Brevard, FL–U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor, Chris Lu met with Lisa Rice, president, CareerSource Brevard (CSB), the area authority on workforce development, and local employees and business leaders at Craig Technologies in Cape Canaveral, FL on Friday, July 10 for a roundtable discussion on the job training and employment assistance programs created in response to the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program.
CSB arranged for nine former aerospace workers and their employers from BCS Life Support, LLC, Craig Technologies, Inc., Deck 4 Innovations, Inc., Space Coast Aviation Services, Voyager Aviation, and Helical Communication Technologies to meet with the Deputy Secretary.
In 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded a $15 million National Emergency Grant to the Brevard Workforce Development Board, Inc. (dba CareerSource Brevard), to minimize the amount of time workers were unemployed and assist them in expanding their skills to attract potential employers. The event shed light on local progress in support of employment transition and training assistance programs. Discussions highlighted CareerSource Brevard’s support of the aerospace workforce after retirement of the shuttle program, the transition and employment experiences of former aerospace workers, and the workforce needs and strategies of local employers.
Employer representatives discussed how they took advantage of the CSB Aerospace Workforce Transition program and the former aerospace employees were able to discuss their experiences with participating in services made available through CSB. In particular, on-the-job training (OJT) funding helped local employers hire former aerospace employees by assisting with training dollars made available for the employee’s transition into new industries and careers. CSB’s BizLaunch program, a networking and skill-building group for aspiring entrepreneurs, also helped several former aerospace employees become business owners who now have been able to hire their former aerospace peers.
“Having the opportunity to explain to Deputy Director Lu how CareerSource Brevard began conversations in September 2007 with multiple stakeholders regarding a shuttle retirement plan, and then demonstrating how the community has worked together to produce a vibrant, diversified economy was an exciting opportunity”, remarked Rice. “Director Lu now has direct insight from former aerospace workers that the CSB services helped them strike out on their own as business owners or increased their skills and value to employers.”
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CareerSource Brevard is a non-profit, regional public/private partnership under CareerSource Florida. Workforce Boards create local workforce development systems through one-stop career centers which combine multiple federal, state, and local program funds, providing comprehensive services, labor market information and access to resources for businesses and job seekers. Visit www.careersourcebrevard.com for more information about our services and resources.