New Alliance Meets Needs of Businesses and Growing Workforce
Aug. 7, 2014
A new alliance of education, workforce and business development organizations will provide a one-stop shop for Citrus, Levy and Marion county residents interested in developing career goals or growing a business.
The Business & Career Resource Cooperative is designed to meet the workforce needs of local businesses by coordinating training resources and opportunities available to postsecondary students, job candidates, employees and local businesses throughout the three-county region.
Spearheaded by the Florida Small Business Development Center, other partners of the BCRC are CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion, the College of Central Florida XCEL-IT program, Marion Regional Manufacturers Association and the Ocala Human Resource Management Association.
“The new cooperative was created to serve as an enterprise resource bank for our common customers, and as a cross-promotional vehicle to create awareness of each agency’s program services,” said Peter Rivera, a Florida Small Business Development Center consultant.
By coordinating efforts, Rivera said the BCRC plans to leverage each partner’s strengths, rather than duplicate services. That’s something that appeals to Loren Carr, reporting manager for the College of Central Florida’s XCEL-IT program.
“Individually, our organizations provide excellent services,” Carr said. “But together, we hope to propel the community, its residents and businesses, to even greater success.”
Marion Regional Manufacturers Association executive director Rob Adamiak said the benefit of an alliance like the BCRC may be felt beyond the regional service area.
Adamiak noted that in Florida, at the same time the state’s unemployment rate remains higher than the national rate – 19,000 jobs go unfilled every day due to lack of training, including 4,500 open positions in manufacturing.
The cooperative will coordinate the training that businesses need and, Adamiak said, help job seekers become “more trainable by area employers” by providing in-demand training and/or training that improves their basic skills in math, reading and problem solving.
“The BCRC is a forward-moving step in meeting the challenges our workers, businesses and entrepreneurs are experiencing,” Adamiak said. “The BCRC hopes to be recognized as the leading resource in Marion County for business and career development by connecting employers with employees, to encourage small businesses to flourish and increasing the talent and education of our workforce.”
Information about upcoming classes can be found in the College of Central Florida noncredit course catalog at XCEL-IT.org.
The BCRC is comprised of the following partners:
- CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion, careersourceclm.com, offers employers no-cost recruitment services, including candidate matching and assessments, employee training and hiring incentives; and provides no-cost job placement services, employability training and resources to job seekers.
- College of Central Florida XCEL-IT, xcel-it.org, provides education and opportunities for careers in Information Technology for unemployed and underemployed workers in rural communities.
- Florida Small Business Development Center, www.sbdc.unf.edu, provides no-cost consulting and affordable training to small business owners at all stages of the business cycle.
- Marion Regional Manufacturers Association, mrma.net, offers networking, presentations, advocacy and workforce development for the manufacturing industry.
- Ocala Human Resource Management Association, ohrma.shrm.org, delivers access to networking, information, professional development and continued support of excellence in Human Resources.