Category Archives: Training

The Next Four Weeks

Here is a preview of what we’ll be covering over the next four weeks of training …

This is the approach we will follow in launching “Talent Hub” over the next several months in the Workforce Connection service region:

  1. Familiarization. Before launching a formal training program, it will be necessary to gauge the interest and to appropriately set expectations for this opportunity. A series of familiarization sessions could be held throughout the region to explain this concept in terms of the emerging technology-based job market, what it takes to be competitive in this space, and an overview of the resources and potential work.
  2. Assessment and Interests Inventory. Once there is sufficient interest in the program to form training classes, a local education partner will host the training session in a technology-enabled learning lab, and candidates will complete an interest inventory assessment to determine the best fit for working in this environment. It will also include an evaluation of their previous work experience and academic credentials.
  3. Contracting and Crowdsourcing 101. Using real examples of projects that are available, this session will focus on how to bid for the work, how to evaluate projects and how to price on an hourly or project basis to compete for the projects and/or tasks.  Participants will complete online profiles and registrations on one or more sites as appropriate to improve their visibility and competitiveness for these projects.
  4. Skills Development, KSAs Needed to Compete. Based on the outcomes of the assessment stage, participants will be directed to various training resources, some classroom based and some online, to improve their skill set and to learn in “real time” how to perform certain aspects of the project.
  5. Project Management 101. A real-world project will be used in a learning lab setting to give multiple participants the ability to work on a part of the project that is within their area of expertise, and this collaborative lab will include direct input from the contract manager and/or employer to give the participants the feedback they will need to work on these types of projects in the future, independently or in a co-working, collaborative setting.

Just One Word … Wow!

A few weeks ago, I got a call from Rusty Skinner at Workforce Connection asking if it would be possible to set up some training on freelancing for workforce customers in the Citrus-Levy-Marion region. And, of course, being a good consultant I said “yes.” You’ll see how that works when we do this training … kind of like this quote from a recent BusinessWeek article, “How to Look Like You’re in the Special Forces”:

Never say “no.” Your first reaction has to be, “Yes, I can do that,” and then you figure out how. If the president asked me to go to the moon tomorrow, I’d say yes. Then I’d say, “I’ll need some training. And someone who can fly a rocket.”

So, we set up a couple of orientation sessions, one in Ocala, Fla. (that was last week) and one in Lecanto (Citrus County) Fla. – that was where I spent the afternoon today. When Rusty and I set this up, I remember him saying, “Maybe we’ll have some interest, maybe about 20 people or so will sign up.”

Last week’s session in Ocala was great … we had outstanding turnout and people were very interested in the concepts that we covered, ranging from what it takes to be a freelancer to how to navigate the online project market. If you’re interested, you can see the slides from that presentation here. To set the right tone for the meeting, we watched this intriguing video produced by oDesk that provides some insights about the “New World of Work.”

After the meeting, we did have about 20 people sign up to participate in the 4-week training program. Rusty was right. Right? Well … kind of.

We anticipated about 40 people at today’s session at the College of Central Florida – Citrus Campus. We had closer to 50 people, and this group asked some great questions and had some definite ideas about how this Talent Hub concept could work for them. I had to let them know that we were pretty close to a full class (our capacity was capped at 24 because of the computer lab we are using for the classroom training) and a few people actually signed up on their phones and other mobile devices during the orientation.

In the two hours it took to drive home from Lecanto, 40+ people had signed up for the Talent Hub training program. That’s 40+ people over and above the number already signed up. Now we have 80 people signed up and we’re scrambling to expand the training to a second location and an additional series of classes. So, now you know what I mean when I say “Wow!”

Thanks so much to the great people who joined us last week in Ocala and today in Lecanto, and I am really looking forward to working with you to launch as many as 80 new Me, Inc. businesses and solopreneurship ventures! This is going to be fun! And a very special thanks to the team at Workforce Connection and to College of Central Florida for hosting our training and making this all possible!

What’s RIASEC?

Realistic – people who like to work with objects, tools, machines, and things in nature. Mechanical ability and technical competence are encouraged; people and other interpersonal issues tend to be overlooked. As coworkers, they tend to have traditional values and take a concrete and direct approach to the world. Rewards come from having a straightforward, relatively simple life and seeing tangible results of one‘s work.

Investigative – people who work to conduct thorough investigations of physical, biological, or cultural phenomena. Scholarship, math skills, and scientific ability are encouraged; direct leadership tasks tend to be overlooked. As co-workers, they generally are very involved in their own tasks and not too interested in frequent interactions with other people. Rewards come from freedom, satisfaction of curiosity, and a chance to develop one‘s own work style.

