Healthcare looks to be wave of the future in jobs

OCALA, Fla. (Jan. 2, 2018) – Eight of the 10 fastest-growing occupations through 2025 for the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region are in the healthcare industry.

All but one of the Top 10 requires formal postsecondary education or training, ranging from non-degree awards to master’s, doctoral or professional degrees.

According to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunities’ annual release of occupation projections, the region’s fastest-growing position is nurse practitioner, with a growth rate of 39 percent and median hourly wage of $45.16.

Adrienne Johnston, chief of DEO’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, said that “estimating employment projections over the next eight years is necessary for our state to provide the training and resources needed to ensure Florida’s workforce is prepared to fulfill our occupational demands.”

Nurse practitioners require a master’s, doctoral or professional degree along with psychiatrists, ranked seventh on the Top 10 list at 31 percent projected growth rate; marriage and family therapists, ranked eighth at 27.27 percent; and physical therapists, ranked ninth at 27.25 percent.

Fence erectors, which tied with forensic science technicians for the 10th fastest-growing occupation in the region, is the only occupation on the list that does not require a formal educational credential.

Hourly wages for the fastest-growing occupations range from $12.80 an hour for physical therapist aides – the fourth fastest-growing occupation at 34 percent – to $98.14 an hour for psychiatrists. The average median wage is $34.37 an hour.

In addition to the fastest-growing occupations, DEO’s projections included the occupations gaining the most new jobs, led by Retail salespersons, adding 788 positions region wide, followed by fast food workers (food preparation and serving) with 745 new jobs, Registered Nurses adding 557, customer service representatives with 479, and nursing assistants with 424.

Rounding out the top 10 are secretaries other than legal, medical and executive (+406); construction workers (+387); receptionists and information clerks (+353); landscaping and grounds keeping (+351); and general office clerks (+316).

Three positions do not require a credential, three require a high school diploma, three require a postsecondary non-degree award and one requires an Associate’s degree. The median hourly wages range from $9.38 an hour for fast food workers to $29.12 an hour for RNs. The average median wage is $13.66 an hour.

Rusty Skinner, CareerSource CLM’s chief executive officer, said that one takeaway from the latest projections is that for both the fastest-growing occupations and those gaining the most new jobs, compensation is commensurate with training or education.

“It’s a drum we’ve been beating for years; it’s clear you don’t need a four-year, liberal arts degree to succeed, but it’s also clear that greater career opportunity and better wages go hand-in-hand with the right kind of postsecondary training needed for the position,” he said.

Here’s how the average median wages stack up at each education level among the Top 10 fastest-growing occupations and those gaining the most new jobs:

· No formal education:  $11.76 among the fastest-growing and $10.32 among the top 10 gaining the most new jobs

· High school: $14.63 and $12.78 respectively

· Postsecondary non-degree awards: $19.75 and $14.18

· Associate’s degree: $23.58 and $28.25

· Bachelor’s degree $34.16 and $28.99

·Master’s, doctoral or professional degree: $36.74 and $47.30

Skinner said that DEO’s occupation projections also help CareerSource CLM and its affiliate Talent Center at the College of Central Florida hone in on the  workforce needs of in-demand industries by assisting businesses recruit and hire candidates and train and retain staff. At the same time, training assistance is available for candidates interested in targeted occupations.

“Right now, the economic drivers for our communities are healthcare, transportation and logistics, IT, manufacturing and construction,” he said. “We have myriad programs that help businesses meet their needs, including On-the-Job Training grants, paid adult internships, work experience trainee programs, and custom business training opportunities.”

The new projections were calculated using the “separation method” which differentiates between those leaving the labor force entirely and those who are permanently leaving an occupation to enter a new field.

DEO’s Johnston said that the old method of projecting openings undercounted the total jobs in an occupation because it was based exclusively on those exiting the labor force.

Johnston noted that the old method also required 10 years of data to produce estimates.

“It was indirect at best … and slow in responding to changes,” she said, adding that the new method used for the 2017-2025 outlook is regression-based and “statistically more robust because it incorporates demographic variables and other employment projections data.”

The Top 10 fastest-growing occupations overall currently employ 1,609 positions and are projected to add 1,486 job openings by 2025. However, due to the churn of the labor market and other variables captured by the new methodology, DEO projects 2,118 employed in the fastest-growing occupations in eight years. That results in a 32-percent average growth rate for the Top 10 fastest-growing occupations.

The Top 10 occupations gaining the most new jobs is projected to add more than 7,000 positions for a total of 41,346 job openings in eight years. Again, due to variables of the labor market, employment is projected at 39,144 positions by 2025, up from 34,338 (+14 percent average growth rate).



Guardian Ad Litem names Brooksville business ‘Community Advocate of the Year’

Crank Works Bicycle Shop Logo
Crank Works Bicycle Shop in Inverness

Mark and Patricia Laird, of Crank Works Bicycle Shop in Brooksville has been honored as Community Advocates of the Year for the 5th Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program.

For more than five years as small business owners, the Lairds and Crank Works have supported the Guardian ad Litem Program by provided new, gently used and reconditioned bicycles to our young clients free of charge.

