- New Initiative Counters Commercial Truck Driver and Other Skilled Labor Shortages
Countering current labor shortages, an innovative correctional career readiness initiative in Florida, powered by WIN Learning, is paving pre-release pathways to employment for soon-to-be-returning citizens while providing ready to work new hires for Florida employers. In partnership with Florida HIRES (Helping Inmates Realize Employment Success), WIN Learning is leading a coalition of public and private partners to prepare incarcerated individuals within 180 days of release from the Florida Department of Corrections with essential soft skills and technical skills training, including commercial truck driving.
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“The Florida HIRES commercial driver license (CDL) program is creating a pipeline of talent to keep the supply chain moving and providing in-demand skills to individuals in the justice system that will help them provide for themselves and their families upon release,” said Michelle Dennard, CareerSource Florida President and CEO.
Those who complete the Florida HIRES CDL program earn a ‘Class B’ commercial driver license, allowing operation of commercial box trucks, concrete mixers and sanitation vehicles. While there is no guarantee of employment, 100 percent of Florida HIRES CDL graduates have received job offers while incarcerated and completing their sentence.
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Florida HIRES also provides core construction, heavy equipment operation, electrical, advanced manufacturing, warehousing and logistics, and customer service / hospitality training. Participants receive intensive employability training and earn the Florida Soft Skills Credential, a stackable credential validating mastery of the communication, professionalism, teamwork, critical thinking and problem-solving skills most in-demand by employers across industry sectors.
“It takes innovative thinking and collaboration to create win-win opportunities for jobseekers and employers. The WIN Learning suite of digital career readiness solutions are the foundational first step toward technical training, on-the-job training, apprenticeship, and ultimately employment success,” said Teresa Chasteen, CEO of WIN Learning. “There is nothing more empowering for those who are returning from incarceration to their families and the community than meaningful and sustainable employment.”
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