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Governor Announces $30M Initiative to Support Workforce Development Along Florida’s Space and Treasure Coasts

DeSantis 09-16-22.jpg
The Florida Channel
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Florida - Friday September 16, 2022: Governor DeSantis Friday announced that nearly $30 million will be dedicated to support workforce development in the Space and Treasure Coast region as part of a multi-agency initiative to support competitive industries in the area.

“I set a goal to make Florida the best state in the nation for workforce education by 2030 — and we are doing that by making investments that expand opportunity and meet industry needs,” said the Governor during a news conference in Daytona Beach Friday.

The Governor said there are currently over 91,000 manufacturing and aerospace technology-related jobs on the Space Coast, and "this $30 million investment will build more opportunities for Floridians.”

By braiding together existing funding sources and using a powerful, sector-focused strategy, this initiative will emphasize employer workforce needs efficiently, help fortify the talent pipeline on Florida’s east coast, and connect job seekers with meaningful opportunities. Industries that will benefit from these investments include aviation and aerospace, defense, manufacturing, and cybersecurity and information technology.

The Department of Economic Opportunity, the Department of Education, CareerSource Florida, Enterprise Florida and Space Florida worked to identify high demand industries and match them with workforce education opportunities in the Space Coast, and Treasure Coast regions. Indian River State College is among the schools that will benefit.

Investment highlights

The Governor’s Job Growth Grant Fund ($11.5 million) to expand and support machining, welding, manufacturing, and avionics training programs at Eastern Florida State College, Daytona State College, and Indian River State College. The Governor’s Job Growth Grant Fund promotes public infrastructure and workforce training across the state.

• Indian River State College – to design, equip, and launch the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Hub which will expand training and employment opportunities
for students as well as support the growth of the advanced manufacturing industry in the region.

• Eastern Florida State College – to transition and improve its aviation maintenance programs, incorporate composite training and avionics, and expand the
college’s existing aerospace technology programs.

• Daytona State College – to scale the college’s machining and welding technology programs, with intentional efforts to build the workforce pipeline by increasing
dual enrollment and strengthening K12-to-postsecondary pathways.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) ($9.0 million) to create the Florida Atlantic Workforce Alliance, a collaborative effort between workforce boards, educational institutions and school systems and aerospace, aviation, cybersecurity and manufacturing employers from Flagler to Martin counties. WIOA creates a comprehensive workforce development system that aids job seekers and employers.

The Florida Department of Education’s Pathways to Career Opportunities Grant (PCOG) program ($6.4 million) – to develop and expand machining and welding, aerospace, cybersecurity, and electrical apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs at EFSC, DSC, and IRSC. The PCOG program is appropriated under the state of Florida General Appropriations Act to establish or expand registered apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship programs.

• Indian River State College – to develop industry appropriate advanced manufacturing apprenticeship programs and other transportation and logistics programs
and expand the current Advanced Manufacturing Bootcamp and Apprenticeship program.

• St. Lucie County School District – to introduce welding concepts and give high school students a path towards apprenticeship welding programs. Additionally,
they will be implementing an 18-month pre=apprenticeship program to introduce students to supply chain and logistical technical instruction.

• Eastern Florida State College – to develop pathways for pre-apprenticeship and support the Space Coast Machining Apprenticeship Program, the Space Coast
Consortium Apprenticeship Program (mechatronics, CNC machining, composites, and welding), and the Technology and Health Apprenticeship Program
(cybersecurity).

• Daytona State College – to work with the Volusia County School District to expand its electrical pre-apprenticeship program and link it more closely with current
electrical apprenticeship programs.

• Brevard Public Schools – to offer a Certified Logistics Associate Course which provides students with the foundational knowledge needed to understand supply
chain, material handling, quality control, workplace communication and problem solving.

• School District of Indian River County – to begin a 4,000 hour apprenticeship in the aviation industry to include welders. This program will teach students major
welding processes and provide on the job training.

• Florida Makes ($1.16 million) – Florida Makes will serve as the Registered Apprenticeship program sponsor for an Advanced Manufacturing and Production
Technology course.

The Florida Department of Education’s Cyber/IT Pathways Grant program, ($3 million) to develop, expand, and support cybersecurity programs at EFSC, DSC, and IRSC. The Cybersecurity and Information Technology Pathways (Cyber/IT Pathways) program is a joint endeavor of the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Center for Cybersecurity (Cyber Florida) to inspire and prepare more students to pursue fulfilling and lucrative careers in cybersecurity/information technology (IT) while helping address a national skills shortage in these areas.

• Indian River State College – to support training in non-credit certifications which can be used to meet the immediate needs of local employers.

• Eastern Florida State College – to upgrade and expand existing cybersecurity programs to include articulation agreements and industry training in the
NIST/CMMC certification.

• Daytona State College – to develop a state-of-the-art Center for Cybersecurity at its Advanced Technology College campus and provide urgently needed
incumbent worker training in a focused effort to keep current professionals highly skilled in an ever-changing field.