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Florida Education Commissioner: Participation in Apprenticeship Programs on the Rise in Sunshine State

Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. announced increased participation in Florida’s apprenticeship and preapprenticeship programs, with a 14 percent increase in the active number of apprentices and preapprentices since this time last year.

Florida added 36 new registered apprenticeship programs and more than 5,000 new active apprentices, with a record 19,605 individuals now serving as apprentices or preapprentices in the state.

As part of the announcement, Diaz visited Tallahassee Community College (TCC) to see their Electrical Apprenticeship Program in action. This program is focused on preparing students to be licensed journeyman electricians and is one example of the many apprenticeships and preapprenticeship programs in Florida that are committed to giving students real hands-on experience with a new skill set so they can find a high-wage job after completing their program.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has outlined a vision for Florida to become a national leader in workforce education by 2030. A pivotal component of this endeavor is the development and enhancement of registered apprenticeship and preapprenticeship training programs.

“These programs not only empower Florida’s industries with a skilled and qualified workforce but also provide students with advanced skills and knowledge for successful careers,” Diaz’s office announced.

“The surge of apprenticeships and preapprenticeships is a game-changer for Florida’s students and shows Governor DeSantis’ bold vision for workforce education is paying off,” said Diaz. “Apprenticeship programs provide students with the skills they need to succeed in the real world while preparing them for enriching careers that evolve with the needs of our economy.”

“I am proud to be part of this momentous accomplishment for Florida’s students and workforce,” said TCC President Dr. Jim Murdaugh. “Apprenticeship programs, like the ones we have at TCC, have a proven track record of setting students up for successful careers, and I look forward to continuing to see students across our state take advantage of our programs.”

A key provision of House Bill 7071 (2019) requires the Florida Department of Education to release an annual report by September 1 of each year highlighting crucial fiscal, enrollment, and programmatic aspects of Florida’s registered apprenticeship and preapprenticeship programs. Florida’s Annual Apprenticeship and Preapprenticeship Report showcases remarkable progress achieved during the program year, underscoring the continued success of apprenticeship and preapprenticeship programs throughout the state. The full report is available here.

The report’s key highlights include:

14% increase in the total number of active apprentices and preapprentices, totaling 19,605 individuals, with an impressive addition of 5,005 new active apprentices.

33% increase in the number of newly registered apprentices compared to the previous year.

11% growth in the total number of registered apprenticeship and preapprenticeship programs compared to the previous year.

36 new registered apprenticeship programs, increasing the total to 303 active apprenticeship programs.

12 new registered preapprenticeship programs, bringing the total to 62 active preapprenticeship programs.

21% increase in the number of apprenticeable occupations, now totaling 120 distinct occupations.

2,135 apprentices successfully completed their programs, marking a noteworthy increase of 218 over the previous year.

Graduates who received an apprenticeship certificate of completion achieved an average exit wage of $25.70 per hour, equating to an annual salary of $53,642—a substantial $4,013 increase from the previous year.


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