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Students in Greater Fort Lauderdale are Ready for the Workforce

Broward County schools help fuel the region's workforce development engine.

By Teree Caruthers on October 14, 2022

Students from Broward County Public Schools in the Greater Fort Lauderdale region participate in events throughout the region that help prepare them for the working world.
Broward County Public Schools

A highly skilled and readily available workforce is the backbone of Greater Fort Lauderdale’s economic development success, largely thanks to the collaborative efforts of Broward County Public Schools (BCPS), the region’s colleges and universities, and workforce development organizations, such as CareerSource Broward.

Students from Broward County Public Schools in the Greater Fort Lauderdale region participate in events throughout the region that help prepare them for the working world.
Broward County Public Schools

Smart Starts

Broward County Public Schools’ Career, Technical, Adult and Community Education Department and the region’s three technical colleges provide students with opportunities to learn real-world skills, earn industry certifications, network with business leaders, obtain internships and explore paths to careers in high-wage, in-demand fields in the Greater Fort Lauderdale region, says Vickie Cartwright, Broward County Public Schools Superintendent.

“From middle and high school through postsecondary programs, students gain experience and hands-on training that provides a competitive edge for gaining employment,” she says.

Currently, BCPS offers 53 career and technical education (CTE) pathways and more than 200 individual pathways that provide students with exposure to local career opportunities. The school district also works with local industries and community organizations to offer events that allow students to interact with professionals and learn more about different occupations.

“From middle and high school through postsecondary programs, students gain experience and hands-on training that provides a competitive edge for gaining employment.”

Vickie Cartwright, Broward County Public Schools superintendent

For example, during TechGateway Day, industry professionals visit middle and high schools to speak with students about the many technology careers available in the region, and the Claim Your Future Showcase pairs business leaders with students to practice mock job interviews. Additionally, Engineer for a Day and Day in the Life of a Nurse allows students to get a glimpse of the working environment at local engineering firms and hospitals.

Students from Broward County Public Schools in the Greater Fort Lauderdale region participate in events throughout the region that help prepare them for the working world.
Broward County Public Schools

Skills Players

“We want students to stay here in Broward, so that is why we’ve placed such a high level of importance in the partnerships that we have with our businesses,” she says. 

In addition, BCPS boasts three of the largest technical colleges in Florida. With eight campuses across the county, Broward Technical Colleges offer more than 65 programs in high-skill, high-wage, high-demand fields, as well as GED and English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes.

“Broward Technical Colleges have awarded more industry certifications than any other educational institution in the state, as they train and prepare students to enter the workforce,” Cartwright says. 

She says that Broward Technical Colleges prioritize establishing meaningful relationships with multiple organizations, local businesses and industry professionals to expand opportunities for students and create awareness of financial aid, scholarships, internships, on-the-job placement and hiring options.

Students from Broward County Public Schools in the Greater Fort Lauderdale region participate in events throughout the region that help prepare them for the working world.
Broward County Public Schools

Connecting Businesses to Talent

One such organization is CareerSource Broward, which provides an array of workforce services to businesses and job seekers through its three CareerSource centers in the northern, central and southern parts of the county.

Through no-cost job postings, recruitment events, HR resources, apprenticeships and training programs, CareerSource connects companies with top-tier talent, which helps them remain viable and profitable.

“Now more than ever, upskilling and workforce training are the cornerstones to rebuilding our infrastructure of talent,” says Jennifer Becker, director of strategic innovation at CareerSource Broward.

“A robust workforce keeps the economy strong, growing and poised for competition with domestic and international rivals.”

CareerSource provides training to help job seekers enter the desired industry for the first time or advance in their careers. The organization also offers GED prep, career coaching, job matching, resume review, interview prep and the Employ Florida website, which lists statewide job postings.

“One of the pivotal roles of workforce development is to focus on an individual’s ability to grow their skills and develop the tools they need for career success. At CareerSource Broward, we help train individuals to be more productive and effective in the workplace, which benefits both them and their employers,” Becker says.

CareerSource Broward also works with local schools to help introduce students to local careers. Each year, for example, the organization hosts a summer program for 700 high school students, connecting them to paid internships in their areas of occupational interest.

“We have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in after-school programs to shore up graduation rates, connect youth to paid internships in areas of occupational interest, and we’ve even paid the tuition for students at Broward College and the technical colleges,” Becker says.

If you’d like to learn more about the Greater Fort Lauderdale Region, check out the latest edition of Livability: Greater Fort Lauderdale

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