On Tuesday, CareerSource Florida and the Florida Department of Education announced a new apprenticeship program in information technology at Tallahassee-based Inspired Technologies.
Florida Department of Education Chancellor for Innovation Eric Hall, CareerSource Florida Board Chairman Kevin Doyle and President and CEO Michelle Dennard, Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Ken Lawson and Inspired Technologies Managing Partner Craig Goodson, who founded the company, took part in the announcement as Gov. Ron DeSantis declared this to be “National Apprenticeship Week.”
“Keeping taxes low while prioritizing investments in innovation and talent development, including apprenticeships and other workforce training opportunities, will continue to advance and diversify Florida’s economy,” said DeSantis. “Apprenticeships like the program at Inspired Technologies help businesses strengthen the skills of their existing and future workforce and allow Floridians to earn while they learn in growing industries.”
The governor’s office noted that more than 4,500 companies in Florida take part in apprenticeship programs. Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, who oversees the Office of Apprenticeship, stressed the importance of these programs.
“Apprenticeship programs are essential to ensuring every Floridian has a world-class education, and a wide variety of education options in our state,” said Corcoran. “Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, Florida has committed to expanding existing and future workforce opportunities to allow Floridians to earn while they learn in growing industries with the goal of being first in the nation for workforce education by 2030.”
“Inspired Technologies, an IT solutions provider with both public and private-sector clients, began its registered apprenticeship program this past summer. Apprentices begin as technicians on the company’s Support Desk, advancing over two years to a Senior Network Consultant with an annual salary between $60,000 and $100,000 upon successful completion of the program,” the governor’s office noted.
“We were facing a critical skills shortage as our business expanded,” said Goodson. “Working with the Office of Apprenticeship at the Department of Education, CareerSource Capital Region and Lively Technical College, we were able to stand up an apprenticeship program in a matter of weeks and now have several dedicated new employees growing their skills and their paychecks as they advance through our program.”
“Apprenticeships lead to high-wage, high-demand careers in a wide range of industries, and employers benefit from increased productivity and reduced turnover,” said Doyle “National statistics show 94 percent of apprentices continue working for their employer after completing their apprenticeship.”
“There is a significant return on investment for businesses that use apprenticeships to recruit and train their own skilled workforce through this time-tested, proven model of work-based learning,” said Dennard. “As the state workforce policy and investment board, CareerSource Florida has been a strong supporter of apprenticeship expansion, which is providing a pathway to middle- and high-skill careers for Floridians in diverse industries that support Florida’s growing economy.”
“Governor DeSantis has been charting the course for Florida to become the No. 1 state in the nation in workforce education by 2030,” said Lawson. “Apprenticeships have proven to be successful, and we will continue to work with our partners throughout the state to ensure that all Floridians have the opportunities they need to be successful.”