Tallahassee, Fla. (February 7, 2023) — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. commemorated February as Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month. CTE Month is observed to recognize the accomplishments of students and educators and highlight the collaboration among local leaders, businesses and industry partners that contribute to the success of CTE programs across Florida. A copy of the Governor’s proclamation on CTE month can be found here (PDF).
In 2019, Governor DeSantis set a goal of making Florida the number one state in the nation for workforce education by 2030. To make this goal a reality, the Governor has committed more than $5 billion total for workforce education and has already made Florida the number one state for attracting and developing a skilled workforce.
Florida has nearly 800,000 K-12 CTE students – the highest in the state’s history – more than 380,000 postsecondary CTE students, and over 17,000 registered apprentices – a direct result of Governor DeSantis’ leadership and policies that support workforce education. Since 2019, nearly 250,000 rapid credentials have been awarded, with 93,072 earned in 2021-2022 alone.
“Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, workforce education has been the driving force of our economy, giving students the opportunity to pursue hands-on learning in vital areas of development,” said Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. “We know the impact that career and technical education has on our students, businesses and the future of our state; and we will continue to invest resources, time and energy to support its expansion.”
To build on Florida’s progress in workforce education, the Governor’s 2023-24 Framework for Freedom Budget calls for $624 million to support CTE and workforce education programs, which tops a record $579 million investment in the current fiscal year. Governor DeSantis’ 2023-24 Framework for Freedom Budget also maintains the current $125 million in total funding to support Florida’s LINE and PIPELINE nursing education initiatives, while including $20 million, an increase of $5 million, to develop the Teacher Registered Apprenticeship Program for the Governor’s Pathways to Career Opportunities Grant Program. This innovative initiative establishes or expands pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs for high school and college students.
In addition, $30 million was awarded in September for workforce development in Florida’s world-renown Space Coast region, and $8.2 million was awarded to five state colleges to expand the capacity of CDL training programs by at least 1,200 students per year.
The Florida Department of Education develops and maintains CTE programs to prepare students with wide-ranging ages and backgrounds for occupations important to Florida’s economic development. These programs are organized into 17 different career clusters and are geared toward middle school, high school, district technical school, and Florida College System students throughout the state. With the help of CTE partners in education, business, industry and trade associations, each program includes the academic and technical skills required to be successful in today’s economy.