Ron DeSantis, DEO Announce $14 Million in Workforce Training Awards for Hurricane Irma Recovery

On Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s (DEO) Rebuild Florida Workforce Recovery Training Program has awarded more than $14 million to help organizations aid the state in recovering from Hurricane Irma which struck in September 2017.

“Award recipients include local workforce development boards, schools, colleges and universities in communities impacted by Hurricane Irma. The program, administered by DEO, is designed to train Floridians in construction trades necessary to support disaster recovery efforts,” the governor’s office noted. “The Rebuild Florida Workforce Recovery Training Program makes funds available to local workforce development boards, secondary and post-secondary educational organizations and technical centers serving communities impacted by Hurricane Irma. The funding will be used to launch or expand training programs for construction trades including roofing, masonry, carpentry, concrete finishing, plumbing, HVAC, electricity, heavy equipment operations, carpet laying, window installation, plastering, welding and more.”

“Homes, businesses and communities across the state are still recovering from Hurricane Irma,” said DeSantis. “The Rebuild Florida Workforce Recovery Training Program provides opportunities for Floridians to gain the skills they need to help rebuild their communities. The award recipients will help individuals across the state not only learn skills they need to repair homes and infrastructure but create a new life for themselves and their families.”

“Our agency is excited to partner with education and workforce-focused organizations to help provide Floridians the skills they need to help rebuild their communities after Hurricane Irma,” said DEO Executive Director Ken Lawson. “Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, we are focused on enhancing the state’s efforts to train Floridians in construction fields.  By providing individuals enhanced training in the construction fields, we will have a larger workforce available to help rebuild our state faster and more resilient to future storms, as well as provide these Floridians opportunities for success.”

According to the governor’s office, the following organizations will be getting Rebuild Florida Workforce Recovery Training Program grants.

CareerSource Brevard  is getting $2,049,784 to “expand existing CareerSource programs to provide training in construction trades, including roofing, masonry, carpentry, concrete finishing, plumbing, HVAC, electricity, heavy equipment operations, carpet laying, glass/window installation, plastering and welding.”

The College of the Florida Keys is getting $2,553,653 to “expand the college’s apprenticeships program providing training in plumbing, electricity, carpentry and HVAC to additional locations serving the Middle and Upper Keys.”

Florida International University is getting $2,648,829 to “expand the university’s pre-apprenticeship Construction Trades Program that provides construction skills training to new locations across Miami-Dade County.”

Florida State College at Jacksonville is getting $1,525,379 to “create a new program providing general construction trades preparation.”

The Hendry County School District is getting $1,464,335 to “expand the district’s workforce development program providing training in industrial mechanics, HVAC and welding.”

Indian River State College is getting $2,236,673 to “expand existing programs for HVAC, construction and solar panel technician training.”

Valencia College is getting $1,972,003 to “expand the college’s Accelerated Skills Training Program in welding, core construction, masonry, carpentry, heavy equipment operations and electrical-power lineman training.”

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

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