Expected Job Growth from the HBOTT Program

Three-hundred and sixty-five local jobs are expected to be created after 12 companies received an award for a grand total of $3,138,365.  The award, provided by FloridaWorks and the Local Workforce Investment Board (LWIB) for Alachua and Bradford counties, Region 9, is funded by a grant from the Department of Labor, using funds from employer paid H1B fees. The grant, which will be used to train workers, was awarded to companies by the FloridaWorks Business Competitiveness Committee based on competitive proposals, reviewed for compliance by staff and evaluated and scored by independent industry subject matter experts.

On June 19, four companies were awarded $1,588,000. As a result, 183 employees are expected to be hired with round one award recipients including Neuronet Learning, MindTree, Altavian and RegisterPatient.com.
Shortly after on July 24, $1,550,365 was awarded to eight companies by FloridaWorks to create 182 local jobs. These round two award recipients include Shadow Health, Applied Genetic Technologies Corp., AxoGen Inc., LifeSouth Community Blood Centers, Prioria Robotics, Founders Pad, LLC, and Grooveshark.
Following the awards, one of the companies in the second round made the decision not to participate due to a change in their business plan, reducing the total award amount by $80,000 and 16 jobs.
Most of these awards are still pending approval of training plans and signed contracts with the FloridaWorks board. FloridaWorks will be assisting with hiring, tracking individual training progress on a monthly basis and de-obligating unexpended funds for award to future applicants.
Employers will be reimbursed for a portion of the employees’ salaries while they are enrolled in On-the-Job (OJT) training in high-skilled and high-wage occupations. OJT will be provided to workers with an emphasis on serving the long-term unemployed and under-employed. The program will also prepare these individuals with short-term specialized skills upgrade training that will complement the OJT opportunities. The scheduled timeframe for OJT activities will be from two to six months for each employee.
Additional activities that will be provided by FloridaWorks include promoting the program, facilitating a competitive application process by local employers, recruitment and contracting with employers that will provide OJT training, recruitment and assessment of OJT candidates, enrollment of candidates in short or medium-term occupational training and ongoing follow-up to provide needed support services or other assistance for the duration of the OJT and afterwards to track and promote employee retention.
FloridaWorks partnered with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, North Florida Regional Chamber of Commerce, Focused Management Solutions, Institute for Workforce Innovation, Santa Fe College, multiple University of Florida offices including the Office of Research, Center of Excellence for Regenerative Health Biotechnology, the Office of Technology Licensing, and the Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator and a consortium of industry leaders in their proposal to the Department of Labor for this program.
For questions, contact FloridaWorks Business Services.
– Alachua County, 352.334.7100
– Bradford County, 904.964.5278