WCF partners with Valencia College

Workforce Central Florida is partnering with Valencia College to offer training to fill a shortage of skilled workers in Florida’s high-tech manufacturing industry.

WCF is recruiting applicants and will link students with jobs, while Valencia will provide the training to become certified production technicians. The entry-level positions will create a foundation for a career in automation and simulation.

The $683,412, four-year grant, called Florida TRADE (Transforming Resources for Accelerated Degrees and Employment), will educate 200 people and pay up to $4,200 per applicant for classes, books and certification testing in Central Florida. It is part of a $15 million Department of Labor grant to deliver technical training to students, displaced and unemployed workers, current workers who want to learn new skills and veterans who are transitioning back into the workforce.

“This program will bring our workforce up to par with the skills and technology needed to fill jobs that are open today,” said Pamela Nabors, president and CEO of Workforce Central Florida. “The partnership creates a pathway for success for both job seekers and employers.”

Valencia’s six-month training program is a combination of classroom and virtual learning where student will earn nationally-recognized industry certifications.  Upon successful completion, students will have the opportunity to continue their learning during a 12-week on-the-job internship making $9 to $11 an hour working with Central Florida manufacturing companies.

“The grant is about closing the gap – getting skilled manufacturing workers to employers,” said Carolyn McMorran, director of continuing professional education at Valencia College. “The kind of work that they’ll be doing is not your grandfather’s factory job. It’s automation; it’s simulation. It’s very high tech.”

Local employers looking for high-skilled workers include a global medical-device manufacturer that uses computerized machines to create radiation therapy equipment.

Those interested in applying are encouraged to email FTGquetions@wcfla.com for further information.  Applicants must meet Workforce Investment Act (WIA) eligibility requirements, which can be found at http://www.workforcecentralflorida.com/WIA. Enrollment is under way for classes, which start in August and November.

Workforce Central Florida offers tools for residents of Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Sumter counties to find a job and advance in their careers. On average, WCF provides more than 9,000 job seekers each month with services such as an online job bank, career counseling, recruitment events, training, financial aid, career assessments and internships. WCF also assists an average of 1,300 employers each month with recruitment, retention and training. For more information, visit www.workforcecentralflorida.com.

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