherwise rosy job numbers, one that’s been called a quiet catastrophe and an intractable time bomb.Too many men between the ages of 25 and 54 have stopped working.Economists call those the prime-age years. Incomes gen...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Pride divided no more: St. Pete Pride comes back together

Pride divided no more: St. Pete Pride comes back together

ST. PETERSBURG — The 16th annual St. Pete Pride Parade is getting ready to march along the downtown waterfront the second straight year. But many hope to move past the division caused last year when the parade was uprooted from its original hom...
Published: 06/22/18
For sale: A Tampa Bay area elementary school where you can eat tacos and buy wine

For sale: A Tampa Bay area elementary school where you can eat tacos and buy wine

ST. PETERSBURG — For sale: a 104-year-old elementary school with restaurant and wine shop. It even has a title company where you can close the deal.Less than a year after completing a major renovation of the historic North Ward school, developer Jona...
Published: 06/22/18
Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

TAMPA — When the 2008 financial crash brought down the nation’s housing market, hundreds of home builders went out of business. Among them was Sharon McSwain Homes in Atlanta, forced to liquidate in 2009.But just as developers like to develop, builde...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

TAMPA — Two of the city’s hottest developers — the companies behind Ulele and the Armature Works — are heading to court over control of an old city building that sits between the hit eateries. Both want to redevelop the city&...
Published: 06/21/18
Orlando airport first to scan faces of U.S. citizens on international flights

Orlando airport first to scan faces of U.S. citizens on international flights

Associated PressFlorida’s busiest airport is becoming the first in the nation to require a face scan of passengers on all arriving and departing international flights, including U.S. citizens, according to officials there. The expected announcement T...
Published: 06/21/18
Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor

Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor

Hours after Tesla had sued its former employee on charges he had stolen company secrets, and days after chief Elon Musk had called him a saboteur, the Silicon Valley automaker made a startling claim. The company had received a call from a friend of t...
Published: 06/21/18