Senate, House aligned on $100M for Workforce Development grant program
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Workforce future of work trade jobs
State colleges and school districts can already apply for funding.

Those who want a boost in Florida’s workforce development just got $100 million worth of good news.

House and Senate budget leaders appear to be in agreement on funding nine figures for a Workforce Development Capitalization Incentive Grant program as part of the Higher Education Appropriations budget silo.

The latest offer from the House includes $100 million for the program, roughly four times what the House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee had offered just a day prior.

The two chambers appear in agreement in a bump offer. While it still needs to be accepted in the Senate, that makes a substantial concession as the state enters the last days of budget talks with the aim of leaving Tallahassee on time.

The funds will be provided to the Florida Department of Education to implement a program authorized by statute.

“The Workforce Development Capitalization Incentive Grant Program is created to provide grants to school districts and Florida College System institutions on a competitive basis to fund some or all of the costs associated with the creation or expansion of workforce development programs that serve specific employment workforce needs,” state law reads.

The push has come as the Legislature focused more energy in recent years on vocational and job-oriented higher education.

The state has already started accepting proposal submissions, which must align with industry certification needs on the 2023-‘24 CAPE Industry Certification Funding List. School districts and Florida College System institutions can apply to the state Board of Education.

The law allows grants to be used for instructional equipment, laboratory equipment, supplies, personnel, student services and other expenses tied to implementing workforce programs. But no money can go toward instructional costs.

Priority in grant applications will be given to programs that train people to enter high-skill, high-wage occupations identified by the Workforce Estimating Conference and other programs approved by the state.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


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