Polk State College has partnered with the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) to provide students with grant funding for in-demand, high-quality workforce programs that allow them to quickly gain critical skills needed in Polk County’s essential and growing industries.
Polk State is the recipient of $376,792 in funding through the Open Door Grant Program. Launched by Governor Ron DeSantis, the Open Door Grant Program is a $35 million statewide investment toward creating an industry-driven supply of credentialed workers for in-demand occupations through career, technical, and adult education programs.
Career and technical education, often referred to as “CTE,” serves as a critical component in preparing individuals for occupations important to Florida’s economic development. Program offerings are organized into 17 career paths and geared toward middle school, high school, adult education, district technical school, and Florida College System students throughout the state. The awarded Open Door Grant funds will be used to accelerate Polk State’s student achievement and attainment of high-value certifications and credentials directly aligned with statewide industry.
“The Open Door Grant initiative benefits our students, their families, and the economic development of our community,” said Polk State President Angela Garcia Falconetti. “I am grateful to Governor DeSantis and the Florida Department of Education for this investment in high-quality workforce training programs and for removing financial barriers for individuals seeking in-demand, rewarding careers that will meet the growing needs of our local industries.”
Signed into law under House Bill 1507 Workforce Related Programs and Services, the Open Door Grant Program was established to create and sustain a demand-driven supply of credentialed workers for high-demand occupations, fortify talent pipelines, expand affordability of workforce training and credentialing, and increase the interest of current and prospective students in CTE programs.
“The Open Door Grant Program represents our state’s continued commitment, and embrace of, workforce education,” said Kathy Hebda, Chancellor of the Florida College System. “At the department, we are proud to partner with the awarded institutions from our Florida College System and district technical colleges to provide Floridians access to affordable and accessible career and technical education aligned to the current and growing needs for talent in the workforce.”
“I applaud the collaborative efforts of our workforce system, beginning with Governor DeSantis’ championing of career and technical education,” said Henry Mack, Chancellor of the Division of Career, Technical and Adult Education. “This $35 million statewide investment will elevate our students through short-term, high-demand workforce training, of which will secure attainment of industry-recognized skills and credentials needed to begin transformational careers in our growing industries.”
At Polk State, the Open Door Grant Program includes the Florida Law Enforcement Academy Training, Engineering Technology Support Specialist, Logistics and Transportation Support Specialist, and Network Infrastructure certificates.