Polk State celebrates Workforce Development Month

Posted on by Polk Newsroom

Polk State College is celebrating Workforce Development Month alongside Florida’s state leaders and workforce partners.

Governor Ron DeSantis proclaimed September as Workforce Development Month this week in recognition of the collaborative efforts among the Governor’s Office, state agencies, and workforce leaders to elevate Florida to No. 1 in the nation for workforce education by 2030.

“During this administration, our collective $5 billion investment in workforce education and job training means Floridians have access to numerous pathways to career success, including new rapid credentialing programs that can be completed in 20 weeks or less, leading to an in-demand, high-wage occupation,” said Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr.

In 2020, Polk State received approximately $600,000 from the Florida Department of Education to provide education and training through rapid credentialing programs at no cost to students. Scholarships were awarded for areas including accounting technology, digital media, logistics and transportation, and computer numeric control machining. In April 2022, Polk State received $376,792 through the Open Door Grant Program, which is an investment toward creating an industry-driven supply of credentialed workers for in-demand occupations through career, technical, and adult education programs. Polk State continues to partner with the Florida Department of Education’s Get There: Florida’s Workforce Education Initiative to raise awareness of short-term career and technical education programs.

More recently, Governor DeSantis awarded Polk State $6.5 million to launch the Career Pathways for Public Service Initiative in conjunction with Broward College and Florida State College at Jacksonville. This will develop a national model for preparing students for public service and careers in local or state government. Also in July, Governor DeSantis appointed Polk State President Angela Garcia Falconetti to the Education Commission of the States.

“Polk State College is grateful for Governor DeSantis’ commitment to quality higher education and workforce training,” Falconetti said. “As Polk County’s largest-serving higher education and workforce training institution, Polk State remains dedicated to developing highly skilled graduates who meet workforce needs and contribute to long-lasting prosperity for the State of Florida.”