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.
During the past 5 program years, CareerSource has helped place 5,500 Glades area residents into jobs and provided more than $1.7 million in training funds to local employers and residents.
Watch this video to learn more about how CareerSource has helped some Glades area residents find jobs.
While the population in the Glades communities is less than 3 percent of the county at large, about 20 percent of CareerSource Palm Beach County's total budget, including 12 percent of training funds, goes to serving the Glades communities.
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 3 new area employers and a fourth that is in progress. Together they are expected to ultimately provide more than 300 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.
- Engaged with 143 employers in the Glades communities in 2017 to provide recruiting, hiring, training and related services to help them connect with local talent. CareerSource absorbs the cost of most employer services including recruitment, assessments and referrals of qualified job candidates; space and staff assistance for screening/interviewing candidates; and grants for training employees.
- Helped 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.
- Initiated with Palm beach State College a 6-week accelerated Certified Nursing Assistant training program for Glades area residents only.
- Met with Governor Rick Scott and about 150 local officials and business leaders in Belle Glade last year to announce a new $85 million Florida Job Growth and Grant Fund for infrastructure and job training projects.
CareerSource Palm Beach County and its community, business, governmental and educational partners receive the national 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.