President and CEO Steve Craig and some CareerSource staff members attended a meeting with Gov. Rick Scott and about 150 local officials and business leaders in Belle Glade on Tuesday. It was the governor's first one-on-one with Glades area community leaders this year to announce a new $85 million Florida Job Growth and Grant Fund
for infrastructure and job training projects.
Local leaders and businesses also spoke to the governor about community needs. Funding more job training opportunities was a key focus at the meeting.
Gov. Scott pointed out that Senate Bill 10, to create a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee and repair the Herbert Hoover Dike, has a component to fund more job training opportunities in the area. He signed this bill three months ago.
Mr. Craig then spoke to the group about recent career expo hiring and training events held in the Glades area, including two of the most recent for rewarding construction jobs being funded by the county’s infrastructure improvement surtax.
“Because of the critical service needs in the Glades communities, CareerSource Palm Beach County operates the West Career Center in Belle Glade and plays a leading role in collaborative efforts to increase employment and economic development here,” Mr. Craig said.
Since 2011, CareerSource has helped place more than 8,400 Glades area residents into jobs and provided more than $1.25 million in training funds to local employers and residents.
Belle Glade Mayor Steve Wilson said he is also expecting nearly $4 million for transportation improvements from money set aside by the state in Scott's Rural Areas of Opportunity program that is designed to help Florida’s rural communities continue to grow.
State Representative Joe Abruzzo said that with progress made in education and road, water and sewer system repairs, attention can now be directed to attracting businesses to the area.
“We are primed to say, ‘OK jobs and businesses, the Glades are for you,” he said.