Florida State College at Jacksonville: New Approaches Lead to Improved Outcomes
Posted 9/25/2017 6:38 PM by Angel Harlins
Learn more about how this grantee has created new approaches which led to improved outcomes for their participants. To share your promising practices or discuss strategies with fellow RTW grantees, join the discussion today!
H-1B Ready to Work (RTW) grantee Florida State College at Jacksonville’s (FSCJ) Information Technology Rapid Employment (I-Tech) program targets H-1B occupations in the high-demand computer information technology (CIT) industry of Jacksonville and the surrounding northeast Florida region.
The program includes an upfront assessment process, work-based learning activities, certification training, comprehensive supportive services, and articulation to advanced career ladder and lattice occupations.
The grantee is on track to meeting their performance goals and is excelling in job placements. As of June 2017, they have the fourth highest entered employment rate among RTW grantees. In addition, FSCJ has secured training-related employment for 99 percent of participants that were placed in jobs – the best performance rating amongst all RTW grantees. The two keys to their success have been effective marketing and keeping partners and participants engaged.
FSCJ started their grant with strong employer partnerships and a traditional marketing strategy that included banners, flyers, postcards, newspaper, radio ads, and word of mouth. By March 2016, these strategies for promoting their program and helping program completers secure employment were clearly working. FSCJ ranked seventh among their RTW peers in reaching their total targeted number of participants served. They were also successful in securing employment for their participants, ranking sixth, however they wanted to improve their program participant numbers. This proved to be more difficult than expected due to entities beyond their control.
Companies were changing their pre-employment requirements and focused on the bottom line. Limited funding was available for participant training. Participants also had unrealistic expectations about the results of the program, they were not following through as needed, and they lacked the soft skills employers desired. To increase participant enrollment and job placement, the program staff incorporated a variety of strategies, which included collaborating with the college’s marketing department, focusing on the development of new partnerships, and ensuring that participants and partners are engaged in new and exciting ways. These strategies were successful.
By June 2017, FSCJ was on track to meeting their goal for total number of participants served, had greatly improved their training enrollment and completion numbers, and continued to excel in job placement. The grantee was over 71 percent of the way to reaching their total targeted number of participants served, had more than tripled the number of participants that began training, and achieved 54 percent of their goal for total number of participants that completed training. FSCJ’s training completion rank among RTW grantees jumped to seventh highest.
The purpose of this resource brief is to provide a closer look at how one grantee managed to turn their performance around by increasing their marketing exposure to reach a larger, more targeted audience and changing their program design based on employer and participant needs. This brief describes FSCJ’s strategies in detail and provides a model of how your program can replicate the grantee’s success. To read more click here to read more about Florida's strategies.
If you are considering to implement new strategies, contact your your FPO. To share your promising practices or discuss strategies with fellow RTW grantees, join the discussion today!