Director Lorenzo Announces AWI 2009 Year in Review (01/15/2010)

For Immediate Release 
January 15, 2010 

Robby Cunningham
(850) 245-7130

Director Lorenzo Announces AWI 2009 Year in Review

TALLAHASSEE- Director Cynthia R. Lorenzo today provided an overview of services delivered to Floridians by the Agency for Workforce Innovation during 2009.  The agency served a record-breaking number of people through its early learning, workforce and unemployment compensation services.  During 2009, the agency provided early learning services to 473,864 children, served 1.7 million job seekers and paid $6.5 billion in state and federal unemployment compensation benefits to 1.1 million unemployed people.

“I am proud of our team and partners for providing services to an unprecedented number of Floridians,” said Director Lorenzo. “Our commitment in 2010 will be no different.  We will work hard to ensure we provide stellar unemployment compensation, workforce and early learning services to the people and businesses that depend on us.”

The 2009 Year in Review

Office of Early Learning

In collaboration with the state’s 31 Early Learning Coalitions:

  • Served 473,864 children through high-quality early learning Voluntary Prekindergarten and School Readiness programs through the state’s network of 31 Early Learning Coalitions.
  • Responded to 305,972 Child Care Resource and Referral Services requests to help families access childcare.  

Unemployment Compensation Services

  • Paid more than $6.5 billion in state and federal unemployment compensation benefits to 1.1 million people.
  • Enhanced customer service by hiring more than 1,000 federally-funded employees in the Unemployment Compensation division since 2008, bringing the total to 1,719 employees. 
  • More than doubled the number of call center phone lines to over 2,000, extended operating hours including weekends and evenings until 8:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and more than doubled the amount of calls answered daily – approximately 23,000 calls per day - to the agency’s unemployment compensation hotline. 

Workforce Services

In collaboration with Workforce Florida, Inc. and the state’s 24 Regional Workforce Boards:

  • Provided 26.8 million workforce services to 1.7 million job seekers.  Examples of the workforce services provided include: providing job training and education opportunities to increase job-seeker skills, connecting businesses with qualified job seekers, and serving people and businesses throughout the state’s 91 One-Stop Career Centers. 
  • Facilitated 13.8 million job referrals by linking job seekers to positions in their communities that match their skill sets.
  • Provided critical information through the agency’s Labor Market Statistics Center about Florida’s labor market to more than 4.6 million unique visitors to the center’s Web site.  Distributed more than 77,000 publications to schools, economic development and workforce development professionals and the general public.
  • Launched the Florida Back to Work program under the leadership of Governor Crist.  Between now and September 30, 2010, Florida can potentially receive up to $200 million in federal funds – with no matching state funds required – for the Florida Back to Work initiative designed to provide businesses the funds to hire low-income people on a time-limited basis. 

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