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A double whammy for Florida’s unemployed: Limited jobs and dwindling help

July 6, 2020 | Filed under: CareerSource Broward News

Via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ibn Short, a former University of Kentucky track star, had no job and no prospects. But he decided to bypass unemployment benefits anyway. 

Instead, he consulted CareerSource Broward, the nonprofit job search and training agency that helps the unemployed get back on their feet. Once an aspiring Olympian, he wants to become a dental hygienist. His girlfriend is studying to be a nurse.

“Right now, I’m working to get in a dental office,” the Fort Lauderdale resident said. “That’s the ultimate goal. I ended up moving to Florida with no big experience. They showed me some programs. I always had an interest in dentistry, and they told me to go for it. I had nothing lose.”

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Carol Hylton, who took over as CEO of CareerSource Broward this week, said the agency is hearing from employers looking for workers in manufacturing, accounting, delivery and public safety. Other companies are seeking health care professionals such as pharmacists, nurses and psychologists. Technology support specialists, customer service representatives and cashiers are also in demand. 

“Businesses that did not normally do as much in technology now are seeking resources to do that,” she said. 

As the pandemic persisted, she said the agency inaugurated online services to help its clients train for new occupations or seek new jobs. CareerSource operated a series of virtual job fairs in May and June and is looking to do more. Among the participating employers: Walmart, Walgreen’s, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and American Medical Depot. 

Many of CareerSource Broward’s two dozen sister agencies around the state are doing the same.

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