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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Jul. 2, 200212:00 PM EST

Profile: Lynn Grafel

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he works to get employees

Lynn Grafel is the president and CEO of WorkSource.

WHAT IS WorkSource?

“WorkSource’s mission is to provide the businesses of the First Coast with a qualified work force. Our region of responsibility consists of six counties: Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns.”

WHEN DID

THE COMPANY OPEN?

“In July 1996. We are a private non-profit organization. We are primarily funded by federal sources. I was recruited to be president and CEO.”

WHAT DO

YOU OFFER YOUR CLIENTS?

“We serve the public through what we call the one-stop career service centers. There are nine in the six counties, four of which are in Jacksonville.”

WHO ARE YOUR CLIENTS?

“We have one primarily client — the business community — because it creates the jobs. We work very closely with the Chamber’s Cornerstone division to help with the recruitment of new businesses and expansion of existing business. The No. 1 issue that a company looks at when moving here is if there is a substantial workforce that is qualified to do the job and enough workers to do the job. That’s also the same for the expansion of existing business — 80 percent of your growth comes from expansion of existing businesses versus new companies moving in. When we do this expansion, we don’t just do it randomly, we work with Cornerstone and look at the targeted industries.”

TARGETED INDUSTRIES?

“Each one of our career centers is focused on those targeted industries. The targeted industries are information technology, financial and insurance, medical related, corporate headquarters, aviation and aerospace, distribution, manufacturing and electronics.”

WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO?

“The other thing we do with expansion and businesses that are growing is we help them with their training needs by helping them find a training provider through the community colleges, First Coast Technical Institute and private training providers. We also assist with some of the costs.”

HOW IS THE JOB

MARKET IN JACKSONVILLE?

“Because Cornerstone has done an outstanding job in developing our targeted industries and because we have the luxury of having the military here, that tends to keep our job market stable. We have very diverse economy in Jacksonville.”

PROFESSIONAL INVOLVEMENTS

He serves on the board of the Chamber of Commerce, Cornerstone and Enterprise North Florida.

WHAT DID YOU

DO BEFORE WorkSource?

He spent 26 years in the Navy flying airplanes as a squadron commanding officer and Naval Air Station commanding officer. After he retired, he became the executive vice president of the Clay County Chamber of Commerce. He then was the regional administrator for the Florida Department of Labor and Employment Security before becoming the executive director of the Private Industry Council of Jacksonville.

BIRTHPLACE

McCook, Neb., but he grew up on a cattle ranch in Kansas.

MOVED TO JACKSONVILLE

In 1971 with the Navy. In 1977, he was then stationed elsewhere, but returned in 1985 when he retired from the Navy.

COLLEGE

He has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education from Kansas State University and a master’s degree in international affairs from The George Washington University. He is also a graduate of the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute.

HOBBIES

Play golf, fish, hunt and yard work.

FAMILY

Married to Elizabeth, who works for Craig/IS, for 29 years. Between them, they have five children.

RESIDES

Orange Park Country Club.

CIVIC INVOLVEMENTS

He is on the Clay County Republican Executive Committee.

FAVORITES

He doesn’t watch a lot of television, but he enjoys tuning in to NFL games. His favorite book is “Hunt for Red October,” by Tom Clancy and old movies featuring John Wayne top his movie list. When dining out, it’s La Pavilion in St. Augustine. Italy is his vacation destination of choice.

— by Michele Newbern Gillis

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