1st Quarter Business Solutions News and Events

CareerSource Palm Beach County is excited to announce new pre-apprenticeship programs in the marine, life-science and aviation/aerospace industries to benefit both employers and students. These new programs are in addition to other pre-apprenticeship programs in information technology, construction, healthcare, and hospitality.

New Pre- Apprenticeship Programs for Employers, Students Available

These new pre-apprenticeship programs are the latest examples of the innovative solutions we are pursuing with our local employers and educational partners to address demand for skilled talent and provide greater opportunity for Palm Beach County residents seeking rewarding careers. 

CareerSource Palm Beach County is partnering with the Marine Industries Association and CareerSource Research Coast in establishing the marine pre-apprenticeship program. The marine industry’s economic impact in Palm Beach County is estimated to be $2.1 billion, creating more than 21,000 jobs. Thousands of others are working for more than 800 local businesses that support this industry. 

The aviation/aerospace industry in Palm Beach County has a workforce of 13,000 employed by 1,090 companies. CareerSource Palm Beach County partners with companies such as Sikorsky, Power Systems Manufacturing, BRPH, and Gulfstream. Education partners include Palm Beach County School District, Florida Atlantic University, Palm Beach State College, Flight Safety International and Boynton Aeronautical School, Inc., which is one of eight FAA certified Part 147 programs in Florida.

More than a dozen employers in Palm Beach County and Treasure Coast are participating in the new marine and aviation/aerospace pre-apprenticeship programs, including Gulfstream Aviation, Boca Aircraft Maintenance, Pursuit Boats, Whiticar Boats and others. 

Employers interested in participating in the programs will:

  • Access a talented pool of candidates
  • Obtain funding to support training
  • Build a flexible, dynamic workforce with common skillsets

Employers interested in learning about these and other apprenticeships programs can access www.careersourcepbc.com or contact gcope@careersourcepbc.com for more information.

During the past 5 program years, CareerSource Palm Beach County has awarded $23 million in grants to area businesses and employees for job training and educational assistance. We also support Apprentice Florida, a partnership between the Florida Department of Education, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and CareerSource Florida. The program encourages and assists businesses in establishing apprenticeships, and educates individuals about pursuing careers through apprenticeships.

Your Regional Economic Outlook

The most recent unemployment rate for Palm Beach County is a record low 2.7 percent, that was lower than the nation’s rate at 3.4 percent (all numbers not seasonally adjusted). This is a local increase of 5,600 jobs as measured in Dec. 2019 compared to Dec. 2018.

What Does the Future Hold for the Economy?

After many years of research and practical experience most economists would agree that predicting the timing of a substantial economic course correction is almost impossible. There are four clear signs when this economic expansion begins to show the signs of aging, and turn downward: 

  1. The Fear Factor
  2. Falling Consumer Confidence
  3. A Worsening Trade War
  4. The Yield Curve

Take for example the recent inversion of the yield curve between 3-month and 10-year Treasury’s that took place in 2019. Some fear inversions signal that the economy will enter recession, but that hasn’t happened. Indeed, the inversions that took place in 1966 and 1998 were not followed by recessions either. 

One reason yield curve inversions happen is that investors are selling stocks and shifting their money to bonds. They’ve lost confidence in the economy and believe the meager returns that bonds promise might be better than potential losses they could incur by holding stocks into a recession. So demand for bonds goes up and the yields they pay go down. 

The curve may also have inverted because of the Federal Reserve. The market may be saying the Fed has kept the benchmark short-term rate it controls too high and that the central bank should cut rates further because the economy is slowing.  

Some market observers said that this time around the yield curve has been distorted by more than $15 trillion worth of foreign bonds that pay negative interest rates, and negative interest rates are another trend that seems to make little economic sense.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, central banks around the globe have never been able to return interest rates to historically normal levels. They lowered interest rates to zero, and even below in some cases, to fight the Great Recession. Interest rates and bond yields have been low all through the recovery and expansion that followed, and they’re low still. So no reason to panic, some market observers say, because this is now the new normal. 

What about the fear factor or falling consumer confidence? The stock market valuations have increased over the last 5 years more than 64 percent, despite day to day changes which do not constitute a trend. In Jan. 2020 national consumer confidence is up to 99.1 percent from 89.8 percent in Aug. 2019. Florida consumer confidence is 100.1 percent in December 2019 and is consistently in the high 90 percent range.  

How about a worsening trade war? The initial trade pact signed with China is a path toward a future of fair and reciprocal trade, the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was signed into law, a mutually beneficial win for North American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses. 

The jobless rate in Palm Beach County is 2.7 percent, in the United States it’s 3.4 percent, the lowest since 1969, inflation is only 1.6 percent. Wage growth and productivity have picked up, and interest rates remain low. Longer term, the overall economic environment is still very positive indeed.  

Professional Placement Network Celebrates One Year Anniversary 

To mitigate hiring challenges businesses face in this competitive market, CareerSource Palm Beach County launched the Professional Placement Network (PPN) in Jan. 2019 to provide specialized services for managerial to executive-level professionals who are transitioning careers, have been displaced, or are looking for new career growth opportunities. Salaries from participants placed into jobs after taking the monthly courses totaled $4.1 million at year-end 2019!

The PPN links career-seeking professionals with opportunities for networking and skills assessments along with no-cost workshops for resume development, effective social media techniques, job interview skills and more.

“The words ‘thank you’ don’t begin to express my gratitude. The impact the PPN team and workshop has had on my career path is immeasurable,” Michael S. said, a PPN graduate.

 After completing the program, Michael created a new resume and applied to the same positions he had previously applied to. Within 72 hours, Michael reported he had scheduled 11 phone interviews with some of the best hospitals in the nation.

 “I had submitted the original resume version to all of these jobs and heard nothing for almost 3 months,” Michael said. “I went back and resubmitted my resume and the turnaround time was incredible. It was within hours, not months, for them to reach out to start scheduling interviews.”

 Learn how the PPN can help you recruit top managerial/professional talent for your business by contacting Business Services Director Judy Dunn at jdunn@careersourcepbc.com .