Partner jobs centers in Tampa Bay planning a breakup

Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandra Murman, the vice chair at CareerSource Tampa Bay, wants the agency split from CareerSource Pinellas. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]


Mark Puente

Zachary T. Sampson

Times staff writers


Published: May 3, 2018

Updated: May 3, 2018 at 04:40 PM


TAMPA –– Leaders at a Hillsborough County employment center voted unanimously on Thursday to cut ties with its Pinellas sister agency after working under one leader for eight years to help people find jobs.

For weeks, board members of CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay have debated whether to split the agencies or keep operating them together. The executive committee at CareerSource Tampa Bay, which serves Hillsborough County, made the decision itself Thursday. It will take effect by July 1.

“We’re separating,” board chair Dick Peck said. “We’re going forward.”

Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman, the vice chair of the jobs center board, called it “a new day.” She said county human resource officials will help the agency rebuild.

Former CEO Edward Peachey merged operations after taking the helm of CareerSource Tampa Bay in 2010. He had led the Pinellas jobs center since 2003, but was ousted from both positions weeks ago amid state and federal investigations into whether the agencies inflated their performance in state reports.

The Hillsborough executive committee also voted on Thursday to remove Peachey’s name and all references to him from agency forms, social media accounts and the website.

CareerSource Tampa Bay plans to create a new organization chart and ask employees and outside jobseekers to apply for new positions. It will begin a nationwide search for a new CEO.

“The sooner we get this process started, the better off we’ll be,” Murman said.

The two agencies have cooperated under a unique shared-services structure. Employees technically work for the Pinellas organization, with CareerSource Tampa Bay reimbursing its partner for salaries of staffers who work in both counties.

“We have no employees,” Peck said. “Pinellas to me is an employment leasing company. We’re their biggest customer.”

The centers receive millions in federal tax dollars annually to help people find work. They report to separate boards made up of people from education, business, government and labor groups. Peck said Hillsborough has a greater need for IT and agricultural jobs, while Pinellas depends more on manufacturing and tourism.

Board members acknowledged that the split will cause headaches because many top employees perform work for each jobs center. One administrator, for example, oversees human resource at both.

“We relied on Pinellas for everything, pretty much,” Murman said. “And that wasn’t the right way to go.”