Press Release for Thursday, March 10, 2011

Continuing Education Receives $2M to Launch Employ Florida Banner Centers

Joanna Norris, Associate Director

Department of Public Relations

(904) 620-2102




The Division of Continuing Education at the University of North Florida has been awarded two $500,000 contracts by Workforce Florida, Inc. to launch two Employ Florida Banner Centers—the Employ Florida Banner Center for Creative Industries and the Employ Florida Banner Center for Financial and Professional Services—and is eligible to receive another $1 million for both Banner Centers over the next three years. UNF is the first institution to launch two Banner Centers simultaneously. 


The two Banner Centers at UNF are one of a kind in the state and are designed to be statewide talent resources to any business in Florida. Workforce Florida Inc. developed the initial Banner Centers concept in response to the Roadmap to Florida’s Futurethe state strategic plan for economic-development, by Enterprise Florida, a public-private partnership serving as Florida’s primary organization devoted to statewide economic development. 


“We want our two Banner Centers to become the statewide, go-to resource for cutting-edge training for entry-level and experienced workers who need to upgrade their skills in the areas of creative industries as well as financial and professional services,” said Robert Wood, dean of UNF’s Division of Continuing Education. “Our Centers will help raise the workforce level in Florida and will help draw businesses to Jacksonville.”  


According to labor market statistics, more than 70 percent of Florida’s current labor force will still be in the state’s workforce 12 years from now, which is why skills upgrade training is so critical to businesses and Florida’s future.  


Currently, there are 13 current and planned Banner Centers across the state—including the two based at UNF—focusing on advanced manufacturing; agriscience; aviation and aerospace; clean energy; construction; energy; global logistics; homeland security and defense; life sciences; secondary career academies; and water resources. UNF’s two Banner Centers are the only Banner Centers in the state offering workforce development in creative industries as well as financial and professional services.  


Banner Centers partner with industry in targeted sectors to identify training needs, and among other things, create new curricula. A key objective is to create timely and relevant training that can be shared across multiple educational institutions for access by businesses in other areas of the state, thus reducing duplication.  


 Philip L. Green, state director of the Banner Center for Creative Industries, has developed 15 courses, including a Certificate in TV and Film Productions, Social Media for Business, Motion Picture Screenwriting, Digital Photography, TV and Film Documentary Production Workshop, Selling Media Advertising, such as iPad, iPhone and Digital Advertising to name a few.  


 “By training people and business here in Florida for opportunities in and around TV, film and the new media industries, we are fueling our state’s long term economic prosperity with cutting-edge innovative training and creativity,” said Green. “Our future depends on it, these areas of training can help you pursue new jobs and make your business much more competitive. We’ll offer programs all over the state and develop partners all over the globe. It’s a very exciting opportunity and we have already had exceptional feedback.” 


Julie Fagan, state director of the Banner Center for Financial and Professional Services, is offering 15 courses, including Certified Financial Planner National Certification, Certified Management Accountant Global Certification, Legal Studies, Lean Six Sigma National Certification, as well as several professional education programs statewide. The Banner Center has future plans to develop six new curriculum including FINRA Series 6 Securities License Training-National Certification; Charter Financial Analyst National Certification; Certified Bank Teller-National Certification; General Banking Certificate/College Credit-National Certification; Claims Adjuster-State Certification; and Certified Internal Auditor-National Certification. 


 “With the launch of the Banner Center for Financial and Professional Services, we have the opportunity to make significant breakthroughs in several critical areas statewide, including the training, job enrichment and skills upgrade that are essential to the success of these industries,” said Fagan. “The Banner Center will go a long way towards strengthening the State of Florida’s changing industry conditions, ultimately providing a foundation to expand business opportunities.” 


 The courses, which will be taught at UNF, are currently available and open to professionals, businesses and educators. Course costs for each Banner Center range in price from $29 for one-day creative workshops to approximately $5,000 for a two-year program.  


Workforce Florida the statewide workforce investment board led by business and government leaders and charged with overseeing Florida’s workforce system, which includes the Agency for Workforce Innovation and 24 Regional Workforce Boards. Its mission is to develop strategies that help Floridians enter, remain and advance in the workforce while supporting economic development priorities and strengthening the state’s business climate.  


 For more information about the Banner Center for Creative Industries, visit or contact Philip L. Green at (904) 620-4240 or by e-mail at For more information about the Banner Center for Financial and Professional Services, visit or contact Julie Fagan at (904) 620-4412 or by e-mail at