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Rod Duckworth
325 West Gaines Street, Suite 744
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400

Phone: 850-245-0446
Fax: 850-245-9052

About Us

Workforce Education is designed to meet the needs of our customers, which include students, business and industry, school districts, Florida colleges, community-based organizations, and correctional institutions. This area represents a significant collaboration and partnership across both private and public sectors throughout the state of Florida to improve Florida's workforce. Workforce Education is delivered to our customers through a network of service providers, which include District Technical Centers, Adult Education Providers and Florida colleges. Contact information for each of the providers may be accessed through the following links:

In the Limelight

M-DCPS Career & Technical Education High School Students Excel at National STEM League Finals

Miami-Dade County Public Schools' (M-DCPS) Career and Technical Education (CTE) math and science students from TERRA Environmental Research Institute and Miami Springs Senior High School were among the country's most motivated National STEM League Ten80 teams to compete in the national finals recently.

Thirty-six teams from across the nation revved up the engines of remote control model racecars and robot vehicles, and also presented their innovative green engineering projects and racing team marketing designs to judges.

TERRA won second place in the grand champion overall category. Trophies and cash prizes were presented to both schools in other categories, including:

  • Engineering Project: Miami Springs - 1st place; TERRA - 2nd place
  • Team Presentation: Miami Springs - 1st place; TERRA - 3rd place
  • Graphic Design: Miami Springs - 1st place

Read full M-DCPS Career & Technical Education High School Students Excel at National STEM League Finals article

Contact: John Schuster, Miami-Dade County Public Schools 305-995-1126

Academy of Finance Students Get a Head Start as Future Bankers

Forty-five Miami-Dade County Public Schools students from various schools in the District will have the opportunity participate in an innovative summer program called the Future Bankers' Camp. CareerSource South Florida and several local banks have strengthened their commitment to expose students to careers in the financial services industry by sponsoring the program.

The Miami Dade College School of Business and the Center for Financial Training Future Bankers' Camp will prepare students enrolled in Academy of Finance programs at Barbara Goleman, Coral Gables, Coral Reef, Mater Academy East Charter, Miami Jackson, North Miami Beach, and Miami Sunset senior high schools. The summer program will provide students with various educational enhancement opportunities that will enhance their math and communication skills, including completion of an internship program and industry certification with the ultimate aim of college and career readiness. This initiative is also aligned with the school district's partnership and involvement in the One Community One Goal targeted Industry Implementation Plan.

Read full Academy of Finance Students Get a Head Start as Future Bankers article

Contact: John Schuster, Miami-Dade County Public Schools 305-995-1126

Coral Gables High School students get Bloomberg certified at State Farm Financial Literacy Lab.

Robert Reisert, accounting teacher at Coral Gables High School, has many students who want to be stock brokers, investment bankers, fund managers or other financial industry professionals, Reisert wanted to enhance the curriculum by bringing his students for training on the Bloomberg terminals after he participated in the Academy of Finance I Am C2 College and Career Ready Conference hosted by FIU and the National Academy Foundation. Reisert told them about a program at the State Farm Financial Literacy Lab, part of the College of Business at Florida International University (FIU), whereby they could become certified to use the Bloomberg Terminal, a widely popular research database that professionals use.

Read full Coral Gables High School students get Bloomberg certified at State Farm Financial Literacy Lab article

SkillsUSA Florida State Competition

The SkillsUSA Florida State Competition was held April 28-29 in Pensacola. There were 1,800 high school and postsecondary students who competed in events such as carpentry, cosmetology, commercial baking, web design and welding, to name a few. The top performers in each competition were awarded gold, silver or bronze medals. Gold medalists will compete in the National SkillsUSA Competition this June in Kansas City, Mo. SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.


CF Equine Studies Student Wins Dressage National Championship

College of Central Florida student Samantha Cooper, 20, won the National Championship in Upper Training at the 2014 Intercollegiate Dressage Association National Championships Saturday, April 12, in Chatham, Va.

Cooper, who moved to Ocala from Washington to study Equine Business Management at CF, has ridden dressage for the past six years. After she graduates in December with her Associate in Science in Equine Studies, Cooper plans to pursue a bachelor's degree in agriculture business.

Read full CF Equine Studies Student Wins Dressage National Championship article.