But they haven’t stopped there.  In 2016 and 2017, CRANK WORKS sponsored the “Hilly Hundred” bike ride which has drawn large crowds of cyclists from Hernando and surrounding areas for their choice of a 66 miles or a 100 miles bike ride throughout the beautiful Florida landscape.

The “entry fee” is simply to “bring a new, unwrapped toy or gently used bicycle for the Guardian ad Litem program toy drive.” As a result of their continuing generosity and commitment to Hernando County GAL children, Crank Works was nominated to Governor Rick Scott for a “Champion of Service Award” for persons or businesses who demonstrate excellence in volunteerism, community service and corporate responsibility in their local community in an honorable and outstanding way.

For their contribution and desire to help our GAL children ride into a better future (on a Crank Works bike), we proudly name Mark and Patricia Laird and Crank Works Bicycle Shop as the 5th Circuit Community Advocate of the Year 2017.

Duke Energy Florida seeks storm cost recovery for Hurricane Irma

Duke Energy Power Station
  • Estimated restoration cost recovery is $381 million

  • Company also seeks $132 million to replenish storm reserve account

  • Residential customers would see a $5.20 monthly increase per 1,000 kWh of electricity, assuming 3-year recovery period

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Duke Energy Florida today filed a petition with the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) to recover from customers an estimated $381 million in costs associated with the company’s response to September’s Hurricane Irma in Florida.

In addition, the company is seeking to recover $132 million to replenish its storm reserve fund for use in responding to future storms. The company depleted the remaining $62 million in the reserve fund as part of its Hurricane Irma storm response.

Based on updated estimates, residential customers will see an increase of $5.20per 1,000 kWh of electricity on a typical monthly bill, assuming a three-year recovery period.

Commercial and industrial customers will see an increase of approximately 2.5 to 6.6 percent, though bills will vary depending on a number of factors.

Spreading the recovery over a three-year period will help reduce the monthly impact to customers.

Under the current settlement agreement, the company is authorized to begin recovering both the storm impact and reserve replenishment 60 days after filing a petition with the FPSC.

The FPSC will review the proposed initial storm cost recovery surcharge within 60 days.

The charge will become effective with the first billing cycle for March 2018 and will continue through February 2021. The FPSC will then schedule a hearing process to review the final actual costs and adjust the billing rate if necessary. This will occur later in 2018.

“This past hurricane season impacted Florida significantly, from damaging homes and infrastructure to affecting agriculture and tourism. Duke Energy Florida understands the impact this filing has on both our residential and business customers,” said Harry Sideris, Duke Energy Florida state president. “We will continue making smart investments to significantly enhance service reliability throughout the year, including during storm season.”

Irma was a historic hurricane which caused widespread, devastating damage across the Southeast region. However, utilities united and battled back with an unprecedented response.

Duke Energy crews and contractors traveled to Florida from as far as Canada to get 1.3 million customers restored as quickly and safely as possible.

In Florida, more than 12,000 line and field workers replaced approximately 1,800 distribution poles, 140 transmission poles and 1,100 transformers.

Duke Energy restored power to more than 75 percent of customers in just three days and 99 percent within eight days.


A Home For The Holidays

FROM LEFT: ammy Harris, Housing Services Director; Cheryl Lambert, Broker Owner Only Way Realty/AHAC Member; Tinker Brown, Key Training Center Retail Operations Director; Barbara Wheeler, Mid-Florida Homeless Coalition Director/AHAC Member; Commissioner Jimmie T. Smith; Hershel Hensley, Brannen Bank/AHAC Member; Teresa Bradley, homeowner; Melissa Walker, Key Training Center Executive Director/AHAC Member;  Commissioner Brian Coleman; Tobey Phillips, Community Services Director; Valerie DeBay, Occupancy Specialist; Michelle DiRubba-Alford, Housing Coordinator; Genesis Chagnon, Senior Program Assistant; Don Hanchar, Donle Enterprises Inc.; John Edstrom; Rehab Specialist.


By Cynthia Oswald,
BOCC Public Information Officer

Christmas just got a little merrier in Hernando for Teresa Bradley and her family.

Teresa cut the ribbon and walked through the door of her new home on Dec. 20, 2017, thanks to Citrus County Housing Services, State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) funds and many community partner organizations.

Joining Teresa, her family, friends, pastor, supporters and county staff, were Commissioner Brian Coleman, who presented the keys to the home, and Commissioner Jimmie T. Smith, who presented the certificate of occupancy.

Teresa had first contacted housing services three years ago when her mobile home became unlivable and she had to move herself and belongings into a tent on the property she owned. This year, Citrus County Housing Services had enough funds in the State Housing Initiatives Partnership or SHIP program to get Teresa the new nine hundred square foot home she needed.

Local non-profits also donated furniture, a washer and dryer, refrigerator full of food, landscaping and everything Teresa needs to make the house her home, including a Christmas tree and a welcome mat at the front door.

Just in time for the holidays, Teresa said, “I am grateful to everyone that made this home possible and I plan on giving back to the community in the future”.