Last week, Gov, Ron DeSantis awarded $2.3 million in funding to support rapid credentialing workforce and education programs, including Commercial Driver’s License and Logistics training.
These programs will help Floridians earn high-wage jobs and support the supply chain that is currently in great need of workers. DeSantis made the announcement at the Hardee Campus of South Florida State College, an award recipient and strong performer in the Florida Department of Education’s (FDOE) rapid credentialing program.
“Workforce education provides a pathway for Floridians to succeed, but also helps alleviate the damage being wrought by inflation and supply chain interruptions,” said DeSantis. “We are facing supply chain shortages caused by bad federal policies and a lack of investment in workers across our country. In Florida, we are stepping up by providing support to skilled trades that are essential for a strong economy.”
Funding awarded today will help students across the state access workforce education. Rapid credentialing programs are designed to accelerate pandemic recovery for Florida residents and the state economy by increasing all of Florida’s state and technical colleges’ capacity to enroll and graduate students in short-term, in-demand, high-wage occupation and workforce programs.
“From the beginning, Governor DeSantis has shown his commitment to workforce education and the impact it has on our economy,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. “This funding provides critical resources to colleges in Florida to open new programs, build on current programs and increase enrollment. I’m thankful for Governor DeSantis’ bold vision and continued leadership in these vital areas to make Florida number one in the nation for workforce education.”
The funds are made available through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Funding to support rapid training programs, spanning six to sixteen weeks, in the areas of CDL, logistics and healthcare. Since the outset of the pandemic, Governor DeSantis has prioritized $35 million in GEER I funds for short-term training programs at Florida’s state and technical colleges. This led to more than 18,000 short-term certifications within a year, in addition to increasing the number of graduates from CTE programs statewide since 2019 to over 63,000.
The total immediate collective impact is estimated to benefit 1,200 students by May 2022 and benefit 2,000 students by August 2022. Class A and B CDLs remain in remarkably high demand across the state and can lead to mid-level family sustaining wages, as can critical entry-level healthcare occupations.
Since 2019, Florida has led the way in workforce development. DeSantis prioritized nearly $50 million in short-term workforce training programs last year, and the Florida Department of Education will celebrate Career and Technical Education (CTE) in the month of February.
The funding also enabled institutions like South Florida State College to not only increase enrollments, but long-term capacity around workforce training. In 2020-2021, Florida College System students completed nearly 38,000 rapid credentials, up from approximately 35,000 in 2018-19 — more than a 7% increase.
Institutions that will receive funding are:
$930,000 to State College of Florida for CDL training
$550,000 to Manatee Technical College for Logistics (forklift) and CDL training
$415,000 to South Florida State College for CDL training
$100,000 to North Florida Technical College for CDL training
$135,000 to Florida Gateway College for Licensed Practical Nursing training.
$150,000 to College of Florida Keys for Licensed Practical Nursing and Surgical Technology training.
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