Governor Ron DeSantis today announced he is awarding more than $3.6 million through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to the Florida State College at Jacksonville and St. Johns River State College to create the Northeast Florida Fintech Initiative. This Initiative represents a partnership between both colleges, regional schools, nonprofits and numerous financial services companies to provide new financial technology, or “FinTech” training and certification opportunities.
“I’m pleased to launch the Northeast Florida FinTech Initiative in conjunction with Florida State College at Jacksonville and St. John’s River State College,” said Governor DeSantis. “This innovative collaboration to provide new FinTech-related training and certifications will help equip Floridians with skills in demand by Northeast Florida’s growing FinTech industry.”
The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund award for $3.67 million will help the Northwest Florida FinTech Initiative create two FinTech Technical Certificate Programs, a FinTech Support Technician Boot Camp Academy and will embed FinTech related skills and coursework into existing programs related to Accounting, Business Administration, Financial Services and Information Technology.
The FinTech Initiative will also include the creation of a new externship program and working connections program. These programs will provide leaders of nearby K-12 schools with valuable skills and information needed to introduce students to the FinTech industry and will offer real-world industry experiences to college faculty. The funding will be used to support the cost of facility improvements, equipment, personnel, scholarships, training materials and support services.
“Governor DeSantis has a vision for making Florida the premier destination for top FinTech companies,” said Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Executive Director Ken Lawson. “He knows that bridging the gap between education and the private sector to ensure our workforce has the skills needed for businesses to succeed is not only a smart, but critical investment for our state. Today’s announcement is a significant step in making that vision a reality and our agency, along with our partners at Enterprise Florida, Inc., are proud to be a part of it.”
“Today is a giant leap into the kind of job training that will put Floridians in good-paying jobs and our growing FinTech sector on the global map,” said Enterprise Florida (EFI) President and CEO Jamal Sowell. “Floridians can be proud today, knowing that our Governor is working overtime to remove barriers for emerging FinTech firms and making Florida the place to be for long-term sector growth.”
The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund is an economic development program designed to promote public infrastructure and workforce training across the state. Proposals are reviewed by DEO and EFI and chosen by the Governor to meet the demand for workforce or infrastructure needs in the community they are awarded to.
Since July 2019, DEO and EFI have received 88 proposals requesting more than $283 million in funding. Today’s announcement reflects a total of more than $182 million in funding awarded to 56 communities across the state since the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund was established
In 2019-20, $40 million in awards are available for projects that focus on rapidly developing a highly-skilled workforce and on infrastructure initiatives that attract businesses, create jobs and promote economic growth. DEO and EFI are currently accepting proposals. For more information, visit Floridajobs.org/jobgrowth.