Governor Ron DeSantis Announces More Than $5.8 Million to Provide Workforce Education Opportunities in Rural Communities
NAPLES, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced more than $5.8 million in Florida Job Growth Grant Funds to Collier County Public Schools to open iTECH Glades Technical College in Moore Haven, a new location of Immokalee Technical College. The new iTECH Glades campus in Moore Haven will serve an area that does not have any post-secondary training programs within 30 miles. The $5.8 million award will cover five years of startup costs for the technical college and will allow the campus to offer 12 career training programs. Workforce training will be offered in high-demand fields such as HVAC, diesel systems, accounting, nursing, welding and healthcare, and will be available to Floridians in Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Okeechobee and Collier counties.
“When I took office, I asked DEO to focus on finding ways to support and invest in our rural communities – today, they delivered,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “I am proud to award $5.8 million through the Governor’s Job Growth Grant Fund to create a new technical college campus in Moore Haven. This new campus will provide the area with access to workforce education that actually helps Floridians find high-paying jobs without being saddled by debt. By investing in projects that make a meaningful difference to Florida’s workforce, we have been able to keep our economy growing month-after-month, and we are continuing to build an even stronger industrial base in our state.”
“The creation of these 12 workforce training programs supports Governor DeSantis’ vision in growing workforce education across Florida,” said Secretary Dane Eagle of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. “This award is crucial to the economic development of these counties and will bring new job training opportunities for the surrounding areas.”
“CareerSource Florida is grateful to Governor Ron DeSantis and our partners in education and workforce development for prioritizing expanded workforce training opportunities for people throughout the state,” said CareerSource Florida President and CEO Michelle Dennard. “Programs like these will support Florida’s employers by providing a pipeline of trained, skilled talent that is ready to work.”
“These programs not only get people trained with new skills, but they also provide access to training for higher wage paying jobs,” said Commissioner Richard Corcoran of the Florida Department of Education. “This program will support the state’s economic recovery and will provide pathways to higher degrees while getting people in those higher wage paying jobs.”
“Through workforce training programs like these, Floridians will have the opportunity to develop their knowledge,” said Florida Secretary of Commerce Jamal Sowell, President & CEO of Enterprise Florida, Inc. “Which in turn will help achieve Governor DeSantis’ vision of making Florida the best state in the nation for workforce development by 2030.”
iTECH currently has a campus in Collier County with a proven track record of equipping students with skills for success.
- 84% of iTECH students earn a high-demand industry-recognized credential;
- 95% of iTECH students graduate with minimal student debt; and
- Overall, the school has an 84% job placement rate.
iTECH Glades anticipates an annual enrollment of 250 students, with an estimated 90% completion rate. Course offerings will support more than 240 local employer partners that have nearly 5,000 job openings annually. Of the 12 pathways offered at iTECH Glades, nine can be completed in a year or less.
The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund is an economic development program designed to promote public infrastructure and workforce training across the state. Proposals are reviewed by the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and Enterprise Florida, Inc., (EFI) and chosen by the Governor to meet the demands for workforce training or infrastructure needs in communities around the state.
In 2020-21, $74 million in awards have been allocated for projects that focus on rapidly developing a highly skilled workforce and on infrastructure initiatives that attract businesses, create jobs and promote economic growth. DEO and EFI are currently accepting proposals. For more information, visit www.Floridajobs.org/jobgrowth.