Workforce Florida Awards More Than $4 Million in Technology Grants to Support Digital Access (07/19/2010)

For Immediate Release 
July 19, 2010


Workforce Florida Awards More Than $4 Million in Technology Grants to Support Digital Access
Funds Build Upon State and Local Technology Training Opportunities


TALLAHASSEE -- Workforce Florida Inc., in its ongoing efforts to strengthen Florida's workforce, today announced it has awarded more than $4 million to enhance local digital literacy initiatives through 19 of the state's 24 Regional Workforce Boards.
 
Participating Regional Workforce Boards from Northwest to South Florida are using the individual grants of up to $250,000 to offer new technology training opportunities and add to existing digital literacy efforts to address the needs of their region.
 
"Stronger digital access and technology training are integral to creating a workforce that can succeed in the 21st century," said Chris Hart IV, President and CEO of Workforce Florida. "This investment is a vital tool to help us meet our goals of strengthening Florida's workforce, businesses and, ultimately, the economy through more highly skilled and productive workers."
 
The $4.3 million in grants comes from the state's share of federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds. The grants are allowing participating Regional Workforce Boards to create or add to their existing digital literacy programs, and to provide additional training to respond to the needs of employers and individuals in their communities. Regional Workforce Boards are using the grants for efforts including expanding the availability of no-cost or low-cost Microsoft training vouchers and providing low-income families with refurbished computers, upgraded software and online access. They also are establishing a variety of new initiatives and enhancing existing programs that serve high school students, adults, military veterans and seniors.  
 
The announcement comes as Florida continues to distribute its allotment of 40,000 free Microsoft vouchers for online technology training and certifications through the Microsoft® Elevate America program. Since Workforce Florida partnered with Microsoft in May to launch the Elevate America program in Florida, all 24 Regional Workforce Boards have distributed more than 18,000 vouchers to Floridians for training and certifications ranging from Microsoft Office Suite courses including Excel, Outlook, Word, PowerPoint and more to IT Professional courses designed for those who work in, or plan to pursue a career in, the IT field. The Florida Elevate America vouchers will be issued until August 21, 2010, or while supplies last.
 
For more information about Elevate America or to request a free training or certification voucher, go to http://elevateamerica.floridajobs.org/. For more on the recipients of Florida's Digital Access Grants, contact any of the Regional Workforce Board recipients listed below. Media contact information for these boards is available at http://www.workforceflorida.com/boards/table.htm.

 

Region

Board Name

Counties

Award Amount

2

Workforce Development Board of Okaloosa and Walton Counties

Okaloosa, Walton

$250,000

3

Chipola Regional Workforce Development Board

Calhoun, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Washington

$250,000

4

Gulf Coast Workforce Board

Bay, Franklin, Gulf

$250,000

5

WORKFORCE plus

Gadsden, Leon, Wakulla

$250,000

6

North Florida Workforce Development Board

Hamilton, Jefferson, Lafayette, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor

$250,000

7

Florida Crown Workforce Board

Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Union

$250,000

9

FloridaWorks

Alachua, Bradford

$250,000

10

Workforce Connection

Citrus, Levy, Marion

$250,000

11

Center for Business Excellence

Flagler, Volusia

$176,910

13

Brevard Workforce

Brevard

$250,000

14

WorkNet Pinellas

Pinellas

$250,000

15

Tampa Bay WorkForce Alliance

Hillsborough

$250,000

16

Pasco Hernando Workforce Board Inc.

Hernando, Pasco

$100,000

18

Suncoast Workforce

Manatee, Sarasota

$250,000

19

Heartland Workforce

DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands

$20,000

20

Workforce Solutions

Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, St. Lucie

$250,000

21

Workforce Alliance

Palm Beach

$250,000

22

Workforce One

Broward

$250,000

23

South Florida Workforce

Miami-Dade, Monroe

$250,000

Total

$4,296,910

 

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