Innovative local program creates opportunities for career-seekers
Local working families who struggle to survive paycheck to paycheck now have reason to breathe a little easier.
That’s thanks to a new program backed by Martin County commissioners, who call its newly funded Career Connect Martin program a “win-win,” as it offers incentives to hiring businesses.
Led by the Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce, Career Connect Martin offers unemployed and underemployed individuals paid positions with great local companies, professional coaching, and on-the-job training.
Such positions—called Trial Employment Opportunities—are available across multiple industry sectors, including construction trades, manufacturing, logistics and distribution, marine, health care, agriculture, automotive and transportation, information technology and many others.
In addition to receiving support with recruitment, retention, and supporting in-house training programs, participating businesses have salary and other related expenses covered during the Trial Employment period—mitigating some of the costs of hiring and training.
Career Connect Martin is collaborative, working with the Martin County Council of Chambers, Economic Council and Business Development Board of Martin County as well as various social service agencies to ensure success for trial employees.
Timing is ideal. According to the United Way, 44% of families in Martin County are part of the population identified as Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE). Many found their economic fates made far less stable during the pandemic.
“Career Connect Martin allows us to embrace the individual goals of a career-seeker,” says Angela Hoffman, the Stuart/Martin County Chamber’s director of workforce development. “This helps them overcome barriers such as cost of childcare, lack of transportation and access to paid training.
“Too often, working families are one flat tire or unexpected medical bill away from crisis, and the pandemic only made their savings smaller and debt load larger,” she adds. “Even with a low unemployment rate (3.1 percent) in the county, we know there are more than 2,300 residents who are not earning enough money to sustain their families.”
Employers eager to participate as a Trial Employment Site can apply now. Career-seekers can begin to apply for paid Trial Employment Opportunities starting March 1. Any Martin County resident over the age of 18 can apply. For more information and applications visit www.careerconnectmartin.org and follow updates on Facebook @CareerConnectHiresYou.
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