BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA– Brevard Workforce, the area authority on workforce development, hosted an intensive two-day information-sharing session to assist the state of North Carolina. Eighteen workforce professionals representing thirteen regional and state workforce organizations from North Carolina were present to hear about best practices at Brevard Workforce and to be introduced to innovations in delivery of services.

Earlier in the year, workforce leaders from North Carolina performed a national search to locate workforce boards best suited to identify with its state’s need to streamline workforce solutions. North Carolina reached out to Brevard Workforce because of its reputation for being a successful provider of integrated service delivery re-design and implementation.

Brevard Workforce has been recognized as a “best practice” leader in workforce service delivery since the early nineties. The Brevard Workforce design delivers integrated services and programs all under one roof to both their business and jobseeker customers in an effective and efficient way. This integrated service delivery model is “employer- focused” which has proven to be critical to job seeker success and is quickly becoming a national model for the delivery of workforce solutions.

Mical McFarland, JobLink manager with the Division of Workforce Solutions, NC Department of Commerce commented on his visit, “Brevard Workforce stands as a successful example of integrated services delivery implementation. Brevard shows what can truly be accomplished to better serve customers and has a streamlined system in place worth emulating.”

Brevard Workforce staff, with representatives from Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity, Brevard County’s economic development sector and area business and education partners, embraced the request and assembled for the two-day event. Brevard Workforce and partners shared insights, providing a “fire hose” of information and the tools to design a road map for successful delivery.

This information-rich event coupled with road-tested advice on lessons learned was further demonstrated through tours of Brevard Workforce’s three career centers. The goal of the event was to help North Carolina operate at the same level of integrated services as Brevard Workforce and to help them get there efficiently and effectively.

Steve Jones, assistant director with the Office of Workforce Development, City of Greensboro added, “As the state of North Carolina begins the process of integrating workforce delivery services, it was extremely informative to see the many ways in which Brevard Workforce was able to effectively merge state, local and contractor staff into both management and line staff functions. I was also particularly impressed with how the sector-based community process works and how fully integrated the business liaison role blends into that process. Your system is an excellent example of how to do workforce development right.”

Participants from North Carolina gained unique perspectives from two panel discussions comprised of Brevard’s key business leaders and workforce partners. The panel discussed the value of sharing resources, encouraging collaboration and building partnerships with Brevard Workforce and attributed that effort as key to the model’s success.

“Our visit to Brevard Workforce was invaluable! Everyone from staff, to contractors, to board members provided us with plans and ideas on how they have been so effective, and how we too can utilize some of these same tools to move forward and be a true workforce solution for North Carolina,” remarked Wendy Johnson, business services liaison with Western Piedmont Workforce Development Board. “I am excited to build a continued relationship with Brevard Workforce, sharing ideas and impacts that will benefit businesses and job seekers no matter which state they live in.”

Brevard Workforce panel included:

Lisa Rice, Brevard Workforce; Lynda Weatherman, Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast; Lois Scott, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity; Terry Schrumpf, Space Coast Spine and Rehab; Mildred Coyne, Eastern Florida State College; Linda South, Pagosa Solutions, former executive director of Brevard Workforce; William Chivers, Rush Construction, chairman of the board of Brevard Workforce; Linda Hadley, Brevard Workforce; and Howard Tipton, Brevard County Manager.

“Our partnerships, both locally and at the state level, are pivotal to the daily successes gained at Brevard Workforce,” stated Lisa Rice, president of Brevard Workforce. “And I want to thank these partners for sharing their perspective with our North Carolina workforce guests.”