Public Service

As the population of the region continues to expand, so do the occupations that support this growth.

The following Support Industries continue to produce a wealth of career opportunities in Northeast Florida: Construction, Real Estate, Public Safety, Education, Agribusiness, and Hospitality & Leisure.

Resources

Public Service Career Pathway Report

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Public Service Companies in the Region

If you’re looking for the perfect world or the perfect situation, it doesn’t exist. Take action and don’t give up until you achieve your goal.”

Giselle Carson, Esq.Business Immigration Attorney, Marks Gray

You train your brain for any high stress environment.

Christy ColeEMT Student at St. Johns River State College

There are so many opportunities in security. I enjoy that it's not a daily routine.

Printella BankheadFounder & President of EBS Security Inc.

We want the best from our community and for our community.

Chief Robert HardwickSheriff, St. John’s County

Giselle Carson, Esq.

Business Immigration Attorney, Marks Gray

Anyone meeting Giselle Carson, Esq. will be impressed by her many credentials and accomplishments. Giselle was born in Cuba, immigrated to Canada and then to the United States. At the age of fifteen, her friends, language, culture and home were gone forever when she escaped Cuba. Giselle was scared. Change is scary. Change is hard. But, she was determined to rebuild her life.

Today, Giselle is a business immigration attorney, speaks three languages, has authored and published a book, Beyond the H-1B, and is an Ironman tri-athlete. She is a shareholder at the Marks Gray law firm in Jacksonville. She partners with regional and global employers to help them hire and retain foreign talent. A pioneer in immigration law in our region, Giselle has been recognized by numerous professional organizations such as the American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel and the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Anyone meeting Giselle Carson, Esq. will be impressed by her many credentials and accomplishments. Giselle was born in Cuba, immigrated to Canada and then to the United States. At the age of fifteen, her friends, language, culture and home were gone forever when she escaped Cuba. Giselle was scared. Change is scary. Change is hard. But, she was determined to rebuild her life.

Today, Giselle is a business immigration attorney, speaks three languages, has authored and published a book, Beyond the H-1B, and is an Ironman tri-athlete. She is a shareholder at the Marks Gray law firm in Jacksonville. She partners with regional and global employers to help them hire and retain foreign talent. A pioneer in immigration law in our region, Giselle has been recognized by numerous professional organizations such as the American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel and the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

What isn’t obvious is that creating a notable legal career wasn’t her first career path. None of her family members are lawyers. It wasn’t on her radar. Rather, it emerged from her personal experiences. Through her journey, she discovered that practicing business immigration law would allow her to help others reach their immigration goals.

Giselle obtained a bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy. She worked as a rehabilitation department director and started to pursue a master’s degree in business administration. Despite enjoying her job, a seed had been planted. She thought about the immigration lawyers who helped her immigrate to the U.S. and obtain a green card. “I couldn’t be where I am or accomplish what I have without their help,” Giselle says.

So, she pivoted. She had big goals. Giselle continued to work while taking night classes at Florida Coastal School of Law. She drove from Palm Coast to Jacksonville to take classes twice a week. This made for long stressful weeks. After a few years, she made a firm decision to pursue schooling full time, earning a Juris Doctorate. Giselle graduated first in her class.

Giselle initially practiced litigation of medical malpractice. However, she realized that the clients she served were not been assisted by local immigration lawyers. So, she used her legal skills, personal experience and relationships to fill the gap. With the guidance of mentors and additional legal coursework, she developed a business immigration law practice within Marks Gray. Her legal work differs from the image typically projected in the media. Instead of presenting a case to a judge and jury, she helps companies understand and navigate laws centered on hiring and retaining foreign talent. Initially, it was just her. Learning all she could, as fast as she could. She kept moving forward one step at a time. Today, she has a strong immigration team of four.

She is thrilled to do what she does. Giselle says, “I have the privilege to expose Northeast Florida to the world. To help companies bring talent here. To enhance our diversity and innovation. To strengthen our country with immigrants who are hardworking, innovative trailblazers.”

For those considering the legal profession, Giselle offers encouragement and advice. Like most industries, law is enduring disruption. But, Giselle sees disruption as positive if it helps diversify the field. “We’re missing out on the huge value that diversity and inclusion brings. We need to invest and commit to diversity. Our immigration team is so strong because we value and respect our diversity of ideas, backgrounds and skills.”

Giselle’s advice is truly a call to action to begin, commit and persist. She states emphatically, “If you’re looking for a perfect world or a perfect situation, it doesn’t exist. Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Take action and don’t give up until you achieve your goal.”

While she notes that one’s studies are critical, being passionate, determined and invested in one’s profession is paramount. She also encourages involvement with professional and business associations. She says, “They offer tremendous perspective, showcase trends, and generate critical relationships.”

Giselle’s passion for business immigration law is clear, as is the parallel of her roles as a lawyer and triathlete, “I help my clients overcome challenges and cross their finish line. When I begin a race, the first mile isn’t necessarily fun. But, I know the reward of the finish line is worth it.” This professional truly offers great career and personal lessons for a life of contributions and opportunities.

Printella Bankhead

President and Founder of EBS Security

Printella Bankhead finds passion, purpose and success in entrepreneurial career.

As a child in Alabama, Printella Bankhead was told she couldn’t succeed.

