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University of Florida and Santa Fe College receive funding to expand registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs

Press release from the Office of Governor Ron DeSantis

Today, Governor Ron DeSantis and Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran announced $10.5 million in continued investments to expand registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs at 11 colleges across Florida, including the University of Florida and Santa Fe College.

These funds were allocated through the Expansion of Registered Apprenticeship and Pre-apprenticeship (ERAP) Grant, which offers funds to state colleges and technical colleges to start or expand registered apprenticeship and/or pre-apprenticeship programs. Registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship training programs are a key component of Florida’s workforce education. They provide excellent opportunities for employers to develop and apply industry standards to training programs that can increase productivity, attract and retain highly-qualified employees, and improve their retention and overall performance. 

“We are proud to invest in programs that make a difference for students and their employers,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “This $10.5 million will provide opportunities for an additional 4,200 students in the next year and will encourage more businesses to start their own apprenticeship programs to meet industry demands.”  

“Florida has never seen a governor make so many strategic investments in workforce education that provide students with numerous opportunities to start and grow their careers and provide businesses with such a large pool of highly qualified and talented individuals,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. “This funding provides critical opportunities to grow Florida’s highly-skilled workforce, and I am thankful for Governor DeSantis’ continued leadership to make Florida number one in the nation for workforce education.” 

Apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs train very talented and qualified employees that are valued by employers. Students who complete a registered apprenticeship program are accepted by the industry as journey workers and often start their careers by earning on average $52,520 a year. Existing programs that will benefit from the ERAP grant have showcased their existing programs and recommended expansion options by starting with new high-demand and middle-to-high wage apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship programs. Proposed occupations include: electrical, plumbing, HVAC, carpentry, Electrical Vehicle (EV) and diesel mechanics, low voltage telecommunications, construction and design, radiology and magnetic resonance imaging, teaching, and culinary. 

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The following post-secondary organizations are being awarded ERAP grant funds:

  • Hillsborough Community College – $1,575,000
  • Seminole State College – $1,506,879
  • Tallahassee Community College – $1,500,000
  • Palm-Beach State College – $1,223,600
  • Hernando County School District – $1,173,900
  • Palm Beach County School District – $1,057,434
  • Pasco-Hernando State College – $956,346
  • The University of Florida, College of Education – $603,461
  • Santa Fe College – $568,860
  • Pinellas Technical College – $276,220
  • Miami-Dade College – $48,545

 Since 2019, Governor DeSantis has made it a goal to make Florida the #1 state in the nation for workforce education by 2030. Since then, Florida has invested more than $3.5 billion in workforce education programs and initiatives. In February, Governor DeSantis announced $89 million for workforce education initiatives that include funding for Florida colleges to create career and technical education charter schools, expand career and technical education dual enrollment in STEM-related programs, and accelerate cybersecurity and IT post-secondary pathways. Additionally, Governor DeSantis announced $289 million for STEM programs, civics education, and after-school and summer learning programs as part of Florida’s goal to make Florida the #1 state in the nation for education.