Vocational training

DeSantis awards $2.3 million to 6 institutions for vocational education and nursing programs

BOWLING GREEN, Florida. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday awarded a total of $2.3 million to six facilities for commercial driver’s license and nursing-related training programs.

A check for $415,000 was presented to South Florida State College as the governor spoke at his Hardee County campus in Bowling Green, where he linked the funding need to inflation and driver shortages of truck.

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DeSantis said his goal is to make Florida the top state in workforce training by 2030.

“The American Trucking Association estimates that we will need 1.1 million new truck drivers nationwide over the next 10 years,” DeSantis said. “We are pleased that since 2019, when we launched our workforce initiative, enrollment in high-quality post-secondary vocational and technical training has increased by 50%, and that is a very, very good thing. “said DeSantis.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks in Bowling Green Thursday, January 20, 2022. (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.)

Joe Wright, chairman of Southeast Milk’s board of directors, said dairy farmers in Florida have found the chance to turn to educational institutions such as South Florida State College for new truck drivers.

“We’ve had a chronic shortage of drivers for several years now, so we feel like we’ve struck a gold mine by hiring drivers from our driving schools into our state colleges,” Wright said. “These are high paying jobs, our average entry-level driver will make $65,000 a year, our experienced drivers will make $80,000 a year without incurring a big college debt.”

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Dr. Thomas Leitzel, president of South Florida State College, said the money would be spent on a new truck driving simulator to help prepare students for road conditions they wouldn’t normally encounter in the state.

“They can experience wind, rain, snow and ice when they start driving on interstate highways, so that’s wonderful,” Leitzel said.

DeSantis awarded a total of $285,000 to bolster nursing programs at two colleges, Florida Gateway College and College of the Florida Keys, and said the recent continuation of a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for healthcare workers by the US Supreme Court was “ridiculous”.

“Think how ridiculous it is what they’re doing trying to force nurses with these vaxes, you know a lot of these nurses have had COVID, a lot of them are younger, some of them , they’re trying to have families, there’s a whole bunch of stuff that they have going on and so they don’t want to be forced into it,” DeSantis said. “You see the shortages in there of all way, and now it’s adding to it.”

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Here’s a breakdown of where Thursday’s rewards were sent:

  • $930,000 – State College of Florida, for CDL training.

  • $550,000 – Manatee Technical College, for CDL training.

  • $415,000 – South Florida State College, for CDL training.

  • $100,000 – North Florida Technical College, for CDL training.

  • $135,000 – Florida Gateway College, for nursing programs.

  • $150,000 – College of the Florida Keys, for nursing programs.

Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All Rights Reserved.