Joyce Marie Taylor
North Florida Workforce Development Board (NFWDB) Executive Director Sheryl Rehberg updated the Lafayette County Commissioners on the progress of their employment program in the county.
The NFWDB regional office is in Madison and there is a One-Stop office in Live Oak, as well as two mobile career labs that circle the region of six counties.
“We have re-instituted a day in Mayo and we’re hoping for increased participation with job seekers and businesses here,” said Rehberg.”We have seen some increase in job orders, which we’re very grateful for.”
At a recent quarterly meeting of the State Workforce Board in West Palm Beach, Rehberg said she received recognition from Chairman Dwayne Ingram for being at the top of the governor’s daily job placement report for two months in a row, June and July. News such as this, as well as current job openings, Rehberg said, can be found on their Facebook page, North Florida Workforce.
“We’re very proud of the increase in business that the workforce board is getting lately,” Rehberg said. “We have a number of good economic development projects in the works. We’ve had several announced recently, so jobs are coming to our region. It may be slow. It takes a long time, but jobs are coming.”
The workforce board, she explained, is where people can get connected to those jobs.
“There has been a phenomenal increase in participation from Lafayette County,” she said.
In past years, she said, only one or two youth at the most participated in their summer employment program. This past year, however, 11 youth from Lafayette County participated.
“Since May of this year, we’ve had three of them graduate from high school,” said Rehberg. “We had two of them who we recovered, two drop-outs, who have received their GED diplomas. Two of these kids are in college now; one at FSU and another one at Santa Fe College.”
Another one is working full time in town since participating in the program, she added, and he plans to start college in January.
Currently, there are five high school students from LHS in the program and one is working at the school, Rehberg added. Yet another one has just received his GED and is working full time in Lake City.
“We have some of the best kids that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and our staff working with,” Rehberg said.
In following these young people, she said, it is wonderful to see them meet their education and career goals.
“That’s what we want to make sure we are focusing on to help build strong communities,” Rehberg said.
She told the commissioners she wasn’t asking for anything from them other than to spread the word.
“I would like to thank Commissioner (Donnie) Hamlin for his faithful support to our workforce consortium,” Rehberg said.
The North Florida Workforce Development Board’s main office is at 705 E. Base Street in Madison and their phone number is 850-973 9675. The Live Oak satellite office is located at 815 North Ohio Avenue and their phone number is 386-362-7000.