Florida to bolster workforce development with $25 million grant

Florida high school students will soon have increased access to several workforce development courses thanks to a new grant announced by Gov. Ron DeSantis late last month.

The Workforce Development Capitalization Incentive Grant Program is set to receive a $25 million investment that will either create or expand the 19 programs designed to bolster workforce development across the state, including automotive maintenance and light repair, digital video and technology, and others. The initiative is part of the state’s continued effort to equip students with essential career-based skills in high-demand fields.

“In Florida, we have become the no. 1 state in the nation for talent development by making strategic investments in our workforce,” Gov. DeSantis said in a news release. “We will continue to equip students in our state with the skills they need to succeed without being burdened by debt.”

Several school districts are already leveraging these funds for the 2023-24 school year, including:

  • Broward County School District: The district is using these funds on semiconductor business management and analysis, practical nursing, horticulture and other programs.
  • Lee County School District: The grant allows the district to provide courses on advanced manufacturing technology, firefighting, electricity and others.
  • St. Lucie County School District: Funding will assist in providing programs on applied robotics, building construction technologies, pharmacy technicians and several others.

This additional funding is part of the $100 million awarded in August to school districts and higher education institutions across Florida to alleviate costs associated with creating or expanding career and technical education programs.

“Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, Florida is strategically investing in workforce development, ensuring that our state remains at the forefront of innovation,” Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz Jr. said in a statement. “This funding reflects our dedication to equipping students with the skills necessary to excel in an increasingly competitive marketplace.”