This week, Gov. Ron DeSantis and state Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran announce $10.5 million in continued investments to expand registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs at 11 colleges across Florida.
These funds were allocated through the Expansion of Registered Apprenticeship and Pre-apprenticeship (ERAP) Grant, which offers funds to state colleges and technical colleges to start or expand registered apprenticeship and/or preapprenticeship programs.
Registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship training programs are a key component of Florida’s workforce education. They provide excellent opportunities for employers to develop and apply industry standards to training programs that can increase productivity, attract and retain highly qualified employees, and improve their retention and overall performance.
“We are proud to invest in programs that make a difference for students and their employers,” said DeSantis. “This $10.5 million will provide opportunities for an additional 4,200 students in the next year and will encourage more businesses to start their own apprenticeship programs to meet industry demands.”
“Florida has never seen a governor make so many strategic investments in workforce education that provide students with numerous opportunities to start and grow their careers, and businesses with such a large pool of highly qualified and talented individuals,” said Corcoran. “This funding provides critical opportunities to grow Florida’s highly-skilled workforce and I am thankful for Governor DeSantis’ continued leadership to make Florida number one in the nation for workforce education.”
Apprenticeship and preapprenticeship programs help both employees and employers. Students who complete a registered apprenticeship program are accepted by the industry as journey workers and often start their careers by earning on average $52,520 a year.
Existing programs that will benefit from the ERAP grant have showcased their existing programs and recommended expansion options by starting with new high demand and middle to high wage apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship programs. Proposed occupations include: electrical, plumbing, HVAC, carpentry, Electrical Vehicle (EV), and diesel mechanics, low voltage telecommunications, construction and design, radiology and magnetic resonance imaging, teaching, and culinary.
The following post-secondary organizations are being awarded ERAP grant funds:
Hillsborough Community College – $1,575,000
Seminole State College – $1,506,879
Tallahassee Community College – $1,500,000
Palm-Beach State College – $1,223,600
Hernando County School District – $1,173,900
Palm Beach County School District – $1,057,434
Pasco-Hernando State College – $956,346
The University of Florida, College of Education – $603,461
Santa Fe College – $568,860
Pinellas Technical College – $276,220
Miami-Dade College – $48,545
Since DeSantis took office at the start of 2019, Florida has invested more than $3.5 billion in workforce education programs and initiatives.
In February,DeSantis announced $89 million for workforce education initiatives that include funding for Florida colleges to create career and technical education charter schools, expand career and technical education dual enrollment in STEM-related programs, and accelerate cybersecurity and IT post-secondary pathways. Additionally, DeSantis announced $289 million for STEM programs, civics education, and after-school and summer learning programs.
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