JDR: The hiring challenge: With Northeast Florida unemployment less than 3 percent, how is business coping?

Link to article: https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/the-hiring-challenge-with-northeast-florida-unemployment-less-than-3-percent-how-is-business-coping

Education: Helping local companies fill positions

Florida State College at Jacksonville spokeswoman Jill Johnson said FSCJ works with employers throughout Duval and Nassau counties to fill vacancies in their organizations.

“Most of the programs we offer are currently in high demand as we work closely with our employers to create high-need programs aligned with the current job market,” she said.

Johnson, director of marketing and communications, said FSCJ staff routinely visit area businesses to discuss how the college can meet their needs.

“We take employer feedback very seriously and make adjustments to the programs to ensure we are meeting employer demands,” she said.

Johnson said FSCJ sees employee shortages in health care (nursing, dental, medical assisting, surgical tech, physical and occupational therapy assistant, surgical technology, medical assisting, paramedic); sales; IT; education; customer service; logistics; and police and fire, among others.

“We also speak to many employers requesting additional employees and training in areas such as advanced manufacturing, health care entry level workers, automotive, welding, electrical, HVAC, commercial truck drivers and medium and large diesel/bus technicians,” she said.

The college finds that students are attending FSCJ for career changes or augmentation “to make them more attractive to the ever-changing workforce.”

Johnson said students seek associate and baccalaureate degrees, vocational training and certifications, such as those to take state exams. As it builds degree programs, FSCJ assesses “the education and training needs of the local community to provide our students the skills needed to enter the job market.”

She said vocational training programs provide students with an industry credential that is in demand regionally, statewide and nationally.

“We regularly have employers send us job postings that we submit directly to our students. Employers are aware that we have students in these fields who are job-ready, some before they have completed their programs,” she said.

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