Governor Ron DeSantis announced more than $5.8 million in Florida Job Growth Grant Funds to support the opening of  iTECH Glades Technical College in Moore Haven, a new location of Immokalee Technical College.

“When I took office, I asked DEO to focus on finding ways to support and invest in our rural communities – today, they delivered,” said Governor Ron DeSantis during the Friday announcement. “I am proud to award $5.8 million through the Governor’s Job Growth Grant Fund to create a new technical college campus in Moore Haven.”

The new iTECH Glades campus in Moore Haven will serve an area that does not have any post-secondary training programs within 30 miles. The $5.8 million award will cover five years of startup costs for the technical college and will allow the campus to offer 12 career training programs. Workforce training will be offered in high-demand fields such as HVAC, diesel systems, accounting, nursing, welding and healthcare, and will be available to Floridians in Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Okeechobee and Collier counties.

“The creation of these 12 workforce training programs supports Governor DeSantis’ vision in growing workforce education across Florida,” said Secretary Dane Eagle of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. “This award is crucial to the economic development of these counties and will bring new job training opportunities for the surrounding areas.”

“CareerSource Florida is grateful to Governor Ron DeSantis and our partners in education and workforce development for prioritizing expanded workforce training opportunities for people throughout the state,” said CareerSource Florida President and CEO Michelle Dennard. “Programs like these will support Florida’s employers by providing a pipeline of trained, skilled talent that is ready to work.”

“These programs not only get people trained with new skills, but they also provide access to training for higher wage paying jobs,” said Commissioner Richard Corcoran of the Florida Department of Education. “This program will support the state’s economic recovery and will provide pathways to higher degrees while getting people in those higher wage paying jobs.”

iTECH Glades anticipates an annual enrollment of 250 students, with an estimated 90% completion rate. Course offerings will support more than 240 local employer partners that have nearly 5,000 job openings annually. Of the 12 pathways offered at iTECH Glades, nine can be completed in a year or less.

In 2020-21, $74 million in awards have been allocated for projects that focus on rapidly developing a highly skilled workforce and on infrastructure initiatives that attract businesses, create jobs and promote economic growth.

The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund is an economic development program designed to promote public infrastructure and workforce training across the state. Proposals are reviewed by the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and Enterprise Florida, Inc., (EFI) and chosen by the Governor to meet the demands for workforce training or infrastructure needs in communities around the state.

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Steve Stewart is the Managing Editor and a contributor at The Florida Capital Star. Email tips to sstewart@floridacapitalstar.com.
Photo “iTECH Glades Technical College” by iTECH College.