In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Florida Department of Education has awarded Daytona State College a training grant in excess of $900,000 to help get residents in Volusia and Flagler counties back to work. Funding will be used to support the College’s Rapid Credentialing programs, which are designed to be completed in as little as one to 18 weeks to assist unemployed, underemployed, or furloughed workers. Qualifying participants who are interested in training in these high-demand areas may be able to do so at little or no cost depending on the program selected.
As part of the project, Daytona State will offer nine programs, both credit and non-credit, and approximately 450 participants are expected to enroll in the training through May 2021. The programs include Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Office Support, CNC Milling, Lean Practitioner, HVAC Installer, Certified Production Technician, Fire Fighter, Correctional Officer and Emergency Medical Technician. All nine programs lead to careers with an average salary of nearly $45,000. A complete guide, which includes eligibility requirements and enrollment information, can be found at DaytonaState.edu/go/upskill-now.html.
“The nine programs we’ve identified for this rapid credentialing effort cover a broad spectrum of high-demand careers,” said Frank Mercer, Director of DSC’s Center for Business & Industry. “We’ve configured the training to allow the participant quick entry into these careers and to pathways to continue their education.”
The grant was created through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to assist Daytona State in enrolling students in short-term, high-demand workforce/career certificate programs. It specifically benefits those who have been adversely affected by the Covid-19 crisis, the impacts of which have forced many to seek training and employment in entirely different business sectors. The grant allows DSC to increase capacity in these short-term, high-demand programs, many of which culminate in industry-recognized certification that can also articulate into higher level credentials such as A.S. or B.S. degrees.
“Opportunities afforded through rapid credentialing are boundless,” said Sherryl Weems, Associate Vice-President of the Mary Karl College of Workforce and Continuing Education. “Participants will receive immediate credentials that are relevant in today’s competitive markets while at the same time begin a viable pathway for career advancement, leveraging skills for tomorrow’s economy.”
An economic impact analysis conducted in 2018 showed the average certificate earned from Daytona State College results in increased earnings of $2,400 per year compared to that of a person with a high school diploma or its equivalent who is working in Florida. For those who continued their education and completed an associate degree, the average increase in annual earnings jumped to $6,100, or an additional $244,000 in additional lifetime income above a high school diploma or equivalency.
A more recent survey conducted by Florida College Access Network shows that more than half of Floridians have lost their job, been forced to take a pay cut, or saw a reduction in hours due to Covid-19. That resulted in 58 percent of Florida’s workforce losing at least some portion of their income during the ongoing crisis. The rate was even higher (64 percent) among those with a high school diploma or less, and 35 percent of Floridians believe they will need additional education or training to find another job with the same wages or income if they lost their job because of Covid-19.