The recession sparked a record year for one Florida agency — unfortunately.
The Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation, which oversees distribution of unemployment benefits, closed 2009 with unprecedented levels of services to needy and jobless Floridians:
• 1.1 million people received more than $6.5 billion in state and federal unemployment compensation benefits.
• More than 1,000 federally-funded employees were hired for customer service in the unemployment compensation division since 2008, bringing total employment to 1,719.
• 23,00 calls per day, on average, poured into the unemployment hotline as the number of phone lines was doubled to more than 2,000.
• 1.7 million job seekers received training, job connections and other help through one of the state's 24 regional boards.
• 13.8 million referrals were made by linking job seekers to positions in their communities.
• 473,864 children received early learning programs through the state's network.
• 305,972 requests were handled to help families access childcare resources and referrals.