Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the state will spend millions in order to expand CDL training opportunities as part of a workforce development initiative.
On September 15, DeSantis awarded $8.2 million to five state colleges to expand the capacity of CDL training programs by at least 1,200 students per year.
Officials said that prior to 2019, less than one thousand students were enrolled in Florida CDL training schools per year. The state hopes that institutions will have the capacity to train about 3,500 students per year following the $8.2 million investment.
See below for the CDL training initiatives planned for each institution:
- Broward College ($2.6 million) – to lead the initiative, start a new CDL driver training program, fund tuition costs for up to 142 students, and construct a new driver training area. Broward College anticipates serving 250 students in the first year.
- Daytona State College ($1.3 million) – to start a new CDL driver training program at its Advanced Technology College in Daytona Beach. Daytona State anticipates serving 200 students in the first year.
- Northwest Florida State College ($1.5 million) – to enhance its existing CDL driver training program at its Chautauqua Center in DeFuniak Springs, including the purchase of equipment, to potentially serve 250 students in the program’s first year.
- Valencia College ($1.3 million) – to expand its CDL driver training program, including the purchase of equipment, to potentially serve 200 students in the program’s first year.
Additionally, more than $1 million will be awarded to the State College of Florida through the Pathways to Career Opportunities Grant program, administered by the Department of Economic Opportunity (DOE), to expand the college’s existing CDL program.
“In Florida, over the past three years we have made significant investments into workforce education, with an emphasis on trucking and the entire transportation industry,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “With today’s announcements, we have now increased our CDL training capacity at state institutions from less than 1,000 prior to 2019 to more than 3,500. These investments are driving the growth of our rural communities and state as a whole.”
DEO will also award $500,000 in funding through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to fund tuition costs associated with the programs through local workforce development boards to assist in the training efforts at Northwest Florida State College, Daytona State College, and State College of Florida. Funding will be made available through the following local workforce development boards:
- $200,000 to CareerSource Suncoast
- $200,000 to CareerSource Okaloosa Walton
- $100,000 to CareerSource Flagler Volusia
“The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is proud to support Governor DeSantis in his ongoing commitment to investing in workforce development and training initiatives in high-demand industries,” said DEO Secretary Dane Eagle. “Nearly everything we depend on in daily life is made possible through the trucking industry, and these strategic investments will positively impact hardworking Floridians, the trucking industry, and the state’s economy, while also ensuring that Florida is number one in workforce development by 2030.”