Attracting job applicants was never a problem for Capital Regional Medical Center in Tallahassee. For Portia Huston, R.N., the center’s recruitment and retention manager, the challenge came in finding the right ta lent for specific positions. Until, that is, Huston learned about the no-cost recruitment services available to employers in her area through Workforce Plus, the Regional Workforce Board which delivers workforce services to businesses, workers and job seekers in Leon, Gadsen and Wakulla counties.
“The staff at Workforce Plus has truly become an extension of our human resources department,” Huston says. “I can tell them exactly what we’re looking for, and they are able to search the Employ Florida Marketplace database to connect me with potential candidates; they also collaborate with community partners to refer additional candidates to us.”
– That partnership has resulted in more than 1,000 referrals to the medical center. Additionally, Workforce Plus has assisted with job fairs.
“When we needed to open a satellite emergency department in a nearby county, Workforce Plus helped us advertise the event.” Huston says. ”They sent additional staff to help serve the 600 job seekers who attended, and brought the Workforce Plus mobile unit with computers inside so that job seekers could apply on- site.”
Saving jobs, training talent
In spring 2009, Terry Ellis, manager of the WestPoint Home plant in Chipley, faced the difficult task of telling his employees that they would soon be out of work; operations were being transferred to Mexico. He, too, called on the Employ Florida network for help. With training programs and other assistance accessed through the Chipola Regional Workforce Board and Workforce Florida Inc., Ellis and his staff were able to reduce costs and increase production enough to demonstrate the value of not only keeping their facility open, but of consolidating the operations of another WestPoint plant at the Chipley site.
No Florida jobs were lost. Today, WestPoint’s Chipley-based workforce consists of 536 employees; another 75 are on the way. Ellis credits the Employ Florida network for helping WestPoint create new Florida jobs and support job training so it could remain globally competitive.
“The Chipola Regional Workforce Board has been there to help us every step of the way,” Ellis says. “They were there to help our employees on the day that we made the announcement that the plant was going to close, and now they have helped us cross-train our employees to allow us to offset costs.”
Meeting the Challenge
One way Florida addresses the challenge of recruiting and training the right employees is through the Employ Florida network. The network is comprised of partners Workforce Florida Inc.; the Agency for Workforce Innovation (soon to become the Department of Economic Opportunity); 24 Regional Workforce Boards, which direct nearly 100 OneStop Centers statewide; and all of the services they offer.
The cornerstone of the network and its success is the Employ Florida Marketplace, at EmployFiorida.com, the free online portal that connects Florida businesses with entry-level to executive-level talent. EmployFiorida.com boasts more than 500,000 resumes available for employer screening; more than 100,000 Florida employers are registered on the site and more than nearly 280,000 jobs are available for review by job seekers.
Every day, more than 60,000 visitors use the site to screen applicants, search for jobs and research the latest labor market statistics – all at no charge.
Not only did the training help employees become more productive, it strengthened the company and bolstered the local economy.
“When a company cl oses, it’s not just their employees who are affected, but the entire region.” Ellis says. “When we thrive, the region thrives.”
For More Information:
Workforce Florida Inc.
1850 Waldo Palmer Lane, Suite 1
Tallahassee, FL 32308
www. workforce florida. com
Ashley Cisneros is a co-founder of Chatter Buzz Media, an Orlando Internet marketing firm that helps companies and organizations engage with their target markets through inbound marketing via the Internet. Chatter Buzz Media, which won the Social Madness competition for the Orlando small business market, is a full-service digital marketing firm specializing in website design, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing and content creation. Prior to founding Chatter Buzz, Ashley worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, technical writer, marketing manager, public relations practitioner and freelance journalist. To see Ashley’s content writing, visit www.ashleycisneros.com. You can also reach Ashley on her Google profile.