MANATEE — Manatee Technical College — along with other technical colleges and centers statewide — may be eligible for grants to support new programs, under a proposal unveiled by Gov. Rick Scott on Monday.
The “rapid-response” competitive grant program is a $20 million proposal that will be included in the governor’s proposed 2016-17 budget.
It would help the state’s technical center quickly set up new programs to respond to Florida’s workforce needs. The goal is to help students finish a program and be able to get a career within a year, according to information sent out by the governor’s office on Monday.
“It’s a big deal. It would be a big deal for us,” said Manatee Technical College director Doug Wagner, who was in Orlando on Monday attending a meeting of the state’s technical center directors when Scott made the announcement.
Right now, according to Scott’s office, there are 274,200 jobs in Florida waiting to be filled. Key areas the proposal would cover include:
“We know the workers of tomorrow are in our classrooms today – and advanced workforce training at our technical centers will help our students receive the skills they need to be competitive in the global market,” Scott said in a statement. “It will also attract companies to our state looking for a high-skilled workforce.”
In Manatee, the proposal could help on a few areas that business owners keep identifying as lacking, Wagner said. Programs including industrial machinery maintenance, database developing and cloud computing continue to arise as areas of need, he said.
“These are things that keep coming up,” Wagner said.
Meghin Delaney, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081. Follow her on Twitter@MeghinDelaney.