Santa Fe College (SFC) Students Help with Health Occupation Student of America (HOSA) Competition

On Saturday, April 5, 2014, Santa Fe College EMT & Paramedic students judged the emergency medical technician (EMT) competition at the Health Occupation Student of America Florida State Leadership Conference at Coronado Springs Resort at Disney. The HOSA State Leadership Conference had over 3,000 students and advisors present. There were many competitions and workshops during the four day conference. The HOSA competitions that SFC student were involved with were the EMT and First Aid/CPR.

The HOSA EMT competition had 24 secondary (high school) and postsecondary teams from around the state competing for the top spot. These 24 teams were top in their respected HOSA Regional Leadership Conference and advanced to the State level. The top three teams will represent Florida at the HOSA National Leadership Conference in June. These teams work all year to prepare for this competition.

SFC paramedic programs had the privilege of creating the scenario and, along with the SFC EMT students, running the event, with some acting and others judging the HOSA teams from around the state. The scenario is about 12 minutes long and incorporates various skills which the HOSA EMT competitors must perform properly for points. This year HOSA EMT competitors had to manage two patients, one with a bleeding leg injury and then a person having a heart attack. The SFC Paramedic students created this challenging scenario which they pulled from their experiences within our EMS program.

Many of the SFC students also were judges in the CPR/First Aid Competition. HOSA advisors from around the state were impressed with the students commitment to HOSA and to the First Aid/CPR & EMT competitions.


Left: Paramedic student Dylan Rodgers (blue shirt on left) is keeping a close eye on a HOSA EMT team. SFC student Jacob Exley (with hat) plays an older person having trouble breathing while another SFC student actor (Ryan Griffith) is being placed on a long spine board by the HOSA EMT team.

Middle: Paramedic student Dylan Rodgers (on right on knee) is watching closely how the HOSA EMT team treats SFC student Jacob Exley (with hat) who is having trouble breathing. SFC student Victoria Leland plays a concerned bystander to SFC student Ryan Griffith (who has an injured leg).

Right: Paramedic student Drew Little (right side) & EMT student Greg Sanford (on one knee) looks on as a HOSA EMT team treats an injured patient. SFC Student Edwin Vickers (left) plays a concerned father to the injured patient being treated.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools' Career Academies Outperform All School Districts as Nationally-Recognized Programs

Miami, FL - Miami-Dade County Public Schools will be adding four new Distinguished Academies to its existing three Distinguished National Academy Foundation (NAF) career academies.

Alonzo & Tracy Mourning Senior High School Academy of Hospitality & Tourism (AOHT), Coral Reef Senior High School Academy of Finance (AOF), Mater Academy East Charter (AOF) and Miami Central Senior High School Academy of Information Technology (AOIT) join Miami Beach Senior High School AOHT, Miami Norland Senior High School AOHT and Southwest Miami Senior High School AOF that are already Distinguished Academies. Miami-Dade County Public Schools now has seven of the 22 nationally recognized high-quality academies demonstrating that their programs perform at the highest level in preparing their students for college and careers. This national distinction is the most of any school district.

For full Miami-Dade County Public Schools' Career Academies Outperform All School Districts as Nationally-Recognized Programs article.

Contact: John Schuster, Miami-Dade County Public Schools 305-995-1126

M-DCPS Students Participate in National Flight Academy's Ambition Program

MIAMI - Miami-Dade County Engineering and Information Technology students from Booker T. Washington, Miami Central, Miami Coral Park, North Miami and William H. Turner Technical Arts senior high schools, and Miami Lakes Educational Center participated in the second annual Explore Ambition Program, a STEM career-related experience at the National Flight Academy in Pensacola.

Students, in 9th through 11th grade with varying math and science skill levels, spent their spring break as participants in this unique program at the Pensacola Naval Air Station. Students were separated into squadrons and engaged in the activities to complete assigned tasks with fellow team members. The students received immersion training using various technologies including simulators and virtual reality games that have proven to inspire students to high levels of academic achievement in STEM disciplines.

For full M-DCPS Students Participate in National Flight Academy's Ambition Program article.

Contact: John Schuster, Miami-Dade County Public Schools 305-995-1126

Florida School for the Deaf & the Blind (FSDB) Third Quarter Accomplishments

For information on what great accomplishments have occurred at FSDB, you may read their newsletter (PDF).

