Gov. DeSantis delivers trucking education funds to Nassau County

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DeSantis requested $100 million for the Job Growth Grant Fund in the coming fiscal year.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has put in an order for additional trucker training in North Florida.

DeSantis granted $3.2 million to the Florida State College at Jacksonville to establish the Nassau County Transportation Education Institute, a commercial driving facility at the school’s Nassau campus. The facility will be able to support 120 graduates a year.

New truckers who go through the training can “make a lot of really good money right off the bat,” DeSantis told reporters.

“This will provide people with an ability to have very marketable skills,” he said. “I can tell you, if you go through this program successfully, you are going to get hired in the state of Florida — and be able to be hired elsewhere, if that’s what you choose, because there is such a strong demand and people are willing to pay good money to serve this.”

Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin Thibault joked the education dollars aren’t for “zombie studies.” Trucking is one of the bottlenecks preventing cargo ships from offloading at ports across the country, including in Jacksonville.

“We’ve got to get those goods off those ships and into market,” Thibault said.

DeSantis delivered the award via the Job Growth Grant Fund, an economic development program designed to promote public infrastructure and workforce training. Establishing the fund was a priority for DeSantis that he ultimately secured this year.

The Governor has requested $100 million for the Job Growth Grant Fund in the coming fiscal year.

“We will be doing more stuff on career education and vocational training, because when you get people that have these skills and they get the credentials in these fields, man, you have a lot of opportunities to be able to do very, very well,” DeSantis said.

The Governor tied the demand for truckers to supply chain disruptions and the current economic environment. President Joe Biden hasn’t helped the situation by trying to mandate vaccines, DeSantis continued.

A federal court has stopped the vaccine mandate from taking effect for the time being.

“You talk to the trucking associations, like 30% of the truckers ain’t gonna do this,” DeSantis said. “They’re not going to pay to be tested every week out of their own pocket, so you would absolutely lose some of the truckers at a very important time if that were to go into effect.”

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


2 comments

  • Phil Morton

    December 17, 2021 at 6:23 am

    One thing Nassau County does not need is more truckers. Our roads are already falling apart and this will only exacerbate the problem.

    • Tom

      December 18, 2021 at 8:30 pm

      Oh geez Phil Morton.

Comments are closed.


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