Featuring: CareerSource Brevard Board member and President & CEO, Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast, Lynda Weatherman
Exerpt from Space Coast Business Magazine, May 1, 2019:
Brevard County is…a place that is large enough in the advancement of new and cutting-edge careers and large enough to have the kind of amenities everyone looks for. Yet it is of a size where involvement and meaningful engagement are limited only by your willingness. All because of a commitment to a public/private partnership that has spanned decades.
One of the major shifts our EDC has made is to raise awareness of the mounting need for talent across the job spectrum. One could almost say that economic development and workforce development have, in some ways, become synonymous.
Working with CareerSource Brevard, significant headway has been made particularly in the area of manufacturing. Brevard boasts over 500 manufacturing companies in aviation, aerospace, medical equipment, communications, transportation and others. Not only is demand high, as 55 percent of the people in this sector are 45 years or older, job stability ranks second and the wages are 21 percent higher than the average in the U.S.
To address this need, the EDC has launched efforts under what it calls, “Seeing Manufacturing Through New Eyes.” It is designed to develop a new paradigm of what manufacturing careers can be like for both young people and the parents who help guide them, particularly making them aware that most modern manufacturing jobs are STEM related.
Part of this is the Certified Production Technician Training Program (CPT), which is a ten-week course to prepare people for entry into the manufacturing arena. Once they are placed, they are introduced to stackable industry certifications, which allow upward advancement.
“Almost organically, these individuals are coming back to us about individual training they want to complete that is geared to where they want to specialize,” Weatherman said. Adding that 87 percent of the individuals who have completed CPT have been placed in jobs.