Palm Coast – CareerSource Florida and the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) were recognized as Hurricane Michael Heroes by CareerSource Gulf Coast and CareerSource Chipola last week.
CareerSource Gulf Coast Executive Director Kim Bodine and CareerSource Chipola Executive Director Richard Williams expressed appreciation for the support their regions received in the weeks after Hurricane Michael. They concluded with a presentation of awards to CareerSource Florida and DEO for going above-and-beyond in their efforts. Titled “Hurricane Michael Hero”, the awards presented included a quote by the late Maya Angelou that read “I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people”.
“These awards symbolize our gratitude for the post-disaster response from our state partners,” said Kim Bodine, Executive Director for CareerSource Gulf Coast. “Hurricane Michael decimated much of our area. CareerSource Florida and DEO were among the partners who immediately came to our aid, providing staff, technology/equipment and support. Words cannot express how much their support means to us.”
Back on October 10, 2018, Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Florida Panhandle, laying destruction along its path.
For the staff at CareerSource Gulf Coast and CareerSource Chipola, the issues were the same. Homes, vehicles and lives were wrecked. Communication was limited, and staff was displaced. There was also grave concern about how the regions would serve their communities when electricity, internet-access and technology was unavailable.
CareerSource Gulf Coast’s 18,000 square-foot job center was also severely-damaged, forcing the center to relocate to a temporary office at CC Washington Academy in Panama City.
Leaders at CareerSource Florida and DEO contacted Bodine and Williams before and after the hurricane asking what resources were needed and seeing that those resources were made available.
Over a period of six-weeks, DEO provided over 40 staff members to aid residents in completing Disaster Unemployment Assistance applications. They also provided technology, including satellites, portable Wi-Fi units, moving services and laptop computers. CareerSource Florida CEO and President Michelle Dennard and her team at CareerSource Florida made multiple trips to the devastated areas, providing support and supplies to both regions. Their board acted quickly to allocate funds to assist the regions with hurricane related costs. They also connected clients to our free resources through social media campaigns.
“The closeness of our network has never felt stronger,” said Richard Williams, Executive Director for CareerSource Chipola. “The aid of our partners has left a lasting-impact on our communities. Just knowing we have the support of CareerSource Florida and DEO makes all the difference as we work to recover.”
CareerSource Gulf Coast provides workforce solutions to career seekers and employers in Bay, Gulf and Franklin Counties, at no-cost. We connect area employers with qualified, skilled talent, and provide career seekers the resources they need for career development. To learn more about our services, visit careersourcegc.com.