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CareerSource launches Hillsborough jobs program

The program is aimed at workers who were affected by the pandemic.

CareerSource Tampa Bay is launching a new program aimed at Hillsborough County workers whose jobs were harmed by COVID-19.

Called “Rapid Response Recovery,” the program will enroll up to 2,100 workers for on-the-job training and short-term training with $21.5 million in federal funding from the CARES Act.

“Our investment is critical to the future of our workforce here in Hillsborough County,” said Hillsborough Commissioner Sandy Murman at a news conference Wednesday.

The program has two tracks: one for short-term training, which helps people transition into a new field; and one for on-the-job training, which helps qualified workers get more experience in their field.

The short-term track will accept up to 1,000 applicants and offers $5,000 educational assistance grants; a list of training providers can be found here. The on-the-job track will accept up to 1,100 applicants.

Individuals must be citizens 18 or older and reside in Hillsborough County to qualify. They must also have been economically impacted by the pandemic.

Employers can also apply for the program. Business who hire workers through “Rapid Response Recovery” can qualify for an incentive if they retain the program’s participants, and the first $12,000 of that person’s salary will be covered through their first 90 days with their employer.

Businesses must be for-profit and located in Hillsborough County, meet the state’s minimum wage requirements and have been in operation for at least a year. They must also have experienced economic loss because of the pandemic.

Because the CARES Act has an expiration date of December 31, the program will run through the end of the year, CareerSource Tampa Bay CEO John Flanagan said.

“We plan to move really quickly with this funding,” Flanagan said.

Individuals can apply here and employers can apply here. For more information, visit

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