Pensacola State College has received $1.86 million for workforce training programs from an $85 million Florida Job Growth Grant Fund.
The college was among nine entities awarded $35 million of the total funding, Gov. Rick Scott announced on Tuesday, Feb. 6, in Jacksonville.
The funds will be used to increase the number of students earning industry-recognized credentials and degrees required to enter and advance in the workforce for targeted industries such as advanced manufacturing, aviation maintenance, welding, cybersecurity/information technology, nursing, transportation and construction trades.
“Pensacola State College thanks Gov. Scott for his leadership with the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, which will help create new opportunities for our students to receive the workforce training they need for their future careers,” Pensacola State President Ed Meadows said. “We will continue to do all we can to make sure our students have the resources and preparation they need to succeed.”
The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund was established by Scott and the state Legislature in 2017 to encourage continued economic growth statewide.
“Last year, I worked with the Florida Legislature to establish the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to help continue our state’s incredible economic growth by addressing specific infrastructure and workforce needs in our communities,” Scott said in a prepared statement. “… We have worked to ensure that every awarded project will strengthen Florida’s business climate and bring the best return on investment for Florida taxpayers.”
More than 225 grant proposals, requesting more than $821 million in funding, were submitted and reviewed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Enterprise Florida and chosen by Scott based on their strong return on investment to the state and to meet the demand for a robust workforce or infrastructure needs.
The Greater Pensacola Career Pathways initiative with Pensacola State College as lead, will be implemented in partnership with George Stone Technical Center and the Escambia County School District, CareerSource ESCAROSA and FloridaWest Economic Development Alliance.
Malcolm Thomas, superintendent of Escambia County School District, said Escambia County Schools, including George Stone Technical Center, are thrilled to be included in the Greater Pensacola Career Pathways initiative.
“Anyone who has explored the variety of career and technical education academies the Escambia School District offers to middle school and high school students would know, we are dedicated to preparing students for life after graduation whether that requires college, taking additional career classes at George Stone, or having earned professional certifications that allow entry directly into the local workforce,” the superintendent said. “Working together with all of our partners in this initiative helps ensure educational programs offered today will match the employment needs of our community tomorrow.”
Gulf Power Co., GBSI, VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering, Skanska, Baptist Hospital, AppRiver, Techsoft, Home Builders Association of West Florida, Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council and IT Gulf Coast and Innovation Coast, also collaborated on the proposal.
“FloridaWest thanks the Governor and the FLDEO for this grant which will enable area students to take advantage of great career opportunities in high wage growth areas and diversify our workforce for future projects,” said Scott Luth, CEO of FloridaWest.
The governor made the announcement in Jacksonville which was awarded $6 million for the construction of a new 1.5-mile access roadway to the city-owned Cecil Commerce Center Mega Site to provide access for the manufacturing industry.
The other entities awarded funding include:
- Liberty County Board of County Commissioners: $1.44 million
- Suwannee County Board of County Commissioners: $3.12 million
- Canaveral Port Authority: $8.24 million.
- Columbia County: $3.13 million
- City of Alachua: $6.75 million
- City of Port St. Lucie: $3 million
- Washington County Board of County Commissioners: $1.82 million
The governor’s recommended 2018-19 budget includes an additional $85 million in continuation funding for the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund.
“Florida is competing in a global economy, and we must do everything we can to ensure our state remains the top destination for families and job creators to succeed,” Scott said in the release.
“We will continue to work with the Legislature to invest $85 million in the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, and I look forward to seeing the successful completion of these projects.”