Governor Ron DeSantis today signed CS/HB 7071: Workforce Education at the Space Florida offices in Merritt Island. The bill promotes career readiness and workforce opportunities for students and working adults, ensuring alignment between Florida’s education and workforce needs.
“By investing in workforce education and apprenticeship programs, our students will have new opportunities and career paths,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “In signing this bill, we are ensuring that Florida continues to build upon its economic momentum and future workforce by investing in the next generation.”
“Ensuring each and every student across our state has access to opportunity – regardless of their chosen path – is a giant step toward unlocking the American dream for so many more Floridians,”said Senator Travis Hutson. “Thanks to Governor DeSantis’ leadership, I believe these advances are just the beginning of fully empowering our students to succeed.”
“Today’s signing is a victory for Florida’s students and the future of our state’s workforce,” said Representative Jennifer Sullivan. “From promoting apprenticeship programs to new opportunities for career development, this bill will have positive impact in the lives of our students for years to come.”
“Each of the educational initiatives in HB 7071 by themselves will enhance our state’s ability to better prepare our students for the jobs of our 21st century economy,” said Representative Ralph Massullo. “However, taken together in concert they create a wonderful symphony that announces to the country that Florida will be number one in workforce readiness by 2030 and our students will have more choice to develop their individual aptitudes and be ready to enter productive careers here in Florida where we will be a magnet for the amazing companies like those here in the space coast who call Florida home. We are extremely grateful to Governor DeSantis for his vision and support of this legislation.”
Highlights of CS/HB 7071 include:
- Establishing the “Florida Pathways to Career Opportunities Grant Program,” which provides competitive grants to eligible institutions to create or expand apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs.
- Requiring a reverse transfer between Florida universities and colleges to award an associate in arts degree to students who have completed necessary requirements.
- Requiring career centers and Florida College System institutions to establish regional career pathways guaranteeing college credit toward an aligned associate degree program for eligible students who graduate with a certificate from a career center.
- Establishing the “Last Mile Scholarship Program,” that will pay for eligible individuals to finish their first associate or baccalaureate degree.
- Creating increased opportunities for students to take high quality computer science courses in high school by allowing students to count one course as either a require science or required math credit.
- Codifying Governor DeSantis’ required audit of career and technical education, from Executive Order 19-31, as an annual requirement to ensure high quality pathways for students.
The Governor was joined at the bill signing by the following legislators:
- Senator Tom Wright, Florida’s 14th Senate District
- Representative Thad Altman, Florida’s 52nd House District
- Representative Randy Fine, Florida’s 53rd House District
- Representative Tyler Sirois, Florida’s 51st House District
- Representative Elizabeth Fetterhoff, Florida’s 26th House District
- Representative David Santiago, Florida’s 27th House District
- Representative David Smith, Florida’s 28th House District
- Representative Mike La Rosa, Florida’s 42nd House District
- Representative Amber Mariano, Florida’s 36th House District
- Representative Ralph Massullo, Florida’s 34th House District
For more information, read the bill summary for CS/HB 7071 HERE.