WORKFORCE CENTRAL FLORIDA
January 28, 2010
I have been involved with Workforce Central Florida for a number of years, meeting with their leadership, observing their day to day activities at their One-Stop centers and, when I can, helping this talented group of professionals as they sharpen their mission and go about fulfilling it.
What has so impressed me is WCF's willingness to continually reach out to the corporate, academic and civic communities to help define their charge and then to solicit their help in carrying it out. As a member of the higher ed community and a volunteer board member for the organization, I am kept continually aware of the issues and concerns faced by WCF and can play a role in helping them to find resolutions. Their efforts to tackle the needs of the high tech and healthcare indusstries are a case in point -- how to use their limited resources to best near and long term effect, where to put their dollars to help those most in need of career skills training and employability, how best to direct the Stimulus monies to ensure positive impact on the community while doing so in a transparent, highly auditable/visible manner. The list goes on, as does the positive impact had by WCF on our local economy.
WCF gets high marks for redirecting their emphasis two years ago -- making the employer their focus and then going about finding the skills training and employees needed to meet the employers' need. To the corporate community, this signalled a change from the important, but limited, welfare-to-work mentality that is so common with workforce groups, to a customer driven environment that ensured improved placement opportunities for the unemployed (or underemployed) by first reaching out to the community of employers to determine where the greatest need was today and was likely to be tommorrow. Dollars could then be appropriately allocated to address both the near and longer term needs of our local, 5-county, economy. This approach has drawn the interest of many other workforce groups intent on changing their culture and driving more positive results from each dollar allocated to them.
WCF is highly regarded in our community for their willingness to be flexible and to change to meet the needs of a fluid jobs economy. Their leadership knows what's happening on the local, state and national stages -- communicating this back to their varied constituents and always trying to anticipate how these events, economic changes, legislative initiatives, and budgetary challenges will impact their ability to serve. They have invested in local companies, providing training grants for their employees; support K-12 education through helping to arrange internships, summer jobs, supporting STEM initiatives like FIRST Robotics and providing teacher grants for excellence.
Last, WCF spends significant time in determining targeted industries in need of their support -- building a database of information and tapping into the community's resources to ensure that those we help today will have the best chance of gainful and ongoing employment tomorrow.
Wonderful group. They set a strategy, identify supporting goals, adopt appropriate tactics to meet those goals and watch every dollar to ensure that it is well used. Here, again, this approach resonates with the community and ensures that WCF has the support they need to continually improve.
DeVry University, Orlando, FL
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
their support of high school teams and FIRST Robotics Boot Camps; hearing the success stories and heartfelt thanks of the many who have benefited from WCF employer training grants, student scholarships, etc.
What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...
their professionalism, willingness to listen and assimilate the ideas of their constituents into their thinking and planning.
The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...
consistently professional, willing to help, to go above and beyond for those in need of help or those willnig to lend a hand.
How frequently have you been involved with the organization?
About every month
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
Board Member & Provide Higher Ed perspective; assist with determining grant and scholarship recipients; help set strategies; chair ad hoc committees as requested...