Florida Atlantic Workforce Alliance to Strengthen East Coast Talent Pipeline
Governor’s nearly $30 million investment will support growing aviation, aerospace, defense manufacturing and cybersecurity businesses with job awareness and training programs.
Daytona Beach, FL (Sept. 16, 2022) — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced nearly $30 million in strategic investments being made in Florida to develop a sustainable pipeline of job-ready candidates in aviation, aerospace, defense manufacturing and IT/cybersecurity. The geographic focus for these efforts includes the state’s Eastern seaboard from Flagler to Martin counties through creation of the Florida Atlantic Workforce Alliance.
“This is an exciting opportunity for regional collaboration to expand the workforce talent in aerospace, aviation, manufacturing and cybersecurity,” said CareerSource Brevard President Marci Murphy. “The CareerSource Brevard Board of Directors is grateful for the Governor’s vision of a synergistic approach to talent pipeline growth that includes the public school system, state colleges and local workforce development boards on Florida’s Atlantic coastline, giving businesses the workforce they need to be successful.”
“CareerSource Brevard’s Chairman of the Board, Lloyd Gregg, VP/GM Space Support Services ASRC Federal said, “We are honored to support the Governor’s vision for building the next generation of highly skilled workers.”
The Alliance unites and aligns workforce development, education, economic development, and employers to collectively boost the technical workforce to meet growing industry demands in and near the Space Coast. This group of stakeholders includes three local workforce development boards — CareerSource Brevard, CareerSource Flagler Volusia and CareerSource Research Coast — as well as CareerSource Florida, the Florida Department of Education, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Enterprise Florida, Space Florida and education partners including Eastern Florida State College, Daytona State College and Indian River State College.
“With significant job growth in Florida’s aviation and aerospace industry sectors, the CareerSource Florida Board of Directors applauds Governor Ron DeSantis for leading this collaborative effort and targeted investment in workforce education and training,” said CareerSource Florida President and CEO Michelle Dennard. “Together with our workforce development, economic development and education partners, we will ensure Floridians are trained and ready for these high-wage, high-demand jobs of the future.”
The collaboration exemplifies the spirit of the Reimagining Education and Career Help (REACH) Act, signed by Governor DeSantis in 2021. The REACH Act aims to remove barriers to education and employment and help Floridians become self-sufficient through enhanced access to good jobs and career pathways that offer economic opportunity.
More than $27 million will support the Alliance’s postsecondary educational providers and CareerSource Florida network partners as they develop robust training programs in partnership with industry, local public school districts, and economic development organizations. These funding sources include $11.5 million from the Governor’s Job Growth Grant Fund, administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity; $9 million in Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funding through CareerSource Florida; $3 million in a Florida Department of Education Cybersecurity and IT Training Grant; and $4.07 million in a Florida Department of Education Pathways to Career Opportunities Grant.
At Eastern Florida State College in Brevard County, opportunities will focus on aviation and aerospace. The college plans to transition and improve its aviation maintenance programs, add composite training and avionics, and embed new forms of advanced manufacturing, IT and skills training into its aerospace technology programs.
Daytona State College in Flagler County will focus on scaling the college’s machining and welding technology programs, with intentional efforts to build the workforce pipeline by increasing dual enrollment and strengthening K12-to-postsecondary pathways.
“The CareerSource Flagler Volusia Board of Directors is grateful for this tremendous investment to heighten awareness and training opportunities for these legacy industries in our community,” said Robin King, President and CEO of CareerSource Flagler Volusia. “Our success, built on collaboration between education partners, economic development practitioners and area businesses, will strengthen the talent pipeline along the Florida Atlantic coast.”
Indian River State College will design, equip, and launch the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Hub, where coursework will focus on welding, electronics technology, machining, computer-aided design, and precision manufacturing.
“On behalf of CareerSource Research Coast’s board of directors and staff, we thank our Governor and state workforce and education leaders for your commitment with this substantial investment in our state’s talent pipeline,” said CareerSource Research Coast President and CEO Brian Bauer. “CareerSource Research Coast and our partners, including Indian River State College, are excited for this opportunity to work on this sector focus initiative addressing talent needs in aerospace, advanced manufacturing, aviation and cybersecurity.”
CareerSource Brevard, formerly Brevard Workforce, is a non-profit, regional public/private partnership under CareerSource Florida. Workforce Boards create local workforce development systems through one-stop career centers which combine multiple federal, state, and local program funds, providing comprehensive services, labor market information and access to resources for businesses and career seekers.