Courtesy of Florida State College at Jacksonville
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) was awarded the America’s Promise Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to strengthen and expand job training partnerships for the community. The only college in Florida to receive this grant, FSCJ will use the $1,804,656 award to support the School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics through advanced manufacturing training opportunities, specifically in mechatronics and welding technologies.
The grant was inspired by President Obama’s America’s College Promise plan to allow two free years of community college for responsible students. Designed to accelerate the development and expansion of workforce partnerships that provide a pipeline of skilled workers in specific, in-demand sectors, the grant requires partnerships that include industry leaders, senior-level leadership from workforce and economic development organizations, secondary and postsecondary education institutions, elected officials and other community stakeholders.
FSCJ’s regional workforce partners include Anheuser-Busch, First Coast Manufacturers Association, Kaman, FabTech Supply, Now Hiring Heroes, Pal-King, Remedy Staffing, Florida Advanced Technological Education Center of Excellence, Ameri-Force, NOVA, CareerSource Northeast Florida (First Coast Workforce Development), JAX Chamber, JAXUSA Partnership, United Way of Northeast Florida, Early Learning Coalition, City of Jacksonville Military Affairs and Veterans Department, Fresh Ministries, FSCJ’s Adult General Education Program and State of Florida Vocational Rehabilitation.
The grant award allows for a project that aims to develop and implement:
- An accelerated 10-week core fundamentals boot camp focused on building essential manufacturing workforce skills as identified by employer partners;
- A Core+ upskilling training component that can be customized to employer needs;
- An America’s Promise Manufacturing Open Lab featuring effective hands-on and simulation skills assessment; and
- Skills attainment through Work & Learn paid internships.
Over the four-year project period, FSCJ will serve a minimum of 250 participants from various populations, including low-income individuals, unemployed and underemployed workers, individuals with limited English proficiency, individuals with disabilities, military veterans and their spouses, and disadvantaged and underrepresented populations with barriers to employment. Credentials to be awarded include: OSHA 10, OSHA 30, MSSC-CPT, NIMS Level 1, Autodesk Certified User-AutoCAD, Autodesk Certified Professional-AutoCAD and AWS Basic Welder.
Already one of the most affordable options in the nation, FSCJ is working toward reducing students’ dependence on loans by offering many low- and no-cost options such as dual enrollment and scholarship opportunities for qualified candidates, developing paid internship and apprenticeship opportunities in key areas of employment to assist with paying down student loans and providing career mentorship programs translating to higher job placement and satisfaction.
“FSCJ is committed to providing access to the education and training necessary that enriches both the lives of our students and the communities we serve,” said FSCJ President Dr. Cynthia Bioteau. “To be the only college in Florida recognized in this way reinforces the need to continue working alongside our tremendous partners to create valuable and affordable learning opportunities that elevates the workforce of tomorrow and generates a secure, prosperous future for all.”