Flagler Commission Approves CareerSource Changes

Flagler Commission Approves CareerSource Changes

Flagler County commissioners earlier this month approved an interlocal agreement to consolidate CareerSource Flagler/Volusia with Brevard County. The effort is part of a statewide initiative approved by officials in Tallahassee in 2021 to increase efficiency and accountability of the workforce development boards. The revamped agency is set to launch July 1.

Flagler County Attorney Al Hadeed briefed commissioners on the agreement and outlined some of the details involved with the consolidation effort.

“The consolidation has been a troublesome effort all throughout the state,” he said. “You’re essentially taking mature organizations and putting them together so you’re going to have some structural issues.”

Hadeed said his biggest concern with the reorganized workforce development agency is Flagler County issues being dwarfed by concerns in the other two counties which have considerably larger populations.

“This area we’re only 3% of the population,” he said. “We could be marginalized.”

Hadeed said in discussions with the other counties he worked to keep Flagler on an equal footing.

“What we pressed for was that there was no reason we shouldn’t have an equal voice with the other counties,” he said. In addition, the three counties agreed that all votes on the budget, program development and appointments to the workforce board would have to be unanimous.

“Everybody has to sit around and reach a consensus on how they are going to move forward,” Hadeed said.

Hadeed said it was important to ensure Flagler County is not overshadowed in the new entity because of how important CareerSource has been for residents and businesses.

“We’re a tiny player but this service is incredibly important in our community,” he said. “This is how people develop employment skills; this is now people get certain aid so they can function better in society, and this is where businesses come if they need a particular kind of skill.”

In addition to approving the interlocal agreement, commissioners voted to endorse the designation application creating the new agency, and to appoint Commissioner Donald O’Brien as the county’s representative on the consortium and Commission Chair Andy Dance as the alternate.

“I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to continue to serve,” O’Brien said. “It’s been an important part of what I do as a commissioner.”