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Gainesville Businesses Hope to Learn from Experience

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Local businesses are always looking for ways to promote a better community culture and increase employee recruitment and retention.

In the first of four Company Lifestyle workshops  the Florida Works and the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce hosted, local business met Friday with other successful business owners to discuss strategies, address issues in the workplace and establish a network of support.

The first workshop included presentations by Tobacco Free Alachua and Sandvik Mining on the effects of tobacco on the workforce and the transition to a tobacco-free worksite.

Health policy specialist for Tobacco Free Alachua Marilyn Headley said businesses addressing tobacco use in the workplace can have a profound effect on both profitability and workforce wellness.

“Tobacco use, on average, costs a business six thousand dollars per smoker every year,” Headley said. “They can see an immediate return on those costs.”

Workshop presenters also provide access to educational resources and tools, which has proven successful in the past.

Shareen Baptiste, communications and business services project manager for Florida Works, said the workshops came about at the request of local businesses.

“A lot of our employers were coming to us, asking us for different resources around town as to how they can enhance their company and organizational culture,” Baptiste said. “We figured that this might be a need that some other employers may have.”

The next session will be held on Nov. 15 at the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce Board Room from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Infinite Energy will be presenting at the workshop.

Companies interested in attending any of the workshops or hosting a breakfast or luncheon presentation can contact Shareen Baptiste.

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