Artistic – people who work with words, music, or artistic media to create original results. Expression, sensitivity, intuition, nonconformity, and independence are encouraged; routine organizational tasks tend to be avoided. As co-workers, they tend to be emotional, expressive, and unconventional in dress and/or behavior.

Social – people who work with other people, teaching, caring, curing, leading, or helping them in some way. Cooperation, sociability, understanding, and flexibility are encouraged; physical tasks involving machines and tools tend to be avoided. As co-workers they are generally friendly, helpful, and interested in discussing problems. Rewards come from helping others, receiving appreciation, and being in a warm and supportive environment.

Enterprising – people who work with other people, selling, persuading, and leading. Assertiveness, competition, self-confidence, speaking ability, and leadership are encouraged; complex problem solving involving intangibles tend to be avoided. As co-workers, they tend to be concerned about power, status, and influence; they like to be in charge. Rewards come from a sense of achievement and being where the action is; the rewards are often in the form of money, power, and/or status.

Conventional – people who work with computers, manage records and communication, and perform administrative tasks. Organizational, computer, and financial skills are encouraged; artistic, individualistic, and nonconformist activities tend to be avoided. As co-workers, they tend to be orderly, persistent, and calm; stability is valued. Rewards come from seeing how one‘s input contributes to the smooth operation of an enterprise or community.

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

Workforce Connection and College of Central Florida Partner to Launch Talent Hub

Workforce Connection is partnering with the College of Central Florida to launch “Talent Hub,” an innovative workforce program to assist professionals in transition through crowdsourcing and freelancing opportunities. Our goal is to teach you the skills needed to compete and succeed in the new world of work.

That new world of work is a “Free Agent Nation” of borderless workplaces where freelancers profit by coworking in project-specific virtual teams that form, collaborate, disband and form again. Collectively, there are more than 40 million members in this contingent workforce which companies can tap into to get work done without weighing down the bottom line.

To get started, we are holding one more Talent Hub orientation in partnership with the College of Central Florida (CF): the next one is on Monday, April 30 from 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm at the college’s Learning and Conference Center (C4 on the attached map) in Lecanto. Next month, we’ll begin a special training program that takes place once a week for four weeks. There is no charge to participate in the training.

You can sign up for the orientation here.

The program will be presented by Steve Urquhart, formerly with Workforce Florida and Enterprise Florida and whose company, T21 Solutions, specializes in workforce alternative strategies and project management. Urquhart, an Army veteran, is also founder of VETSourcing, a nonprofit that helps veterans in the Orlando area make the transition from military service to civilian careers. VETSourcing’s goal is to provide the veterans, especially those with disabilities which preclude traditional employment, with paid work opportunities and projects that will help them earn a living, sharpen their skills, and become increasingly competitive for full-time placements, additional project assignments and greater earning potential.

“Jobs may be in short supply, but in some industries there is actually more work than ever as companies are beginning to ramp back up and prepare for market demands,” Urquhart said.

We are excited about the potential for Talent Hub and possibility of opening up this new world of work to those who never thought it was even possible. That’s just the beginning of what’s in store for Talent Hub.

If you are interested in joining the talent hub, or just finding out more, sign up for one of the orientations by sending an email to You may also call the Talent Hub information line at 800-434-5627, ext. 1147.

You’ll find a variety of additional information by visiting and by following us on Twitter @YourTalentHub and checking us out on Facebook at

Last Chance to Sign Up for Talent Hub

If you missed this week’s Talent Hub orientation at the College of Central Florida – Ocala Campus, today is your last chance to sign up for the Monday session to learn about “the new world of work” and kick off this four-week training program and demonstration project for the Citrus, Levy and Marion county workforce region.

Here is an overview of what we’ll cover in Monday’s session:

  1. Trends in the workplace and the “future of work”
  2. The move to a contingent workforce
  3. What it takes to freelance, pros and cons
  4. Top ten freelancing jobs
  5. How to find freelancing opportunities
  6. Preview of the four-week training program
  7. Next steps

Orientation is on Monday, April 30 in Lecanto, from 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm. I hope to see you at Talent Hub! You can sign up on Facebook here or send an email to – thanks!

Inbound Marketing University

IMU Partner

Inbound Marketing University‘s training program prepares you for the Inbound Marketing Certification Exam.

The program includes 16 one-hour classes, 10 reading assignments, and optional homework assignments for each class to walk you through each step of inbound marketing. You are free to complete the classes at your own pace.