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CareerSource: ‘best-kept secret in Southwest Florida’

May 8, 2019
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

One of the most difficult things local businesses have to deal with is finding the right talent to employ. Those potential employees also seem to have a hard time finding the right company that is a fit for them.

On Tuesday, the first Lunch & Learn event was held at the North Fort Myers Recreation Center, where Sue Noe, project manager at CareerSource of Southwest Florida, talked about how businesses can help businesses find answers to their workforce challenges.

CareerSource is a federally funded, nonprofit agency working with the state and community partners to provide job preparation services free of charge. It works in the five-county Southwest Florida area (Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Glades and Hendry) and has offices statewide to help businesses not only find talent, but do it in a way that is most cost-effective.

As a business, the website offers resources for posting job openings, executive searches, relocation assistance, industry surveys, labor market data and a professional career network. It also assists individuals and businesses in finding cost-saving programs that can provide tax credits, skill-gap education, and more, Noe said.

For job seekers, especially those transitioning to other careers, it provides educational opportunities, services for veterans just out of the military and, for those with disabilities, reemployment assistance and more.

"We used to take care of unemployment, but now we do reemployment and job training instead in areas of need," Noe said.

Noe said CareerSource also holds career fairs at Florida Gulf Coast University, where more than 2,500 job seekers meet with nearly 80 businesses from throughout their district. It also holds hiring events at its centers, of which it has seven.

"We're the best-kept secret in Southwest Florida. Many businesses spend lots of money through career sites, but we don't charge for our services for employers or prospective workers," Noe said.

Both job seekers and employers were on hand.

Aman Bhogal, who has just obtained her master's degree in public administration in Virginia, focusing on health care, said she got information for potential job seekers.

"I'm looking to get into community development for small businesses. Opportunities and resources for small businesses for entrepreneurs in the community," Bhogal said, who has been doing as much networking as she can. "I didn't know this existed. I've only been in the area for two months, so I'm trying to get out there and check out the resources here."



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