ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County has the third-highest unemployment rate in Florida behind Osceola and Miami-Dade, according to CareerSource of Central Florida.
In Orange County, the unemployment rate was at 8% in October, according to an Orlando Economic Partnership study.
Due to the high number of people still out of work because of the pandemic, CareerSource of Central Florida is partnering with Valencia College to offer career resources for free for qualifying candidates through the Help is Here program.
To qualify you must be an Orange County resident over 18 years old with proof you lost your job or hours due to the pandemic. CareerSource of Central Florida offers several programs funded through the $7 million received from Orange County’s Federal CARES act funding to help those unemployed.
“These are complementary services that people may not know these resources exist,” said Lesley Harris, Senior Manager of Communications for CareerSource of Central Florida.
Here’s the thing though: That funding is set to expire on Dec. 31. Meaning those free resources available right now to help land you a job are only available for three more weeks.
1) CERTIFIED CAREER TRAINING THROUGH VALENCIA COLLEGE
Through the Help is Here Program, CareerSource is partnering with Valencia College to offer 13 accelerated certified career training courses at the Orange County Convention Center. At the Orange County Convention Center 88 students were enrolled so far in programs like Commercial Truck Driving, IT Networking and Clinical Medical Assisting.
“These are accelerated training programs designed to get people in high-wage, high-demand positions here in Central Florida,” said Carolyn McMorran, Associate Vice Principal for Profession Continuing Education at Valencia College. “They range $15 dollars or higher and that’s what we call high-wage.”
Inside the morning IT Networking class Thursday was Victor Wilson. He is a father of five who was furloughed from his regional sales job due to the pandemic in April. By May, his family was homeless. Now, they are all living in a hotel. His wife, a home health care worker, was also furloughed in October. Together, they applied for and qualified for the training through Valencia College.
The program also offers students a $125/week stipend and gave the Wilson’s a bus pass for their one and half hour ride to and from the convention center.
“This came at the best time possible,” Wilson said. “I am feeling, I want to say a sense of accomplishment. I worked really hard in life to better myself and this was actually provided to me, I didn’t have to hunt for it. I saw it and applied for it and they contacted me and look at me - I’m doing what I love.”
Some classes already began on November 30th. However, another round of classes are still available starting as soon as Monday.
Classes that still have openings
Electronic Board Assembly – Dec 7 10 seats still available
Distribution Operations Tech – Dec 7 12 seats still available
Carpentry – Dec 7 12 seats still available
Apartment Maintenance Tech – Dec 14 8 seats still available
Certified Production Tech – Dec 14 10 seats still available
Microsoft Office Specialist – Dec 14 10 seats still available
2) GUARANTEED ONE-ON-ON INTERVIEWS THROUGH CAREERSOURCE
CareerSource of Central Florida is also offering guaranteed one-on-one interviews through the Help is Here program. Since receiving the funding in July, the non-profit has been able to help 2,000 people but the goal is to help 4,000. So the goal is to help 2,000 more before the end of the year and CareerSource is working with partners and major companies in Central Florida to set up guaranteed one-on-one interviews with companies in demand to hire right now.
“There are companies who are hiring right now, positions in industries like health care, transportation, telecommunications, positions opened right now,” Harris said. “We can connect you directly with one of our partners and these wages range anywhere from $12 to $23 dollars an hour.”
Help is Here: Guaranteed Interviews with Participating Hiring Companies (careersourcecentralflorida.com)
3) FREE ONE-ON-ONE JOB AND RESUME PREP
In order to get you ready for that guaranteed interview, CareerSource of Central Florida is also offering free job help from interview preparations and tips to resume building.
“We can take a look at your resume, look at your skill sets,” Harris added. “Our goal is to help 4,000 Orange county residents for Help is Here, so we can help 2,000 more people, that is why we encourage people to contact us, even if it is assistance with your resume or interview prep or just connections directly to hiring companies.”
Help is Here: www.careersourcecentralflorida.com/HelpisHere
Phone Number: 1-800-757-4598 (Press Option #6 for Help is Here)