Florida State College at Jacksonville will put more people back in the classroom to further their career skills with the help of a $5 million federal grant.
The school led a three-pronged effort to earn the grant as part of the American Apprenticeship program. FSCJ, St. Petersburg and Broward colleges will work with businesses and other partners to close workforce skills gaps as part of the Florida Apprenticeship consortium.
Industries in information technology, manufacturing, health care and construction and trades across the state stand to benefit.
In all, 1,000 people will be served by the Florida program over the next five years, with 334 being in Northeast Florida. St. Petersburg and Broward will each help 333 people with the grant. As the lead agency, FSCJ will receive more than $2.3 million of the grant, with the rest split.
The grant positions the college to be a leader in training opportunities for area employers through apprenticeship programs, said FSCJ President Cynthia Bioteau in a news release. It also should help the college’s students.
“Aligning apprenticeships to education and job training will promote further learning and career advancement opportunities for our students,” she said.
FSCJ spokeswoman Jill Johnson said the grant will allow the college to hire five employees to oversee the apprenticeship program. That includes a grant accountant and program manager.
Such programs, she said, have been shown to promote employee loyalty and increase productivity.
There were more than a dozen entities that offered letters of support for the program on behalf of the college. They included the city, JAX Chamber, Duval County Public Schools, AT&T, Northrop Grumman Corp. and Vistakon.
“With the rapid way technology is changing, this program will help individuals grow in their fields and help companies upscale their current workforce,” Johnson said.
The goal is to start implementing the program Oct. 1.