Sunday, May 14, 2023

Governor Funds Future Trucking Needs

Governor Funds Future Trucking Needs

By Pastor Doug Stauffer
Faith Independent Baptist Church
Journalist for Bay Life Newspaper
October 2022--Article 29 (2022-10-029)

It was a pleasure to see Governor Ron DeSantis again in Niceville. Dr. Devin Stephenson and Northwest Florida State College hosted the Governor and his entourage for another significant announcement. The announcement concerned another sizable expansion of Florida's Commercial Driver's License (CDL) training. He also announced the creation of new opportunities for apprenticeships in Florida. Governor DeSantis awarded $1.5 million to NWFSC to expand the capacity of CDL training programs. These funds aim to enhance the existing CDL driver training program at its Chautauqua Center in DeFuniak Springs, including the purchase of equipment, to potentially serve 250 students in the program's first year!

He also announced nearly $12 million to Florida school districts, colleges, state universities, and private training entities to further support the Governor's workforce development initiatives. These funds are intended to start or expand registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs throughout the state through the Florida Pathways to Career Opportunities Grant (PCOG).

The Governor pointed out, "In Florida, over the past three years, we have made significant investments into workforce education, with an emphasis on trucking and the entire transportation industry. With today's announcements, we have now increased our CDL training capacity at state institutions from less than 1,000 prior to 2019 to more than 3,500. These investments are driving the growth of our rural communities and state as a whole."

Manny Diaz, Jr., Commissioner of Education, expanded upon the announcement,  "We already know that a traditional university path is not for every student. Thanks to the leadership of Governor DeSantis, students now have a variety of options to get on the road in a new career. With the Governor's continued support, our state colleges are perfectly positioned to meet industry demand and advance Florida's economic independence and prosperity."

DEO Secretary Dane Eagle remarked, "The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is proud to support Governor DeSantis in his ongoing commitment to investing in workforce development and training initiatives in high-demand industries. Nearly everything we depend on in daily life is made possible through the trucking industry, and these strategic investments will positively impact hardworking Floridians, the trucking industry, and the state's economy, while also ensuring that Florida is number one in workforce development by 2030."

Michelle Dennard, CareerSource Florida President and CEO spoke next: "Florida is a critical link in our nation's supply chain, and the demand is soaring for Commercial Driver's License holders. With the leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis and our education partners, the CareerSource Florida network is honored to help connect Floridians with the vital training needed for careers in transportation and logistics."

Michelle Burns, CareerSource Okaloosa Walton Executive Director, stated, "Commercial vehicle drivers are a backbone of our economy and crucial to our continued economic growth. We are blessed to be able to increase our support for this industry and thank Governor DeSantis for his support for our region and this vital industry."

The Governor focused his entire speech on workforce education, but the media ignored all the good news and questioned his reasons for sending migrants to Martha's Vineyard the day before. The Governor then spoke on Biden's border policies and his reasons for sending immigrants to Martha's Vineyard. The Governor said, "We are taking what is happening at the southern border very seriously, unlike some. He pointed out that Florida is not a sanctuary state, but other states receiving these immigrants claim to be such. 

This was another great visit from the Governor with great news for the Emerald Coast and the Free State of Florida residents!

 Read the newspaper (page 4 West)

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