OCALA, Fla. (June 1, 2017) – CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is pleased to announce the award of $20,800 from the Duke Energy Foundation in support of public school career programs throughout the region.

The award will be presented at CareerSource CLM’s June 14 board meeting at the Klein Conference Center at the College of Central Florida in Ocala.

Funds will underwrite production of Career Awareness-Talent Pipeline videos highlighting public school programs that prepare students for careers in manufacturing, logistics and information technology.

The Duke Energy Foundation invests in a number of core priorities including “K to Career” educational and workforce development initiatives.

“Duke Energy is proud to support CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion,” said Harry Sideris, president of Duke Energy Florida. “We invest in workforce development initiatives to help create a skilled workforce and make a positive impact in the communities we serve. These programs enable local residents to receive training in high-demand fields and land opportunities with businesses in the region.”

The career awareness video program was piloted last year in Marion County. Working with the Marion County School Board, College of Central Florida and Mid-Florida Regional Manufacturers Association (MRMA), the program featured 20 area manufacturers with videos highlighting their products, work environment and required skills for successful employment.

Marion County students viewed the videos through in-school television; the videos were also used to help educate guidance staff about advanced manufacturing opportunities within the three-county area.In addition to the Duke Energy Foundation award, businesses featured in the initial videos, as well as those set for production this summer, will be recognized by the CareerSource CLM board.

The career awareness video project is one of several initiatives launched by CareerSource CLM to address the region’s skills gaps. Among the concerns were those voiced by area manufacturers who believe industry is not understood by those who could steer students to careers in advanced manufacturing.

CareerSource CEO Rusty Skinner said that much of that is based on outdated and inaccurate information and bias about the industry which is seen as low-skill, low-wage, dead end labor.

“The pilot videos were designed to bust the myth that manufacturing is nothing more than a sweatshop with no future,” Skinner said. “The reality is that today’s advanced manufacturing is high-tech and high-skill with better than average pay, job stability and plenty of opportunity for advancement.”

Skinner noted that the project is designed to expand the number and type of businesses participating in all three counties as well as engage the three school districts to highlight their career programs. It has been endorsed by all three school districts.

Dr. Heidi Maier, superintendent of Marion County Public Schools, said in the district’s letter of support that having a way to promote career programs to students, parents and area businesses, as well as engage the business community in developing curriculum to meet their industry needs, is “critical to the success of our students.”

Sandra Himmel, superintendent of Citrus County Schools, said the videos provide a “cost-effective solution to reaching employers in our ever-widening labor force area” as well as “better informs the community and parents of our students about career options throughout the district.”

Jeffrey R. Edison, superintendent of the School Board of Levy County, said that “as the economy continues to grow and become more skill based, with high-demand skills, it is essential that we work together to build partnerships … The opportunity to recruit new business partners to our area will provide employment that will allow our children to live and grow in our local communities.”

Career Awareness-Talent Pipeline videos may be viewed on CareerSource CLM’s Facebook video page and YouTube playlist. For more information, call 352-873-7955 or 800-746-9950.

Media Contacts:

Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
CSCLM Communications Manager
O: 352-291-9559 | C: 352-816-1264

Peveeta Persaud, APR
Duke Energy Corporate Communications
O: 727-820-5592 | C: 352-216-0150

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