Governor Ron DeSantis Awards $30 Million through Groundbreaking Initiative to Support Workforce Development in Florida’s Space Coast
Florida Makes Strides Towards Becoming First in the Nation for Workforce Education
On Friday, Governor Ron DeSantis announced a new $30 million grant program that will be dedicated to support workforce development in the Space Coast region as part of a multi-agency initiative to support competitive industries.
The Department of Economic Opportunity, Department of Education, CareerSource Florida, Enterprise Florida, and Space Florida have partnered in this initiative to identify high demand industries and match them with workforce education opportunities in the Space Coast region.
“I set a goal to make Florida the best state in the nation for workforce education by 2030 — and we are doing that by making investments that expand opportunity and meet industry needs,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Currently there are over 91,000 manufacturing and aerospace technology-related jobs on the Space Coast and this $30 million investment will build more opportunities for Floridians.”
The Governor’s Job Growth Grant Funds of $11.5 million will expand and support machining, welding, manufacturing, and avionics training programs at the following regional State Colleges.
- Eastern Florida State College – to transition and improve its aviation maintenance programs, incorporate composite training and avionics, and expand the college’s existing aerospace technology programs.
- Indian River State College – to design, equip, and launch the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Hub which will expand training and employment opportunities for students as well as support the growth of the advanced manufacturing industry in the region.
- Daytona State College – to scale the college’s machining and welding technology programs, with intentional efforts to build the workforce pipeline by increasing dual enrollment and strengthening K12-to-postsecondary pathways.
The Florida Department of Education’s Pathways to Career Opportunities Grant (PCOG) program of $6.4 million will develop and expand programs in machining and welding, aerospace, cybersecurity, and electrical apprenticeship, and pre-apprenticeship programs at the following State Colleges and school districts.
- Eastern Florida State College – to develop pathways for pre-apprenticeship and support the Space Coast Machining Apprenticeship Program, the Space Coast Consortium Apprenticeship Program (mechatronics, CNC machining, composites, and welding), and the Technology and Health Apprenticeship Program (cybersecurity).
- Indian River State College – to develop industry appropriate advanced manufacturing apprenticeship programs and other transportation and logistics programs and expand the current Advanced Manufacturing Bootcamp and Apprenticeship program.
- Brevard Public Schools – to offer a Certified Logistics Associate Course which provides students with the foundational knowledge needed to understand supply chain, material handling, quality control, workplace communication and problem solving.
- School District of Indian River County – to begin a 4,000 hour apprenticeship in the aviation industry to include welders. This program will teach students major welding processes and provide on the job training.
- St. Lucie County School District – to introduce welding concepts and give high school students a path towards apprenticeship welding programs. Additionally, they will be implementing an 18-month pre-apprenticeship program to introduce students to supply chain and logistical technical instruction.
- Florida Makes will serve as the Registered Apprenticeship program sponsor for an Advanced Manufacturing and Production Technology course.
The Florida Department of Education’s Cyber/IT Pathways Grant program of $3 million program was provided to develop, expand, and support cybersecurity programs at the following regional State Colleges.
- Eastern Florida State College – to upgrade and expand existing cybersecurity programs to include articulation agreements and industry training in the NIST/CMMC certification.
- Indian River State College – to support training in non-credit certifications which can be used to meet the immediate needs of local employers.
- Daytona State College – to develop a state-of-the-art Center for Cybersecurity at its Advanced Technology College campus and provide urgently needed incumbent worker training in a focused effort to keep current professionals highly skilled in an ever-changing field.
Additionally, in a separate action, a major expansion of Florida’s Commercial Drivers License (CDL) training and the creation of new opportunities for apprenticeships in Florida was announced. Governor DeSantis awarded $8.2 million to five state colleges to expand the capacity of CDL training programs by at least 1,200 students per year. With this expansion, state institutions will have the capacity to train more than 3,500 students every year.
To further support the Governor’s workforce development initiatives, nearly $12 million will be allocated to Florida school districts, colleges, state universities, and private training entities to start or expand registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs throughout the state through the PCOG.
For more information about Florida’s apprenticeship opportunities, click here.
To learn more about all of the PCOG Space Coast programs, click here.
Last week Governor Ron DeSantis delivered $1,000 bonus checks to reward and recognized first responders for their dedicated public service. These recognition payments are part of the Freedom First Budget signed by the Governor earlier this year.
“Florida supports our first responders because these men and women put on their uniforms every day to serve and protect,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “These bonuses are a token of our appreciation for the work that they do and the sacrifices they make to keep Florida safe. I am happy to deliver the bonuses for a second year in a row!”
For more information about the First Responder Recognition Bonuses, click here.
First Lady Casey DeSantis Highlights Success of ‘Continue the Mission’ Initiative to Recruit Veterans to Care for Florida’s Most Vulnerable Children
First Lady Casey DeSantis highlighted the success of her ‘Continue the Mission’ initiative, which launched in June 2022 to recruit veterans, military spouses and former law enforcement officers to be child and adult protective investigators and case managers, as well as mentors to children in need, new case managers and child and adult protective investigators. Since the start of the initiative, nearly 250 individuals have applied to work to protect Florida’s most vulnerable children.
“This initiative is an incredible opportunity to introduce our veterans, their spouses and retired law enforcement to the many rewarding career paths that are available to protect and serve Florida’s children,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “We hope these opportunities provide a continued sense of purpose for those who have already done so much for our great communities, state and nation.”
Through DCF, the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs, other state partners, local veterans’ organizations and community groups, the initiative serves as a call to action for veterans, military spouses and former law enforcement officers who still have a desire to serve their communities.
More information about ‘Continue the Mission’ including upcoming hiring fairs, can be found here.
Florida Leads the Nation with the Lowest Unemployment Rate among the Nation’s 10 Largest States and the Most New Business Formations
Florida’s Labor Force and Private Sector Employment Maintains Steady Growth While National Unemployment Rate Increases
On Friday, Governor Ron DeSantis announced Florida’s unemployment rate remained strong at 2.7 percent, the lowest unemployment rate among the nation’s 10 largest states and a full percentage point lower than the national rate of 3.7 percent in August 2022.
Florida also leads the nation in new business formations with 1,534,221 new businesses, outpacing second place California by more than 250,000. For 25 consecutive months, Florida’s statewide unemployment rate has either declined or remained unchanged, and for 21 consecutive months, since December 2020, Florida’s unemployment rate has been lower than the national rate.
“Florida has the lowest unemployment rate among the 10 most populous states and the highest number of new business formations because we have encouraged workforce development, kept the economy open, and put Florida families first,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.