“Level Up Orange” increases income with free job support, training, paid internships and neighborhood resources to overcome employment challenges and increase wages
Orange County, Florida – Orange County Commissioners have invested $10.3 million in federal grants with CareerSource Central Florida, the region’s official workforce development board, to support an equitable recovery for the region from the troubles jobs related to the pandemic thanks to a new program called Upper level orange.
With federal funding from the American Rescue Plan, the new Upper level orange The initiative is designed to help Orange County residents overcome challenges that limit their earning potential and help Orange County businesses develop new audiences for potential employees.
The program offers free personal career coaches, job search support, paid academic and technical training, and paid internships for those looking to increase their income or career path..
Any Orange County resident who has been financially impacted by the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic is eligible. This includes not only unemployment, but also reduced work hours, reduced income, loss of opportunities for advancement, or barriers to employment such as childcare, transportation, or unique personal challenges.
“The Orange County government is proud to work with CareerSource to fund the Level Up program,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings. “We hope this will pave the way for people affected by the pandemic by giving them new job skills. It’s exciting to have a partnership that benefits the whole community.
“The pandemic has changed the workforce industry forever,” said Pamela Nabors, president and CEO of CareerSource Central Florida. “The strongest message right now is how the new employee mindset is creating unprecedented hiring challenges for companies. too it is true that there are populations whose incomes are still disproportionately affected by the changes caused by the pandemic due to the problems of childcare, transport and personal employment. Level Up Orange helps find these individuals and create personalized pathways to employment – at no cost to them – so our entire region benefits.
Who is eligible?
Any Orange County resident impacted by the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic is eligible.
Particular emphasis will be placed on personalized outreach in nine priority ZIP Codes whose residents tend to have lower incomes and higher barriers to employment, such as reliable transportation. (See end of press release). To reach these residents, CareerSource Central Florida launched a new Neighborhood Navigator program, a street team that connects daily with residents at their neighborhood libraries, community centers, churches, schools, community service organizations, and local events. Special outreach will also be given to businesses within a five-mile radius of these ZIP codes, so residents can find jobs easily close to home.
Level Up Orange will provide special attention and programs for veterans, those involved in the justice system and residents with disabilities.
The Level Up Orange program will provide county residents with valuable resources — at no cost to them — including career exploration, job training, and job placement services under the guidance of a personal career coach. Coaches will work closely with career seekers to assess their abilities, enroll in paid training programs, prepare for and secure interviews, and land positions paying a minimum of $15/hour. Those who apply will have the opportunity to hone their skills and seek higher-paying careers in booming industries in Orlando.
The program runs until December 31, 2024 and will include initiatives to:
- Increase interest and awareness of public service jobs;
- Support specific industries disproportionately affected by the pandemic and/or in emerging sectors with high demand;
- Launch a paid internship program for high school students in Orange County;
- Develop innovative and technology-driven training programs.
Businesses and residents can visit www.LevelUpOrange.com to complete a brief two-minute form. Qualified individuals will receive a call from their own personal career coach within 48 hours.
Parramore (32801), Clear Lake (32805), Pine Hills (32808), Lockhart (32810), Orlo Vista (32811), Hiawassee (32818), Apopka (32703), SE Orlando (32822), Edgewood/Pine Castle (32839 )