TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Just a year ago, unemployment in the Big Bend area was about 2.9 percent. This summer, it climbed above eight percent, thanks to the pandemic.
With nearly 12,000 people out of work in and around the state capital, Tallahassee Community College is partnering with local businesses to help people rebound and get back to work.
In a year where healthcare is desperately needed, there's a shortage of workers in Tallahassee.
"It could be anywhere from 200-300 positions," said Roshan Rajan, a human resources Talent Advisor with Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare.
Rajan says filling those life-saving positions is a challenge right now.
"It goes all the way from housekeeping to patient care assistance, respiratory, radiology, nurses," Rajan said.
Jobs that are attracting unusual applicants as people try to get back into the workforce.
"People who have a master's or PhD are applying for a position that only requires a high school diploma," said Rajan.
Enter Tallahassee Community College and its new "Be Essential" campaign.
"Be Essential is about moving the needle and being a part of the recovery for our community," said Kimberly Moore, the vice president of Workforce Innovation at TCC.
Moore says they're getting people back to work in a number of fields.
"It's a variety," said Moore. "It ranges from healthcare to IT to public safety."
The types of jobs that are in demand in the Big Bend area, getting people back to work and helping Rajan help others.
"I feel like I'm giving an opportunity for someone to try a new avenue," Rajan said.
If you're out of work and worried about finances with going back to school, TCC says they offer scholarships for this program ranging from 50 to 100 percent.
If you're an employer who wants to get involved, click here.