FRLAEF Announces Winners of the 14th Annual ProStart Culinary Team Competition

(TALLAHASSEE, FL)-Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association's Educational Foundation (FRLAEF) announced the winners of the 14th Annual ProStart Culinary Team Competitions which were held Wednesday, March 5 and Thursday, March 6 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

A total of 60 schools participated in the competition with 16 schools winning top awards throughout the day's events. More than $800,000 in scholarships was distributed to the winning schools. All participating teams were comprised of high school juniors and seniors that are enrolled in the ProStart curriculum program during the 2013-2014 school year. Teams participated in four competitions which included the Cracker Barrel Management Competition, the Johnson & Wales University Culinary Competition, the Keiser University Edible Centerpiece Competition, and the Coca-Cola Company Waiters Relay Competition.

J. P. Taravella High School in Coral Springs won first place in the overall competition. Tarpon Springs High School took home second place in the overall competition, with Leto High School in Tampa placing third.

"FRLAEF is the only organization in Florida that offers the ProStart program," said Carol Dover, President and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. "It is designed to increase the quality and employability of today's high school graduates by providing them with school-to-career training and giving them more opportunities for foodservice and lodging careers, and higher education. We congratulate all the winners and participants of the team competitions."

Contact: Elizabeth Ray, FRLA Press Secretary, at 850-224-2250 ext. 255 or .

Full article.

Seahawk Metal Team Soars at Robotics Competition


Sunlake High School's Robotics (Seahawk Metal) team recently returned from a brilliant performance at a competition in the Battle of Brandon VEX Qualifying Tournament, ranking 5th out of 27 teams present, and taking home the 2013-2014 Design Award. This award is given to one team who displays a creative and effective design process in allocating responsibilities, budgeting time, and documenting all progress made each meeting. This achievement has qualified the team to attend the VEX State Championship for the High School Division, to compete among Florida's best 36 teams for a chance at qualifying for World's. The team used Solidworks to model the robot in a 3D atmosphere combined with the integration of Facebook into the

Notebook process allowed the team to stand out amidst others at the competition, and were some of the leading factors that led to the award. The Design award is one of the most prestigious awards, and Seahawk Metal was very proud of the progress they've made in their rookie year that led to this outcome. The autonomous programming, created by experienced engineering students, performed consistently well throughout the competition, and was often the component that led to victories with closely-matched opponents. Combine this with a diligent scouting team, an organized pit area, the willingness to cooperate with alliance partners, and spirited team members, and the team found themselves quickly picked by the 4th-best robot in attendance during the alliance selection. Of the 36 qualified teams going to States, 15 teams will be qualified to travel to California in April to compete with the best teams internationally in the World championships. With their goals high and their team ready, Seahawk Metal is thoroughly prepared for an excellent performance in future matches. Updates on the Seahawk Metal team, including building process, competition performance, and pictures can be found by following them on Twitter (@SunlakeRobotics), or by "liking" them on Facebook.

National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Visits Deland High School

The Florida Masonry Apprentice and Educational Foundation and the NCCER visited with the Construction Education Students at Deland High School. NCCER brought NASCAR Driver David Starr to speak with the students. David is a 17-year veteran of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He has competed in 317 races over 16 years and has won 4 times, has been on the Pole 5 times, and has had an impressive 117 Top Ten finishes.

The students gave David their full attention as he spoke to them about the importance of completing their NCCER construction program sponsored by the Florida Masonry Apprenticeship & Education Foundation (FMAEF). He emphasized the fact that he had been in a career and technical class just like them and that his passion for cars led him to get his Certification for Auto Mechanic. Completion of his career and technical certification helped prepare him to become a NASCAR Driver. He also let the students know that he did not come from a wealthy family and that staying in school and getting his education enabled him to work his way on to a career with NASCAR. David stated in his talks with the construction students just how important it is to complete their program and gain their Industry Certification. He encouraged them to persevere and not be afraid to work hard to reach the top of their chosen profession.

David spoke with over 130 students and generously signed autographs. David also spent time with each instructor, Rick Hervey, carpentry; Greg Gebben, construction technology; and Dr. Daniel Cox, career specialist for Volusia County Schools.

In the Limelight Archive