Working For Brevard
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“I had the opportunity, in a slow-down period, to have people do training in my practice on a level that is useful for the program, useful for the student, and is useful to me. As an employer, you can build a pool of people who have already been through your doors when you are ready to rehire.”
Quote from EMPLOYER, Donna Ivery, M.D., Titusville, on employee training funds provided through Brevard Workforce:
Part of what helps businesses and job seekers realize the advantages that Brevard Workforce can provide is seeing and hearing the stories of those who have achieved business growth sooner, secured resources for hiring and training, and started new careers in stable positions through Brevard Workforce programs.
New Beginning: Waheb Samarie
After years of struggling in war-torn Iraq as an IT entrepreneur and US contractor employee, University of Technology in Baghdad graduate Waheb Samarie began the process of emigrating to the US; an arduous process that eventually brought him and his family legally and safely to Melbourne in July 2009. He immediately began to look for work to support his family through Brevard Workforce, where he was assigned a career coach and attended several workshops. In a short time, Samarie applied for work at TSC, which operates a new inbound call center in Rockledge, a company he felt could offer him chances for advancement. Very quickly Samarie climbed the ranks at TSC and now heads the I.T. Department, overseeing all the networking and computer operations.
Florida Back to Work, a completed program, provided federal funding for jobs for Floridians who received, or are eligible to receive, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Covering 95 percent of the costs of employment, employers contributed the in-kind cost of the employee supervision and training and a cash contribution to cover the remaining 5 percent cost.
After more than a year of being unemployed and relying on public assistance, Cameron Humes discovered Brevard Workforce’s Career Center in Cocoa and the Back To Work Program. Soon after it was determined that he qualified, Humes began his training at TSC Solutions, an inbound call center in Rockledge that opened in January 2010. He was later promoted from sales representative to supervisor of four sales teams, now earning roughly $35,000 per year.
Through the Back to Work Program, one company, TSC hired 533 employees, who earned between $9 – $15 per hour and received medical coverage after 90 days of employment.
Peter Arcario exemplifies what can be accomplished with perseverance and thoughtful assistance. Arcario, now with web development and network support firm Blue Tangerine Solutions in Melbourne, overcame medical issues and financial challenges to restart his career in information technology. Several major surgeries over 10 years kept Peter out of work and impacted his ability to keep current in IT.
The Back To Work Program allowed Brevard Workforce to provide Blue Tangerine Solutions with resources that enabled them to hire and train Arcario and several others they would not have been able to be employed.
Brevard Workforce provides help to youth entering the job marketplace.
Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, 46 young adults successfully completed the EMERGE! program, with internships in 43 businesses. Brevard Workforce covered all compensation, including pay, insurance and liability. Please view the Melinda Griffith story.
The law firm of Vance, Lotane and Bookhardt brought on Sherrita Thompson and Ketoura Battle as interns after they completed two weeks of pre-placement training through Emerge! Thompson, formerly a cosmetologist, began filing lawsuits and developing correspondence for clients of the firm within a few weeks of starting. Battle also showed initiative and dedication to her work, and both became valued members of the firm’s staff. They were hired as full- time employees, and are now pursuing degrees as paralegals.
It takes such opportunities to help our young people develop and contribute to the workforce and the community. There is currently no funding for EMERGE! This important program for our youth is a successful model and Brevard Workforce hopes it can be reinstated.