JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) as a recipient of its American Apprenticeship grants program.
FSCJ is leading the Florida Apprenticeship consortium, and will support involvement with St. Petersburg College and Broward College, which will work with businesses and other partners to close the workforce skills gap faced by the Information Technology, Manufacturing, Healthcare and Construction/Trades industries across Florida by promoting the growth and expansion of quality and innovative apprenticeship programs over the next five years. A total of 1,000 participants in the state of Florida will be served through this grant program.
“This grant positions FSCJ as a leader in providing proven training opportunities to employers and workers in Florida through the creation of apprenticeship programs,” said Florida State College at Jacksonville President Dr. Cynthia Bioteau. “Aligning apprenticeships to education and job training will promote further learning and career advancement opportunities for our students.” “We are proud to be a partner with Florida State College at Jacksonville, supporting the growth of many in-demand industry sectors, such as information technology, manufacturing and healthcare,” said Broward College President J. David Armstrong, Jr. “With this grant, we will be able to assist in closing the skills gap concerns many of these industries face, while delivering quality education and training so our students are prepared to enter these competitive, well-paying industries.”
“We are honored to partner with Florida State College at Jacksonville and Broward College to expand apprenticeships that will prepare our students for sustainable employment in high demand fields,” said St. Petersburg College President Bill Law. “This collaborative, grassroots initiative also will benefit employers and the economy, by ensuring a deeper pool of highly skilled workers in growing industries.”
Located in strategic areas throughout Florida, the strong and experienced consortium of three state colleges will develop this innovative and lasting public-private partnership involving employers, industry organizations, state and regional Registered Apprenticeship systems, state and regional workforce investment systems, school districts, community nonprofits and state agencies.
Studies have already quantified the long-term financial benefits of this approach to U.S. workers—those who complete an apprenticeship earn an average starting wage of $50,000 and go on to earn an average of $300,000 more over a lifetime than comparable workers. Florida Apprenticeship is a promising model of rewarding and advancing high-performing, entry-level and incumbent employees, including students currently enrolled in related training programs, incumbent workers looking to advance their careers, veterans with related experience, pre-apprentices, unemployed workers and minorities.
The project will also explore articulating apprenticeships as a bridge from associate to bachelor’s degrees. The Department of Labor selected 46 partnerships to receive grant funding, with awards ranging from $2 million to $5 million.
Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) is a public, nonprofit higher education institution that offers more than 150 degree and certificate programs to meet the education and training needs of more than 57,000 students per year.