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Governor Ron DeSantis Announces $89 Million for Workforce Education Initiatives, Bringing Total Investment to Greater Than $3.5 Billion Since 2019

Gainesville, Fla. (February 2, 2022) — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced $89 million in funding for workforce education initiatives, including a first-of-its-kind Career and Technical Education (CTE) charter schools initiative. Governor DeSantis made the announcement at Santa Fe College, which was awarded funding to create a charter school that will allow high school students to earn credentials and college credit while in high school. Funding awarded today also includes high school CTE dual enrollment programs, apprenticeships, and cybersecurity and IT training.

In 2019, Governor DeSantis set the goal of making Florida the number one state in the nation for workforce education by 2030, and with today’s announcement, Florida has invested over $3.5 billion to expand workforce education and training programs in the state since 2019. For more information about today’s announcement, click here.

“I set a goal to make big improvements to workforce education opportunities in Florida, and we are making great strides,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Today’s announcement will expand technical education opportunities across Florida, especially for high school students. These initiatives will also help businesses in Florida recruit highly-skilled workers to fill needed positions, thereby strengthening Florida’s economic base.”

“Education is the great equalizer, and an educated workforce is an enormous asset for our state and national economy,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. “I’m both grateful for Governor DeSantis’ visionary leadership and excited for the opportunities that lay ahead for so many Floridians.”

The Governor awarded $10 million for colleges to authorize the creation and operation of early CTE charter schools. This allows for more accessible and accelerated pathways for high school students to completion of high-quality postsecondary credentials. The first five schools to be awarded funding are:

  • Northwest Florida State College
  • Tallahassee Community College
  • Santa Fe College
  • St. Pete College
  • Miami-Dade College

The Governor has also authorized funding to support additional workforce education initiatives including:

  • $26.5 million for expansion of CTE dual enrollment in STEM-related programs;
  • $20 million to accelerate cybersecurity and IT postsecondary pathways;
  • $12 million to increase the accessibility of registered apprenticeship programs with a focus on small and hard to reach businesses and skilled trades pathways; and
  • $9 million for development of critical workforce need pathways, such as nursing, critical health care programs, law enforcement, supply chain professions, teaching, and emergency management.

Governor DeSantis is also awarding $12 million in educator resources and data-driven supports for students and employers, and $2 million to 28 colleges and school districts (PDF) for the purpose of expanding entrepreneurship education and training. 

Since 2019, Florida has made tremendous progress to advance workforce education:  

  • The Florida College System has added 11 CTE baccalaureate degree programs in high-value fields like healthcare, cybersecurity, and information technology in response to employer job demands;
  • Access to apprenticeship programs has also expanded by registering 50 new programs for a total of more than 300; and
  • There are more than 772,000 CTE students in Florida K-12 schools — the highest in state history — and more than 338,000 postsecondary CTE students.

A recent editorial from the Florida Council of 100 recognized that over the last three years Florida businesses are more likely to find qualified in-state talent to fill their vacancies than in 2018.