Saturday, April 28, 2018

Workforce training gets boost

Workforce training in a variety of high-paying, high-tech and skilled trades, including aerospace, got a boost thanks to money resulting from the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Triumph Gulf Coast, the organization charged with overseeing the distribution of the money, Friday approved nearly $19 million in grants for counties in Northwest Florida. It includes $3 million in funding for Escambia County School District and Pensacola State College for workforce development, allowing both to expand its pipeline for training and certifying students for careers in information technology, cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing and aviation/aerospace. The money will allow the district to build a new aviation maintenance training hangar for adult students at George Stone Technical Center and to provide aviation maintenance education at Booker T. Washington High School. The grant was one of the first four projects approved in what is expected to be $1.5 billion worth of job-creating initiatives funded over the next 12 years by an economic damages settlement between the state of Florida and BP as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Other projects included $10 million to the Port of Panama City for a major expansion, $1.5 million to improve infrastructure and attract businesses in Okaloosa County, and almost $4 million for workforce development in Wakulla County. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 04/28/18)