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Wednesday, October 30, 2002
WORKFORCE FLORIDA AWARDS $500,000 GRANT TO BLACKSTONE
Miami-Dade Community College to Coordinate New Employee Training Programs Blackstone (www.blackstoneonline.com), one of the nation’s leading electronic providers of prepaid telecommunications products, announced today that Workforce Florida Inc., the principal architect in the state’s efforts to develop and retain a highly competitive workforce, has approved Blackstone’s grant request for $585,506 for the development and training of new employees. Miami-Dade Community College will oversee the training program for the next two years. According to Clare Morgan, Blackstone’s director of corporate communications, “As we continue our expansion, this grant will ensure that jobs created by Blackstone will remain in South Florida. With the assistance of The Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County's official economic development partnership, and Miami-Dade Community College and its instructors, Blackstone will be able to hire employees and provide them with specific training, thereby creating a stable and educated workforce for Blackstone and South Florida.” "The award of this grant underscores The Beacon Council's continuing efforts to assist local businesses to grow and expand in our community," says Frank Nero, president & CEO of The Beacon Council. "We strongly believe that a trained workforce is an integral part of Miami-Dade County's economic development plans. We encourage all local businesses to work with Miami-Dade Community College to train and hire local residents. Local businesses create local jobs." Miami-Dade Community College (M-DCC) has been a leader in the efforts of Workforce Florida and, through its Center for Corporate Training, has served as fiscal agent for many companies receiving development grants. Center Director John Rice is managing the curriculum development for Blackstone’s expanding staff. “We are planning an 80-hour training program – 40 hours classroom and 40 hours on-the-job – for six different categories of employee positions at Blackstone,” Rice said. “We are proud to play such a significant role in this company’s growth and in the creation of new jobs for South Florida.” The Quick Response Training Program provides grant funding for customized training for new or expanding businesses. Through this customer-driven program, Florida is able to effectively retain and attract businesses creating new high-quality jobs. Workforce Florida, Inc. administers the program with technical advice provided by the Department of Education. Since 1993, Quick Response has provided customized training for over 45,000 employees for more than 200 businesses and industries throughout the state. Miami-Dade Community College is nationally recognized as the largest and one of the best community colleges in the country. It is the nation’s top producer of associate of arts degrees. M-DCC’s six campuses and numerous outreach centers offer more than 150 degrees and vocational credit certificates, along with continuing workforce, adult education, recreation and leisure studies. It is Miami-Dade County’s sixth largest employer with an estimated gross economic impact of about $800 million in the local economy every year. Complete information can be found at www.mdcc.edu. Blackstone has rapidly become one of the country’s largest providers of prepaid telecommunications products and services with over 300,000 retail locations nationwide. Established and headquartered in Miami, Florida since 1995, Blackstone is privately owned, and managed by a team of executives experienced in payment processing, networking, information services, retailing and telecommunications. Today, Blackstone is successfully merging two industries, prepaid telecommunications and electronic transactions, into one POS terminal to the benefit of end-users around the world. For more information on Blackstone’s products and services visit www.blackstoneonline.com or call 1-800-639-9590. Blackstone POS are trademarks of Blackstone Communications Co.; US and foreign patents pending.