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Governor Announces $75 Million Career Education Proposal

March 23, 2021 - Gov. Ron DeSantis has proposed a new $75 million investment for two initiatives that could help Eastern Florida State College students and others around the state gain careers in high-tech and other in-demand fields.

DeSantis announced the plan Monday during a visit to Brevard County, saying it would expand access and enrollment in quality Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses, postsecondary credentials, and work-based learning programs.

 
 
Governor Ron DeSantis at airplace hangar
 
Gov. DeSantis announces a $75 million Career and Technical Education intiative at Eau Gallie High School's airplane hangar. Photo Credit: Malcolm Denemark, floridatoday.com

The initiatives would be funded from money Florida has received in federal COVID-19 relief measures and accelerate career pathways for K-12 and postsecondary students that result in high-value certifications and credentials to drive Florida’s economic recovery.

"The Get There Faster innovative workforce initiatives will accelerate Florida’s efforts to be the best state in the nation for workforce development by 2030," said DeSantis. "The $75 million in federal funds will provide high school and adult students access to the resources they need to expedite the completion of their degrees or certifications."

Among the local leaders at the announcement was EFSC President Dr. Jim Richey, who called the plan an important step to assist students seeking technical skills and employment in the Space Coast’s growing aerospace, high-tech and other industries.

"This is a perfect fit for us because we already have a strong emphasis on career and technical education programs in a wide range of areas including aerospace and engineering technology, robotics, aviation, advanced manufacturing and much more," said Richey.

"Local companies are seeking highly skilled employees and the governor’s initiative can help them jump-start excellent careers. We’re grateful he is moving the plan forward."

DeSantis made the announcement at Eau Gallie High School's aviation program hangar, the location of one of more than a dozen local high school career programs where students can take courses that can also earn college credit at Eastern Florida State College and lead to a degree or certificate through EFSC's high school articulated credit program.

The Get There Faster Initiative is comprised of two areas of focus:

One is career dual enrollment to provide technical skills preparation and work-based learning opportunities for K-12 students and a postsecondary workforce initiative for residents, with or without a high school diploma, seeking in-demand and high-value career and technical education or training.

Some $50 million is recommended to cover costs for students to participate in workforce college credit or career dual enrollment programs.

In addition to enrolling in postsecondary coursework, these high school students will be provided resources to ensure their success, such as tutoring, financial literacy workshops, transportation and advanced job placement resources, and access to work-based learning opportunities to gain access to professional mentoring, technical and employability skills.

The remaining $25 million is focused on targeting adult learners who are enrolling in workforce education programs at one of Florida’s 28 state colleges or 48 technical centers to alleviate their financial burdens. It will also support adults needing to enter a high-quality training program to acquire a job-ready credential of value.

For more information about the state's Get There Faster Initiatives, visit gettherefl.com.

To learn about related EFSC programs, visit easternflorida.edu/go/careertech