Valencia College will receive a $2,320,000, five-year grant aimed at increasing economic mobility for low-income citizens while strengthening the talent pipeline for employers.
The award, announced today by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, was one of four Central Florida projects–and one of 11 statewide–to receive grants totaling $22 million. The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, established by Scott and the Florida Legislature last year, provides $85 million for improving public infrastructure and enhancing workforce training in Florida.
As part of the grant, Valencia will open a Center for Accelerated Training in downtown Orlando, offering short-term, high-tech training programs in mechatronics, electronic board assembly and transportation logistics.
“This partnership with the governor’s office, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the City of Orlando and the college illustrates the value of collaboration in creating ‘economic rungs on the ladder’ for our citizens, while providing a return-on-investment for the community,” said Valencia president Sandy Shugart.
The college will use the grant funds to renovate a training center near the future downtown campus that Valencia will share with UCF. The funding will also help pay for equipment and need-based tuition assistance for participants.
Valencia offers similar programs at its Advanced Manufacturing Training Center in Kissimmee and its west Orlando and Poinciana campuses. Graduates of the mechatronics and electronic board assembly programs have 94% and 81% job placement rates, respectively.