August 24, 2016 – Flagler County’s Department of Economic Opportunity rolled out a new talent recruitment website, www.youcaninflaglercounty.com, Wednesday during its regular committee meeting.

            “Availability of a skilled workforce is one of the most critical factors to recruit, retain and expand companies,” Director Helga van Eckert said as she unveiled the new site, noting that the site is another proactive service we can offer our businesses.  It provides assistance in their talent recruitment efforts as they continue to grow.  However, it’s not a “classified ad” site. 

            One employer, during a CareerSource summit, commented that there are a number of great programs being implemented to create a long-term talent pipeline, and that’s very important, but there is a need for employees today.

          This conversation spurred van Eckert to apply for a grant to fund a pilot program that focused on the recruitment of Millennials and Gen Xers. “It’s not just a local consideration. Nationally, businesses are vying to attract and retain talent to their area.” van Eckert said. “The competition is tough.”

            The department recruited local business entities to assist in the CareerSource grant.  Partners include: Coastal Cloud, CurleyTail Design, Flagler County Chamber of Commerce, Flagler County Schools, Marketing to Go, Preferred Management Services, SCORE, and Underground Images.  The first milestone was the slogan and website. The slogan is “Flagler County – because you can!” Everything about the site is designed to showcase Flagler County and the region.

When users enter the site, they are offered several options, like “I want to go outside,” or “I want great schools,” or “I want to move,” or “I want food,” and, of course, “I want a new job.”

“It’s designed to be an intuitive user-driven experience,” van Eckert said. “Each user is introduced to Flagler County from their own unique perspective based on their interest and stage in life.  ”

The website highlights both public and private schools, including colleges and universities. It has a tab called “Points of Pride” with links to local reports about the county.

It was designed by Lili Tuggle-Weir, who works for the Department of Economic Opportunity. She used photos from the department’s recent photo contest to create the website’s visual content.

“About 85 percent of the photos used were from the “Show Us Your Flagler” photo contest,” Tuggle-Weir said. She encouraged the committee and residents to continue to use #IcaninFlaglerCounty to provide images and news from groups, clubs, organizations and volunteers.

Committee Member Bob Alex complimented van Eckert and Tuggle-Weir for their efforts.

“I think we will be rewarded with this site,” Alex said. “It is very exciting and we are looking forward to the fruits of all this labor.”

This pilot program is a different approach to talent recruitment.

“The site is a resource for anyone interested in living here, working here or just learning more about the county and our region,”   van Eckert said. “As a wonderful side note, it’s about Flagler Pride”.