AVON PARK — South Florida State College received an executed contract in January from the Department of Economic Opportunity signaling the official sanction of a $2.3 million award to promote economic opportunity by improving public infrastructure and enhancing workforce training.
The grant from the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund was awarded under former Gov. Rick Scott.
“We are enormously grateful to Gov. Scott for supporting Florida’s Heartland Region with this grant award,” said Thomas C. Leitzel, president of SFSC. “The Job Growth Grant Fund award to South Florida State College will make a meaningful impact by supporting educational programs designed to put people to work in infrastructure support jobs that will contribute to positive economic growth and development.”
In the tri-county region of Highlands, DeSoto, and Hardee counties, there is a demonstrated need for affordable housing and an educated workforce in order to encourage advanced manufacturing companies to set up locations in Florida’s Heartland and employees to relocate to homes in the region, both boosting the economy of the area.
With this grant, SFSC plans to create a construction institute to provide skills-based training that will meet and exceed the industry’s standard. Students who progress through the institute and graduate can find work with construction firms to sustain and expand the housing industry within the region.
The second phase of funding will expand and enhance the advanced manufacturing curriculum at SFSC. Students who progress through these courses and graduate will be able to gain employment as a machinist or an industrial maintenance technician, both valuable to the manufacturing industry, which the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says is on an upswing for hiring with the creation of 288,000 new jobs over the past year.
The third and final phase introduces another option for students who progressed through the advanced manufacturing curriculum and also those who have a military background. SFSC will create an electronic warfare program through a partnership with Florida Institute of Technology and the United States Air Force. The electronic warfare program labs will be housed partially at the Avon Park Air Force Range. This program will be the first in the nation.
SFSC identified economic demands in the region and with the Florida Job Growth Grant, the college is able to address those needs head-on.
For more information about the variety of programs at SFSC, call 863-453-6661 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.