In the News … Citrus Chronicle

Seminar offered on alternative work training

By Shemir Wiles
Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 12:00 am (Updated: April 28, 12:01 am)

LECANTO — Downsizing has led to a growth in the contingent workforce made up of self-employed professionals, solo entrepreneurs, freelancers, independent contractors and other nonpermanent workers.

From 1995 through 2012, the total workforce of self-sufficient workers grew by an estimated 4.3 million workers. As estimated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, despite economic downturn, the overall contingent workforce has held steady and is projected to grow to 40 percent, or 64.9 million by 2020.

However, as the independent workforce prospers, other benefits like flexibility in one’s work schedule, supplemental income and becoming one’s own boss has influenced more and more people to leave the 9-to-5 daily grind and work independently.

To help people make the transition, Workforce Connection is launching “Your Talent Hub,” a new alternative work initiative to assist professionals in navigating the new work world of freelancing and crowd-sourcing.

The program provides access to tools, resources and strategies designed to lead to earning opportunities, project work, contracting and full-time placements in creative, technology and related fields.

“We’re excited about this innovative alternative workforce strategy,” said Laura Byrnes, communications manager with Workforce Connection.

In partnership with the College of Central Florida (CF), an orientation is Monday, April 30, at CF’s Learning and Conference Center, 3800 S. Lecanto Highway in Lecanto. The orientation begins at 3 p.m. and is free.

Rusty Skinner, president and chief executive officer with Workforce Connection, recently told the Chronicle editorial board there is a whole pool of people who have skills they can use to snag freelance opportunities.

“We’re trying to get people to define their skills and think differently,” Skinner said.

Starting in May, training sessions will introduce alternative workforce strategies and opportunities such as online research, technical writing, virtual assistance, web development, project management, content development, technology and help desk support and social media management.

The orientations and training sessions will be lead by Orlando-based workforce strategist Steve Urquhart, founder of T21 Solutions of Orlando and the nonprofit VETsourcing, which helps veterans — particularly those with disabilities and other limitations — transition from military service to civilian careers.

Over the past three years, Urquhart said there has been an erosion of the traditional job as businesses seek to hire remote workers with certain skills on a temporary basis to complete specific projects. The goal of “Your Talent Hub” is to give people a survival skill set so they can freelance or launch a small business. It’s about learning one’s marketable skills, he said, and then using social media to reach a newer, broader consumer base.

“You have to be plugged in,” Urquhart said.

To learn more about the orientation, call  352-291-9551 or 800-434-5627, ext. 1147 or visit or Updates and information are also available on Twitter @YourTalentHub and at

To register for the orientation, send an email to

Chronicle reporter Shemir Wiles can be reached at  352-564-2924  or

Posted on April 28, 2012, in Freelancing, New World of Work, Training, Workforce. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: