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August 22, 2006
Lt. Governor Jennings and Commissioner Winn Announce $33.4 Million in SUCCEED, Florida! Grants
Grants will fulfill critical workforce needs in Florida
TALLAHASSEE Lt. Governor Toni Jennings and Education Commissioner John L. Winn today announced the recipients of $33.4 million in 2006-2007 SUCCEED, Florida! Career Education Grants. Through this funding provided by the Florida Legislature, the Florida Department of Education (DOE) will award 87 new competitive grants to support new and expanding programs in nursing/allied health, manufacturing, automotive technology and teacher certification in public and private career centers, community colleges and universities all areas designated by Enterprise Florida and Workforce Florida as targeted sectors for statewide economic development. The funding will also support the addition of 102 career academies with $5.3 million from SUCCEED, Florida! and nearly $2.1 million from funding the Florida Legislature appropriated to implement Governor Bush's A++ Plan for Education.
"The SUCCEED, Florida! Grant Program will ensure our state has a well-educated and strong workforce in the health, education, manufacturing and automotive technology sectors," said Lt. Governor Jennings. "This investment in Florida's workforce will help maintain our competitive edge in retaining and attracting new businesses to our state."
Established in 2005, the SUCCEED, Florida! Grant Program is designed to build capacity for education programs to meet the state's most critical workforce needs. This year, the allied health, manufacturing and automotive industries added their support to SUCCEED, Florida! funding to address workforce shortages in these sectors. During 2006-2007, 24 new allied health grants, five new manufacturing grants and seven new automotive technology grants will be funded. Additionally, two critical workforce shortage areas funded last year teaching and nursing remain a priority. Additionally, 33 teaching grants and 18 nursing grants are being awarded today.
"The SUCCEED, Florida! Grant program enables us to better meet our state's critical need for teachers," said Commissioner Winn. "The funding of 102 career oriented academies represents the state's first down payment on new educational experiences and opportunities for our high school students."
The SUCCEED, Florida! Grant Program is aligned with Commissioner Winn's four-point plan to better prepare today's students for tomorrow's workforce. Last year Commissioner Winn identified measures the DOE would take to expand career academies in high schools, align career education with industry standards and workforce demands and expand options for students to continue their education and enter the workplace. Since the creation of the program, 141 new career academies have been funded.
"Career education, in high school and beyond, gives students a passport to the American Dream with training and education for an incredible career," said Community College and Workforce Education Chancellor David Armstrong. "SUCCEED, Florida! funding helps us create a pipeline beginning in high school to meet our state's workforce needs, and create opportunities for students to begin climbing their career ladder in high schools, technical centers, community colleges and universities."
In its second year, the SUCCEED, Florida! Grant Program is already making a significant difference in the number and type of career education programs offered throughout the state. Also part of the $33.4 million Lt. Governor Jennings and Commissioner Winn awarded today, are continuation funds from the 2005-06 SUCCEED, Florida! Grants, which include 15 nursing grants, 26 teaching grants and 36 career academy grants.
More than 1,000 students are enrolled in career academies funded in during 2005-2006. Last year, 17 nursing grants, 27 teaching grants and 39 career academies grants were awarded to schools and colleges throughout the state. These grants enabled more than 2100 new students to pursue a career in teaching. The nursing grants attracted 328 new nursing students and produced nearly 200 faculty to alleviate the backlog in community college nursing programs.
"Improving Florida's business climate is directly linked to improvements in our education system at all levels," said President of Gulf Power and Vice Chairman of Enterprise Florida Susan Story. "SUCCEED, Florida! helps strengthen the connection between education and economic development because without a highly skilled workforce, there is no economic development."
Florida's Workforce Education programs, supported by the SUCCEED, Florida! Grants Program, offer specialized instruction to help students achieve their goals. To learn more about the career development opportunities, contact the DOE Workforce Education office toll free at (800) 406-5555 or visit www.fldoe.org.