The Florida Economic Development Council, host of the 2018 Florida Economic Development Conference, held May 21-23, recognized the achievements of Florida's top economic developers with prestigious awards.

The Toni Jennings Workforce Professional of the Year award is given annually in recognition of the achievements of an outstanding workforce developer within the state of Florida. The award was first presented in 2007 to honor and recognize the former Lieutenant Governor's exceptional leadership in revamping Florida's workforce system to respond to critical workforce needs and to advance local, regional, and state economic development.

The 2018 recipient of the Toni Jennings Workforce Professional of the Year is Kim Bodine, Executive Director of CareerSource Gulf Coast.

Bodine has 22 years of experience in workforce development and oversees the administration of as many as 45 funding streams and programs with annual budgets of up to $13 million. Throughout her tenure, Bodine has been instrumental in launching numerous workforce development projects that assisted underserved populations such as youth, veterans, dislocated workers, and people with disabilities. Under Bodine’s leadership her organization has helped more than 25,000 individuals complete in-demand training and has been instrumental in placing thousands of residents into high-paying careers.

Bodine is instrumental in the establishment and management of Alignment Bay County, a program aligning community organizations and resources so that their coordinated support of Bay County’s youth has a positive impact on public school success, children’s health, and the success of our community as a whole.

Bodine currently serves as chair of the Florida Workforce Development Association, leading CareerSource counterparts across the state. Because economic development plays a vital role in determining what workforce development programs should be offered, she serves in many active roles in the community: Florida’s Great Northwest, the Bay County Economic Development Alliance, the Northwest Florida Manufacturing Council, the UF/IFAS Bay County Extension Advisory Board, the RESTORE Council of Bay County, and the Gulf County Economic Development Council.