Governor Ron DeSantis and Michelle Dennard
Governor’s nearly $30 million investment will support growing aviation, aerospace, defense manufacturing and cybersecurity businesses with job awareness and training programs

Daytona Beach, FL — Governor Ron DeSantis has announced nearly $30 million in strategic investments being made in Florida to develop a sustainable pipeline of job-ready candidates in aviation, aerospace, defense manufacturing and IT/cybersecurity. The geographic focus for these efforts includes the state’s Eastern seaboard from Flagler to Martin counties through creation of the Florida Atlantic Workforce Alliance.

“With significant job growth in Florida’s aviation and aerospace industry sectors, the CareerSource Florida Board of Directors applauds Governor DeSantis for leading this collaborative effort and targeted investment in workforce education and training,” said CareerSource Florida President and CEO Michelle Dennard. “Together with our workforce development, economic development and education partners, we will ensure Floridians are trained and ready for these high-wage, high-demand jobs of the future.”

The Alliance unites and aligns workforce development, education, economic development and employers to collectively boost the technical workforce to meet growing industry demands in these sectors. This group of stakeholders includes three local workforce development boards — CareerSource Brevard, CareerSource Flagler Volusia and CareerSource Research Coast — as well as CareerSource Florida, Florida Department of Education, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Enterprise Florida, Space Florida and education partners including Eastern Florida State College, Daytona State College and Indian River State College.

The collaboration exemplifies the spirit of the Reimagining Education and Career Help (REACH) Act, signed by Governor DeSantis in 2021. The REACH Act aims to remove barriers to education and employment and help Floridians become self-sufficient through enhanced access to good jobs and career pathways that offer economic opportunity.

More than $27 million will support the Alliance’s postsecondary educational providers and CareerSource Florida network partners as they develop robust training programs in partnership with industry, local public school districts, and economic development organizations. These funding sources include $11.5 million from the Governor’s Job Growth Grant Fund, administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity; $9 million in Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funding through CareerSource Florida; $3 million in a Florida Department of Education Cybersecurity and IT Training Grant; and $4.07 million in a Florida Department of Education Pathways to Career Opportunities Grant.

At Eastern Florida State College in Brevard County, opportunities will focus on aviation and aerospace. The college plans to transition and improve its aviation maintenance programs, add composite training and avionics, and embed new forms of advanced manufacturing, IT and skills training into its aerospace technology programs.

“This is an exciting opportunity for regional collaboration to expand the workforce talent in aerospace, aviation, manufacturing and cybersecurity,” said CareerSource Brevard President Marci Murphy. “The CareerSource Brevard Board of Directors applauds our Governor’s vision of a synergistic approach to talent pipeline growth that includes the public school system, state colleges and local workforce development boards on Florida’s Atlantic coastline, giving businesses the workforce they need to be successful.”

Daytona State College in Flagler County will focus on scaling the college’s machining and welding technology programs, with intentional efforts to build the workforce pipeline by increasing dual enrollment and strengthening K-12 to postsecondary pathways.

“The CareerSource Flagler Volusia Board of Directors is grateful for this tremendous investment to heighten awareness and training opportunities for these legacy industries in our community,” said CareerSource Flagler Volusia President and CEO Robin King. “Our success, built on collaboration between education partners, economic development practitioners and area businesses, will strengthen the talent pipeline along the Florida Atlantic coast.”

Indian River State College will design, equip, and launch the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Hub, where coursework will focus on welding, electronics technology, machining, computer-aided design, and precision manufacturing.

“On behalf of CareerSource Research Coast’s board of directors and staff, we thank our Governor and state workforce and education leaders for your commitment with this substantial investment in our state’s talent pipeline,” said CareerSource Research Coast President and CEO Brian Bauer. “CareerSource Research Coast and our partners, including Indian River State College, are excited for this opportunity to work on this sector focus initiative addressing talent needs in aerospace, advanced manufacturing, aviation and cyber security.”

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CareerSource Florida, with its business-led board of directors, provides policy direction for talent development programs administered by the Department of Economic Opportunity, Florida’s 24 local workforce development boards and their 100 career centers. The CareerSource Florida State Board serves as the Governor’s principal workforce policy and investment board, working in partnership with DEO, which is responsible for the state workforce system’s fiscal and administrative affairs, and local workforce development boards that serve Florida’s businesses and career seekers. Together, the CareerSource Florida network connects employers with qualified, skilled talent and Floridians with employment and career development opportunities to achieve economic prosperity. Learn more at