“I was told, ‘It’s a man’s world – you can’t do it,’” Bankhead said. “I wasn’t expected to achieve anything, and I wanted to be different than that.”

Bankhead, president and founder of EBS Security, overcame obstacles to achieve success. EBS provides security services to commercial, residential and government organizations. The company also offers bodyguard services and long term and short term security services. The company currently has more than 78 employees. Bankhead was named the 2022 overall JAX Chamber Small Business Leader of the Year.

After high school graduation, Bankhead got married and relocated to Jacksonville. Five years later, she was working, going to school and raising two young daughters on her own following a divorce. Bankhead was determined to find a better way to support her family. She found her purpose in life when she took on a job as a security officer.

“There are so many opportunities in security,” Bankhead said. “I enjoy that it’s not the same daily routine.”

Bankhead began working in security full time and enrolled in Florida State College at Jacksonville, earning a degree in Criminal Justice. She was promoted to supervisor and worked for the same company for seven years. The company provided security for the church Bankhead attended.

“My pastor asked me if I had ever thought of starting my own security company,” she said. “He told me I would be a natural at this.”

Bankhead launched EBS in 2002. While she was knowledgeable and skilled in the security industry, Bankhead was not experienced on how to run a business. She credits the company’s growth to her involvement with the JAX Chamber, the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center (JWBC) and the Small Business Administration. As a business owner, she achieved success by working hard, leading by example and maintaining high standards, often making sacrifices to get the job done.

“You can take your business as far as you want if you have the right mindset,” Bankhead said.

EBS provides armed and unarmed security. The company has assisted at high profile events attended by politicians, athletes and celebrities, working with police and special security forces.

“Many people don’t realize security is a requirement at most events,” Bankhead said.

EBS has faced numerous challenges during the pandemic, when closures and cancelations eliminated many of the company’s contracts. Bankhead had to establish new protocols to ensure her team members were safe and able to do their jobs. Bankhead also found herself back in uniform and working onsite closely with her team. Her resilience has allowed EBS to thrive.

“You can’t always be in the office,” she said. “You may be the CEO, but it all comes down to you.”

During her career, Bankhead has received numerous honors including being named the 2015 SBA’s Minority Business Person of the Year.

The works of authors Les Brown, Zig Ziegler and Wayne Dyer have offered encouragement. Her own experiences inspired her to write a book, “Staying on Course in Business and Life.”

Bankhead has found being an entrepreneur offers many benefits including the freedom and means to care for her father during his final years.

“For me, this was the most rewarding,” she said.

Jason Fraley

Opportunities at Jacksonville Sheriffs Office (JSO)

Jason Fraley, Military Recruiter/Liaison, is part of the Recruitment and Selection Unit at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO). After twenty years in the Navy in sonar and combat control, he retired as a Senior Chief. Ninety days prior to his military discharge, he participated in a pre-release program. It was during that process that he met a representative from the United Service Organizations (USO) who recommended that he apply for an open position at the JSO. The interview process impressed him, so Jason bypassed other offers to take the role.

Jason sees his job in public service as highly rewarding. He witnesses individuals move forward on their own career pathway. For Jason, military service was not his intended career but a means of opportunity that morphed into the winner on a pros and cons list each time it came time to renew his contract. ROTC classes in high school positioned the military as an option, but he didn’t realize then that an aptitude in electronics and fiber optics would eventually lead to a recruiter role. Jason’s job involves recruiting and supporting veterans and their families, as well as translating military and civilian skills to connect individuals to suitable roles at JSO. He also sees each police academy class from initial contact to the classroom to their graduation day. He says, “It’s rewarding from start to finish.”

While Jason acknowledges a career at JSO provides a soft landing from the military as it involves the continuity of structural and procedural compliance, he encourages civilians of all ages to consider the multitude of careers available. “You can be an 18-year-old Corrections Recruit making $38,084 per year with full healthcare benefits and an awesome retirement package.” Once sworn, Corrections Officers’ salaries start at $42,110.

Likewise, Community Service Officers (CSO) can be hired at age 18. Once an individual has completed four years of service as a CSO, that individual can transition to the police academy without a degree. CSO’s issue citations, work crashes, and conduct traffic crash investigations. They also manage traffic flow for Jaguars games and other major events in the city. In addition to the Corrections Officer and CSO routes, there are multiple pathways to becoming a law enforcement officer: obtaining a bachelor’s degree, having four years of military experience, or having combined college and related experience.Once individuals complete the police academy, they move to a patrol unit. After working two years on that unit, officers can then apply to other specialty units. In some of these units, sworn officers work alongside civilians.

There are numerous units in which individuals can work, some of which include various detective units, the dive team, training academy instructors, computer forensics, technical support, internet crimes, K-9 and mounted units, and the air unit. There are career pathways appropriate to specific areas of interest.

College internships, the Explorer Program, Ride-a-Longs and Work-a-Longs are all exploration tools. Reviewing the JSO website at www.jaxsheriff.org and reaching out to a local recruiter is helpful to learn more about these options. Individuals are also encouraged to learn more about career opportunities available via the videos available on JSO’s YouTube channel, JAXSHERIFF.

Ultimately, there is an opportunity in this career pathway worth considering, especially if, as Jason says, you have “integrity, a willingness to serve your community, and be a part of something bigger than yourself.”