CareerSource Tampa Bay and CareerSource Polk Expands Veterans Training Program

Tampa, FL-

CareerSource Tampa Bay (CSTB), in collaboration with CareerSource Polk (CSP), recently received a $ 3.1 million-dollar grant to expand current training for the region’s veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses. The grant was funded by Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity, CareerSource Florida, and the U.S. Department of Labor.

The program is called, “Get there Faster” and is expected to help as many as 250 individuals; focusing on upskill training, employment, and support programs. The grant was awarded in November 2021, and funding for the program will run for two years. Veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses interested in the program can visit,

Veterans or others who are interested in the program can reach out to CSTB via email at g[email protected] or via phone at (813) 930-7858.

“We are excited the state of Florida entrusted us with this grant,” said CSTB CEO/President John Flanagan. “This grant will follow its name by accelerating the careers of our Transitioning
Service members, Veterans, and their spouses through occupational training and career placement. This program is a wonderful way to thank veterans in our community for their

CSTB and CSP will use accelerated training models to provide a pathway to high-demand positions in the Information Technology (IT) and Aviation sectors.

“There is a high demand for qualified candidates in the Tampa Bay area for these positions,” said Saleema Bennett, CSTB Director of Programs. “These positions can create a pathway for the Military Community to transfer their Military knowledgebase to civilian workforce success. They also are higher-paying jobs in the IT and Aviation sectors that will go a long
way in supporting our veteran community.”

This initiative will aid in crucial talent development to address the unique needs of the military community and transition to civilian life. The opportunities provided through this program will
increase the economic self-sufficiency of veterans and their families while meeting the needs of employers and enhancing the productivity and competitiveness of the regional economy.

“We are incredibly thankful to our U.S. Military Veterans for their service to our Country and grateful to the state of Florida for this opportunity,” said CSP President & CEO Stacy
Campbell-Domineck. “Our workforce continues to benefit from the skills veterans have gained during their time of service. This grant strategically brings together workforce, business, and educational organizations to ensure veterans in our communities can access training and employment resources that will assist them throughout their career journey.”

Florida holds the nation’s third-highest veteran population with more than 1.5 million and the second largest population of women veterans. (Florida Department of Veterans Affairs, 2021)
Hillsborough County has the highest concentration of Veterans in the state with nearly 100,000, and nearly 50,000 Veterans reside in Polk County. Veterans accounted for 8.4% of
the Hillsborough County and 9.1% of the Polk County population in 2020. (Florida Legislature, Office of Economic and Demographic Research, 2021)

Veterans face multiple challenges upon their separation from Military Service. This life transition may include moving their home or family, periods of unemployment, starting a new job or career path, or changes in the household structure.

Veterans, Transitioning Service Members, and their families may lack established networks in their community and need wraparound support, such as employment connections, housing
assistance, financial counseling, assistance with accessing military benefits, and mental health and substance use counseling. CSTB and CSP are dedicated to maintaining a framework of veteran organizations and services to assist individuals who may be facing any of these challenges.

See additional information on the need to help veterans in the region by clicking on this link:

CSTB will also establish a Veteran Ecosystem, in which the model will engage community partners and align regional efforts to support Veteran employment initiatives. CSTB and CSP will work with several local employers to assist in job training and employment.

The employers include Airborne Tampa (PEMCO), Amazon, DataTech, Metal Supermarkets, and many of the jobs are expected to have competitive benefits packages with a career trajectory once they are trained in their respective fields.

In addition to Occupational Skills Training and an Earn as you Learn training module, the “Get There Faster” grant will also be used to help the veteran community with the following:
• Troops to Technicians – FAA certification training and work-based learning
• Accelerated IT industry certification training
• Outreach, Recruitment, and Inter-Agency Coordination – Targeted engagement with veteran-serving organizations, tracking the number of MOUs and documented service coordination activities.
• Employer Engagement – Maintain a database of veteran-friendly employers supporting the network, identifying, and tracking the number of documented employers committed to hiring eligible participants from the program.
• Develop a Veteran Ecosystem that includes Community Asset Mapping, an analysis of existing veteran-supporting organizations and services, as well as workforce and wraparound support programs.
• A data-based Career Pathways will be developed with specific skills of Veterans, starting with IT, aviation, and defense-related sectors.
• Veteran Services Advisory Network of regional stakeholders to strengthen and expand existing partnerships to aggregate resources, align strategies and programs, and
develop a shared vision for veteran services in the community.

For more information, contact CSTB via email at [email protected] or via phone at (813) 930-7858. Employers and interested community partners can contact Zachariah Pearson [email protected] for more information.

About CareerSource Tampa Bay

CareerSource Tampa Bay programs and initiatives are fully supported by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Agriculture as part of awards totaling $19,293,411.

CareerSource Tampa Bay works with businesses and candidates to leverage their training, retraining, and competitive opportunities in the workforce. CareerSource Tampa Bay provided
240,269 services to 36,960 active Wagner-Peyser individuals during program year 2018-2019.

CareerSource Tampa Bay, with our five career centers is the single largest source of job candidates in the region from entry-level to executive-level candidates. Businesses can access CareerSource’s wide range of services that include recruiting, training for new and existing employees, targeted hiring events, and retention support strategies. All resources and services are provided at no cost to both businesses and job candidates. Programs funded through CareerSource Tampa Bay are equal opportunity programs with auxiliary aids and services available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Persons using TTY/TTD equipment use Florida Relay Service 711. A proud partner of the American Job Center network to learn more, visit

As an equal opportunity employer and program, CareerSource Polk is supported by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Agriculture as part of awards totaling $12.1 million (revised annually).

CareerSource Polk is a proud partner of the American Job Center network. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. All voice telephone numbers on this document may be reached by persons using TTY/TDD equipment via the Florida Relay Service at 711. For more information about the programs and services offered
by CareerSource Polk visit,

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