Gadsden County commissioners heard a report from Jim McShane, CEO of CareerSource Capital Region (former WorkForce Plus) that represents Gadsden, Leon and Wakulla counties.
McShane said Employment and Career Resources are offered at the Gadsden County location on Pat Thomas Parkway that include such items as testing and assessments and employment search skills.
Also offered, he stated, are career development seminars, resume/interview preparation, job-matching referrals, access to local, state and national salary and labor market information education, and training programs.
There is financial aid information available, he added.
Through CareerSource there is screening for training programs, scholarships and training information available, he said.
McShane said there were approximately 6,000 jobs available online.
McShane also stated he had reached out in the community and in addition to the main office in Quincy there were now two satellite offices at the Havana Learning Center in Havana and in Chattahoochee.
One of the primary functions of the organizations, he said, was to train employees and retrain people who had lost their jobs.
When asked by commissioner Doug Croley about the training program, he responded that the workforce is changing and in order to qualify for many of the jobs, future employee candidates must be trained.
He continued, saying that they train for existing jobs that are now on the market.
When asked about the recent closing of Quincy Joist, McShane said that they met with employees prior to the closing and offered training.
When asked by Croley how many participated in the training, McShane responded that none took advantage of the offered training.
Commissioner Brenda Holt asked about the Gadsden Technical Institute and McShane said that CareerSource worked closely with that organization and stated principal Debra Rackley was a member of his board.
Holt had concerns that the people in the community were not hearing about jobs and training that are available at CareerSource.
McShane said they had received $100,000 for advertising.
CareerSource is federally-funded, he explained, and required to follow federal guidelines concerning their training and other programs.
Commissioner Sherrie Taylor stated that “the folks in Gadsden County have no faith in WorkForce Plus.” She said local people were not getting jobs through the program.
“Obviously what you have is not working,” she said of the inability of local people to find jobs through the programs.
She asked how many of the 6,000 jobs were in Gadsden County and McShane said he did not know, but would get that number to her.
When asked what types of jobs were available, McShane said that health care, transportation and retail were the top types of jobs available.
Taylor told McShane that “we need a plan” to get local people jobs.
McShane stated that he was aware of the problems that Taylor spoke about and was working on solutions.
He said he had only been at the helm for a short time and said by October it should be significantly better.
In other business, Clerk of Courts Nicholas Thomas spoke to the commission about two issues concerning revenues.
First, Thomas said that the commission should expect to see a drop in gas tax revenues and that he opposed any new gas taxes.
If you take on any new roads to maintain, he stated, then you will see a drop in the transportation fund.
Thomas said that over the years the county had tacked $30 of additional monies on tickets that was intended to be used for courthouse upkeep. The money, however, has gone into the general fund for other funding.
He wanted that money earmarked back to fund renovations needed at the courthouse.
He said there was a mold issue from years of leaks and other water intrusions and that he had complaints from employees about breathing problems.
County administrator Robert Presnell said that a contractor has looked at some of the problems. He was tasked to bring back a plan for courthouse renovations.