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Workforce Readiness

Workforce Readiness

 HR Tampa Workforce Readiness Committee

Fall 2017


While writing and speaking have always been a favorite past time of mine, I continue to be amazed at the number of activities HR Tampa’s Board and members involve themselves with each and every week.  It so exciting to see many colleagues stand in the marketplace to enhance this tremendous profession and not hide behind a solar eclipse!


It’s so hard to believe that close to eight months ago we began this journey as the new Director of Workforce Readiness as the baton was passed from tenured leader Debby Erdahl, to me.  During this time, we have met some amazing members, students, community partners and have also been able to accomplish great things as a direct result of these individuals and we will also be grateful.


Below I would like to take some of your time to highlight a few key areas we have worked on as we enter the last four months of 2017.


1.       The FY16/17 Prodigy Group recently celebrated the graduation of five (5) students who successfully complete their school year requirements and enter the next phase of their careers…college.  Congratulations to Anthony Williams for his selection as the “Outstanding Student” and to everyone who completed the program.  I would also like to personally thank each mentor, presenter, South University, Coca-Cola and Marriott Hotels for their commitment to this effort as it is deeply appreciated.  The FY17/18 year will be a rebuilding year for this incredible area of workforce readiness and we look forward to forming a new committee and establish new goals and objectives for the coming years.


2.       “Mission United” Strategy Session – We received an invitation to this event, hosted by United Way, and held at the New York Yankees Field Pavilion.  The purpose of this event was to assist United Way with veteran-related transition guidance as they seek to “map” services available throughout the Tampa Bay area.  We sincerely appreciate the opportunity to allowing us to be considered and we look forward to assisting with this project.


3.       A survey focusing on HR Professionals in Transition was sent HR Tampa members which produced key results to guide committee members in addressing critical job search elements.  The reason for the survey you ask…to seek to develop an infrastructure to address key area within our membership as we move into 2018.  Key results include:


a.       Years of HR Experience – 10+ Years (70.83%)

b.      Most frequent obstacle – Limited jobs that match skills or interest (39.58%)

c.       #1 job search technique – Internet (91.67%)

d.      #1 way to apply for a job – Fill out online application (91.67%)

e.      Reason for not getting the job – None provided by employer (44.68%)

f.        Reason offer declined – Pay was too low (45.45%)

g.       Follow up – Card or note sent (93.33%)

h.      Attend regular networking events – No (47.92%)

i.         How can HR Tampa assist – Job Search Mentor (36.17%)


4.       We toured local Biztown ( and initiated discussion with Junior Achievement staff seeking new and innovative ways for our membership to engage with volunteering in this cutting edge community.


5.       We participated in quarterly SHRM webinars with fellow Workforce Readiness directors/chapters in order to learn of best practices and promote local events benefitting the community.


6.       We promoted workforce readiness efforts during the annual Florida Society of Association Executive (FSAE) meeting held at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida.


7.       We presented during a MacDill Air Force Base “Senior Leadership Workshop” whose purpose was to guide senior level officers and enlisted personnel in their transition from the military to a successful civilian career.


8.       HR Tampa joined the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce to further promote its involvement within the community, with specific interest in military/civilian transition.


9.       We continue discussions with Argosy University President and Faculty to further promote workforce readiness strategies and vision.


10.   Kay Schwartz, Executive Director of USAA provided a tour of their New Tampa business complex and affirms USAA’s commitment to assist HR Tampa with community engagement and enhanced partnership.


11.   We participated in round table reception with current and former US veterans during an event hosted by the Hillsborough County Veterans Affairs Office.


12.   We were introduced to Jenny Clark, Solvability CEO and were invited as guest panelist during recent 2017 GovCon Conference held in Tampa. 


13.   HR Tampa hosts the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) with key local military and civilian leaders during our monthly breakfast addressing the topic of USERRA.


14.    HR Tampa continues its work reviewing resumes and conducting quarterly conference calls to learn of new opportunities and roadblocks within the workforce readiness community.


15.   HR Tampa is contacted by HR Florida to discuss its HR Prodigy Group for a possible public relations piece.


16.   SHRM contacts HR Tampa to discuss the 2016 Chapter Excellence Award in order to promote your efforts within the veteran community.


As you can see by this brief list, there are a number of areas HR Tampa continues to enhance its efforts within the community and it is because of your volunteer spirit that we are allowed to do so. 


As a quick reminder, any interested volunteers should contact for further details on how to become involved in the Chapter!




Bernie Currie, SHRM-CP, PHR

Director of Workforce Readiness

HR Tampa Board of Directors


phone:  813.624.9681


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