To raise awareness for rapid credentialing programs, Florida Power & Light company has partnered with Palm Beach State College, Broward College, Miami Dade College, and The State College of Florida. FPL has donated $1 million to buy more than 1,600 laptops for students to enroll in and complete these programs.
Trace Tidwell, a Marine Corps veteran, benefitted from a donated laptop. He enrolled in Palm Beach State College’s Electrical Power Technology Department. Today, he’s a full-time instrumentation technician intern with Palm Beach County Water Utilities and a student enrolled in PBSC’s online bachelor’s degree program in project management. He said a laptop will not only help for classes, but in applying for jobs.
The partnership came on the heels of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ launch of the Get There Florida initiative. “Since taking office, workforce development has been a top priority of my administration, and during the pandemic, a lot of students have encountered challenges accessing the technology they need to complete the courses,” DeSantis said in the announcement.
FPL saw this as way to entice individuals to enroll in school to help them prepare for careers. The programs offer students an opportunity to earn high-value technical certificates and certifications in industries including advanced manufacturing, transportation and logistics, healthcare and information technology, often in 20 weeks or less.
“Workforce development is critical to the future of our state’s economy, and we believe the rapid credentialing programs will have a significant impact on the lives of many Floridians,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. “Unfortunately, not everyone has access to these programs because a technology gap has formed, in many cases because of financial setback. This initiative will help break down that barrier to opportunity.”