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Why Workforce Development Matters

As the baby boomer generation nears retirement, experts anticipate a shortage of skilled workers to replace them. Employers need skilled workers to replenish these dwindling numbers and workforce development programs seek to fill this need. Workforce development focuses on developing both technical and soft skills ranging from timeliness, personal finance, presentation skills, programming and manufacturing in addition to exposure to career fairs, local businesspeople and opportunities to earn certifications and put these skills into practice. These skills and experiences create work-ready graduates who are vital in supporting current and future business and industrial needs.

Duval County Public Schools encourage workforce development across the district with a wide range of programs that focus on engineering, technology education, cosmetology, marketing, health science, hospitality, arts, finance and information technology. A recent partnership between the Internal Revenue Service, the United Way of Northeast Florida and the VyStar academy has trained over 100 Jean Ribault High School students to serve as Volunteer Income Tax Preparers in their community. This opportunity provides students with a chance to practice what they’ve learned in the classroom while building their skills in the field. At the Frank H. Peterson Academies, students have the chance to earn certifications and build their skills in cosmetology, culinary arts, early childhood care, robotics, automotive mechanics and communication technologies. Peterson Academies’ programs give students a chance to explore different fields and build enough experience to either enter the workforce directly upon graduation or provide a head-start on vocational training. These programs enable Duval County Public Schools to produce trained and experienced graduates ready to join the work force.

Through Communities In Schools’ programs, partnerships with local businesses and organizations, we strive to provide students with opportunities to practice and hone their skills. CIS’ partnership with the Shiva Robotics Academy gives students the opportunity to develop their coding skills as well as allowing them a chance to build and design functional robots while fostering a passion for Information Technologies. We collaborate with local financial institutions for our “Mad Money” talks, where a finance professional visits one of our high schools to give a talk on money management. Our volunteers and case managers work with students one-on-one to develop interview skills and help them build their resumes.

Communities In Schools of Jacksonville relies on volunteers and community partners to help prepare our students for a successful future. To learn more about guest speaking opportunities or hosting a trip to your place of business, please email Volunteer@CISJax.org.