Increase in job placement in Brevard Co.

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BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. —

A financial report, released Wednesday, shows a dramatic increase in job placement in Brevard County over the latest year, but it came with a cost.

Brevard Workforce helped nearly 98,000 people find jobs last year with an average pay of more than $18 an hour, exceeding its goals.

While more people, including laid-off shuttle workers, are being placed, the unemployment rate has only dropped to 8.7 percent -- still above prerecession levels.

The agency spent nearly $13 million on program services last year -- roughly $1,400 for every person placed in a job.

A portion of that money goes to subsidize on-the-job training in the hopes employers will keep trained workers on their payroll after the subsidy ends.

Phillip Howell, an advocate for the disabled and unemployed said that training is crucial.

"Finding a job is a full-time job right now. To be successful you definitely have to put in a lot of effort running around," said Howell.

He said he's still working with people who have been without a job for two years.

Much of the money for the program came from a Federal National Emergency grant which is set to run out next year.