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 there. CareerSource and its community partners were selected to receive the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Development Award/Rural Community of the Year in 2015 for the success of these efforts.
Since these efforts began in mid-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.
Other collaborative efforts include:
- Increased outreach to actual and potential major projects in the area. A direct result of this has been the addition of 2 new major area employers that are expected to ultimately provide up to 425 jobs.
- Connecting project developers and organizations to buy local with purchases of more than $25 million in products and services from businesses in the Glades communities since 2009.
- Helped to form the Glades Career Readiness Roundtable to prepare local youth and young adults for skilled jobs, including the development of the Glades Construction Academy Youth Build program, a construction pre-apprenticeship program that helps out-of-school, unemployed young adults attain their GED, earn industry-recognized credentials and gain hands-on experience.
- Participated in the Corporate College Steering Committee, formed by public and private entities to address training needs in the Glades communities.
- Assigned a full-time, year-round migrant and seasonal farmworker outreach specialist to serve the many agricultural employers and job seekers in the area.
- Served on a CORE planning subcommittee to promote the availability of a $1 million loan for small businesses provided by the USDA.
CareerSource Palm Beach County and its community, business, governmental and educational partners receive the national 2014 Community Development Award for collaborative initiatives to increase employment and economic development in the Glades communities. From left: USDA State Director Richard Machek, U.S. Representative Alcee Hastings, CareerSource Palm Beach County President and CEO Steve Craig, Palm Beach County Administrator Robert Weisman, Business Development Board of Palm Beach County President and CEO Kelly Smallridge.