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The Villages
Friday, July 12, 2024

$5 million in grants to fund workforce development at Sumter schools

Sumter District School’s Career and Technical Education Department has been awarded grants totaling more than $5 million aimed at workforce development.

The Workforce Development Capitalization Incentive Program was created during the 2023 legislative session. Its purpose is to provide grants to school districts and Florida College System institutions to fund some or all of the costs associated with the creation or expansion of career and technical education workforce development programs that lead to industry certifications included on the CAPE Industry Certification Funding List. The Florida Department of Education has awarded funding for Sumter’s proposals for semi- conductor program expansion (welding) and expansion of programs that support Florida’s agriculture industries (landscaping and animal science).

Funds totaling $5.092 million from the Workforce Development Capitalization Incentive Grant (CAP Grant) awarded to Sumter District Schools will be utilized at South Sumter High School and Wildwood Middle High School. The grant awards will be used to remodel and upgrade existing facilities and purchase new state of the art equipment to support student skill attainment.

“We are thrilled to continue growing and expanding our CTE program to better benefit our students and local businesses through the competitive grant process. I appreciate the efforts of our CTE Advisory members and administrative team members Mr. Casey Ferguson, Mr. Joel Camp and high school principals Rodney Rocker and Allen Shirley for all the hard work that goes into collaborating on such a large grant. The Sumter School Boards unwavering support of CTE expansion is greatly appreciated,” said Sumter County Schools Superintendent Richard A. Shirley.

One important goal for the school district is that every student would graduate with a plan in place – to be enrolled in college, enlisted in service, or employed in a career. Support for student learning in career and technical education requires access to high quality, hands-on learning opportunities to increase student career readiness.

Sumter County Schools Career and Technical Education Department has recently expanded programs at each high school with the goal of preparing students to graduate with a variety of industry credentials. Funds from the CAP grant will enable the district to expand offerings to students who wish to earn American Welding Society (AWS) welding certifications; Florida Nursery and Landscape Growers Association (FNGLA) certifications; and Agriculture Education Services & Technology, Inc. (AEST) certifications in Agritechnology, Agricultural Biotechnology, Animal Sciences, and Agricultural Mechanics.

If you would like more information regarding Sumter Career Technical or Adult Education programs and opportunities for Sumter youth, contact Casey Ferguson at (352) 793-5719 ext. 54210 or Casey.Ferguson@sumter.k12.fl.us.

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