NEW CITRUS COUNTY PROGRAM OFFERS SERIOUS FUN, HELPS BUILD WORKFORCE PIPELINE
Media Contact: Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
Direct: 352-291-9559 | Mobile: 352-816-1264
INVERNESS, Fla. (July 15, 2016) – Duke Energy, the Economic Development Authority for Citrus County and CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion have joined forces to sponsor a summer camp designed to help develop a talent pipeline in manufacturing.
The camp, put on by CareerSource CLM and held at Withlacoochee Technical College, is free to rising high school freshmen and sophomores. It is sponsored by EDACC through a $5,110 contribution which is part of a $450,000 grant from Duke Energy to support local economic development.
The four-day Manufacturing Summer Camp, which starts July 18, is a first in Citrus County. Campers will get the opportunity to work in teams and experience the world of manufacturing through the use of technology, including quality management, 3D design and printing, and design and drafting for Computer Numeric Controlling machines.
Participants will also travel to the College of Central Florida in Ocala to work in the college’s engineering technology lab.
“This fun and interesting camp encourages creativity, imagination, ingenuity and thinking ‘outside the box,’” said Don Taylor, EDACC board president. “Beyond that, it demonstrates how business, education, economic and workforce development partners are working together to expand access to, and awareness of, advanced manufacturing training and career opportunities.”
Dorothy Pernu, Duke Energy’s North Coastal Zone community relations manager said the company is proud to support the summer manufacturing camp.
“This program aligns directly with Duke Energy’s workforce and economic development investment priorities,” Pernu said, adding that it will “help prepare our local students and create a skilled workforce in our community.”
The latest Quarterly Census Employment and Wage data for private industry shows that as of Dec. 31, 2015 Citrus County had 62 manufacturing establishments with 445 employees earning an average weekly wage of $847 which is 16 percent more than the average weekly wage for all industries in the county.
Within the Citrus, Levy and Marion counties’ area, there were 352 manufacturing establishments with 8,796 employees earning an average weekly wage of $838, which is 20 percent more than the average for all industries.
Among neighboring counties with positive job growth in manufacturing (Alachua, Hernando, Lake, Sumter and Volusia), there are 1,026 manufacturing establishments with 21,041 employees earning an average weekly wage of $940, or 28 percent more than the average weekly wage for all industries.
According to CareerSource CEO Rusty Skinner, a snapshot of current manufacturing job openings shows there are eight in Citrus County, 49 in the three-county area, 1,468 in the surrounding region and, at any given time, 4,500 open positions throughout the state.
Rob Adamiak, executive director of the Mid-Florida Regional Manufacturers Association (MRMA) said that programs such as the summer camp are needed to “expose students to exciting opportunities working in manufacturing (because) we have great shortage of people to fill high-skill, high-pay positions in advanced manufacturing.”
Adamiak noted that many positions do not require four- year degrees but two-year degrees and/or certifications that are available at local schools.
CareerSource’s Skinner pointed out that those interested in continuing their education, however, will find that in many cases manufacturing-related certifications from WTC can earn credit toward Associate degrees at the College of Central Florida which in turn can be the entry to a Bachelor’s and advanced degrees.
PHOTO Duke Energy and the Economic Development Authority for Citrus County present CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion with a $5,110 check to sponsor the Manufacturing Summer Camp at Withlacoochee Technical College. Pictured (L-R): Rob Adamiak, executive director of the Mid-Florida Regional Manufacturers Association; Laurie Newkirk, WTC automation and production technology instructor and summer camp teacher; Gloria Dumas Bishop, WTC director; Don Taylor, EDACC board president; Rusty Skinner, CEO of CareerSource CLM; Dorothy Pernu, APR, Duke Energy government and community relations manager; and Brenda Chrisman, CareerSource CLM business services officer.
The Economic Development Authority for Citrus County (EDACC) is a nonprofit investor- driven organization. The lead economic and community development organization in Citrus County, it was established to partner with the local government in recruiting diversified industry, provide private sector support, and to provide a funding vehicle for businesses to invest in the long-term vitality of the region.
Duke Energy Florida owns coal-fired and natural gas generation providing about 9,100 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.7 million customers in a 13,000-square-mile service area.
With its Florida regional headquarters located in St. Petersburg, Fla., Duke Energy is one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.4 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest, representing a population of approximately 24 million people. Its Commercial Portfolio and International business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a S&P 100 Stock Index company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.
CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion
CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is the local, business-led nonprofit that connects employers with qualified, skilled talent and job seekers with employment and career development opportunities. Last year, CareerSource CLM provided fee-free services to nearly 40,000 job seekers and more than 3,600 employers throughout the three-county area. CareerSource CLM operates four career centers including a center at 683 S. Adolph Point in Lecanto.