Last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced $1.75 million to help Floridians acquire the skills needed for in-demand occupations through new and expanded apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs across Florida.
“The expansion of workforce education and training programs is an essential element of our bold vision to ensure Florida has the No. 1 workforce in the nation,” said Governor DeSantis. “This significant investment in apprenticeship opportunities will help businesses strengthen the skills of their existing and future workforce and allow Floridians to earn while they learn in growing industries.”
The press release listed 14 CareerSource offices that would receive the grants, including Okaloosa-Walton. However, our office, CareerSource Escarosa, was notably absent.
The Apprenticeship Expansion Grants may be used to develop or expand Registered Apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship programs and cover costs such as on-the-job-training, related instruction, curriculum development and outreach to underrepresented populations.
We have a significant underrepresented population, and apprenticeship programs could make a difference. At least, that is what Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran and DEO Executive Director Ken Lawson believe.
“Apprenticeship programs are essential to ensuring Florida has the best, most qualified workforce and that our students have a wide variety of employment options right here in Florida,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran.
“Apprenticeships are an important part of Governor DeSantis’ vision for making Florida No. 1 in workforce education by 2030,” said Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Ken Lawson, a member of the CareerSource Florida board.
CareerSource Florida, in partnership with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and the Florida Department of Education, reviewed applications submitted by local workforce development boards and selected the following projects for funding:
- CareerSource Brevard – In collaboration with the county’s school district, creates a pre-apprenticeship program to support building and construction trades
- CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion – Enhances existing pre-apprenticeship program at Marion Technical College to increase participation among underrepresented populations and creates a plumbing apprenticeship program at Withlacoochee Technical College
- CareerSource North Florida – In collaboration with Klausner Lumber One, expands apprenticeship opportunities at a state-of-the-art sawmill in Suwannee County
- CareerSource North Central Florida – Provides for development of a Registered Apprenticeship program in advanced manufacturing for out-of-school youth and a program for ex-offenders to be trained in construction
- CareerSource Research Coast – Provides for development of a Manufacturing Bootcamp training program serving underrepresented populations in Indian River County; incorporates CNC production training in the Industrial Manufacturing Technician Registered Apprenticeship program; and, in collaboration with CareerSource Heartland, creates the CVS Health Pharmacy Technician Registered Apprenticeship program
- CareerSource Suncoast – Supports the development of three additional apprenticeships in the manufacturing sector to increase participation among underrepresented populations
- CareerSource Broward – Supports the launch of a high school pre-apprenticeship program focusing on electricity, plumbing, HVAC and carpentry, sponsored by the county’s school board
- CareerSource Capital Region – Supports the launch of apprenticeships with TalTech Alliance, Lively Technical and Inspired Technologies to train youth in Information Technology
- CareerSource Flagler Volusia – In partnership with Hudson Technologies, creates apprenticeships to provide opportunities for underrepresented populations
- CareerSource Northeast Florida – Provides for apprenticeships in collaboration with the Electrical Training Alliance of Jacksonville and employers in electrical/construction sectors
- CareerSource Okaloosa Walton – In collaboration with Northwest Florida State College, creates apprenticeships in advanced manufacturing
- CareerSource Pasco Hernando – In collaboration with AmSkills, develops an apprenticeship in advanced manufacturing
- CareerSource Pinellas – Provides for expansion of apprenticeships in building trades and construction with various partners
- CareerSource Palm Beach County – In collaboration with the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County and Marine Industry Association of Treasure Coast, develops pre-apprenticeship program in the marine sector