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PRESS RELEASE

October 20, 2005

Deena Reppen
(850) 488-5394

Jennifer Fennell
(850) 245-0413

Florida Community Colleges Receive Presidential Grants
Seven colleges receive more than $11 million as part of President Bush’s Community-Based Job Training Initiative

TALLAHASSEE - Governor Jeb Bush and Education Commissioner John L. Winn today announced seven of Florida’s community colleges were selected to receive more than $11 million in grants under President George W. Bush’s Community-Based Job Training Initiative. The U.S. Secretary of Labor released the nationwide list of grant recipients yesterday.

"Community colleges play an important role in our growing economy for new and experienced workers seeking to develop, retool and broaden their skills," said Governor Bush. "This additional funding will provide more Floridians with access to job training, strengthening the role of these colleges in our communities and promoting the full potential of our workforce."

Florida Community Colleges receiving funding are:

  • Broward Community College’s automotive program - $1.6 million
  • Edison College’s healthcare program - $1.98 million
  • Palm Beach Community College’s construction program - $1.56 million
  • Pensacola Junior College’s healthcare program - $1.32 million
  • Santa Fe Community College’s healthcare program - $1.07 million
  • St. Petersburg College’s healthcare program - $1.65 million
  • Valencia Community College’s healthcare program - $1.99 million

"This builds upon the good work already underway by Florida’s SUCCEED grants," said Commissioner Winn. "These additional funds will allow workforce programs to expand their existing training capacity and serve new populations through the creation of additional programs in a host of high skill, high demand professions."

Technology and innovation, globalization, and the aging of America’s workforce continue to change the nature of work and needs in the workplace. Businesses in high growth, high demand industries face increasing difficulties finding skilled workers.

"Addressing the needs of the students in our state is the primary mission of the Division of Community Colleges and Workforce Education," said Community College and Workforce Education Chancellor David Armstrong. "Because of their close connection to local labor markets, community colleges are well positioned to prepare workers for high demand occupations. An increased number of students now have an opportunity to train for higher skill, higher paying jobs so that they and their families can advance in life."

In his Fiscal Year 2005 Budget, President Bush proposed Community-Based Job Training Grants to strengthen the role of community colleges in promoting the full potential of America’s workforce. This competitive grant program builds on the President's High Growth Job Training Initiative, which is a national model for demand-driven workforce development implemented by strategic partnerships between the workforce investment system, employers, community colleges and other training providers. The primary purpose of the job training grants is to build the capacity of community colleges, which can arm workers with the skills necessary to succeed in high growth, high demand industries.

In implementing this initiative, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration conducted a competitive grant process, receiving almost 400 grant applications. To be eligible for funds, publicly-funded community and technical colleges were required to demonstrate that they are engaged in a strategic partnership with business and industry, the workforce investment system, and the continuum of K-12 education. The proposals identified workforce challenges and solutions for locally-identified high growth, high demand occupations. Funds must be used to increase the capacity of community colleges and provide training for new and experienced workers in local high growth, high demand industries.

To view descriptions of the grants awarded to each community college program, visit http://www.firn.edu/doe/workforce/pdf/Florida_CBJT_grants.pdf. For more about the President’s Community-Based Job Training Grants, visit http://www.doleta.gov/business/Community-BasedJobTrainingGrants.cfm.