Leading the Charge in Apprenticeships, Northwest Florida State College is Awarded a $1.5 Million Dollar Department of Labor Youth Apprenticeship Readiness Grant

NICEVILLE – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) announced Wednesday that Northwest Florida State College has been awarded $1,497,320 to stand up the NWFSC Youth Apprenticeship Program. The full announcement can be accessed at https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/eta/eta20200630-1. The Youth Apprenticeship Readiness grant aims to increase participation by youth, ages 16 to 24 years old, in new or existing Registered Apprenticeship Programs.

NWFSC’s Youth Apprenticeship Readiness program includes apprenticeship opportunities in construction trades, public safety and hospitality industries, with specific apprenticeship programs in the fields of Carpentry, Plumbing, HVAC, Paramedics and Culinary Arts.

Currently, NWFSC offers three existing registered apprenticeship programs – in machining, plumbing, and carpentry. These registered apprenticeship programs were approved by the State Apprenticeship Director in October 2019. The College intends to use its existing apprenticeship programs to bolster our program capacity and produce completers, who in turn will work with the employers to create jobs within our local economy. Furthermore, NWFSC is expanding its current scope by proposing to offer HVAC, Paramedic, and Culinary apprenticeships. The Youth Apprenticeship Readiness Program participants will be able to earn certifications in the following career paths: Paramedic, Culinary Arts, Carpentry, Plumbing, and HVAC.  With the local area being heavily reliant on the tourism industry, the inclusion of these new apprenticeship opportunities assists small business owners in recruiting and hiring well-trained, credentialled personnel.

“Our registered apprenticeship programs blend classroom instruction and On-the-Job learning to provide businesses with a proven solution for recruiting, training, and retaining world-class talent,” said NWFSC President Dr. Devin Stephenson. “I am proud that Northwest Florida State College is leading the state in the development and implementation of apprenticeship programs, and we are committed to fulfilling our role in ensuring that Northwest Florida is well positioned for future growth and advancement. We extend our sincere gratitude to Chancellor Henry Mack and Commissioner Richard Corcoran for championing the apprenticeship model and advocating to bring this grant to the panhandle.”

The NWFSC Youth Apprenticeship Readiness Program offers opportunities to attain meaningful employment for individuals who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or limited to low-wage jobs. The NWFSC Youth Apprenticeship Readiness Program strategically includes academic programs that meet regional employment demand, provide diversity of choice to potential program participants, and are offered throughout the service area to reduce transportation barriers. The College is  partnering with CareerSource Okaloosa-Walton, who will assist in recruiting participants for the program from its list of qualifying individuals.

For further information about the NWFSC Youth Apprenticeship Readiness Program, contact Bill Allison, Director of Professional and Workforce Training, at 850-729-4995 or [email protected].

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