From the Executive Director’s Desk: Submitting New Industry Certifications & Nuances of the CAPE Industry Certification Funding List

It’s not only the beginning of a new school year, it’s also that time of year when new industry certifications can be submitted for consideration by CareerSource Florida to be added to the Comprehensive Industry Certification list. There is a new process for submitting applications this fall. The window for submissions to CareerSource opened in mid-August and closes October 17, 2014. A new list will be published in spring 2015. The new process limits the submitting organizations to schools through a principal, or a local CareerSource office. A new application (a certification that has not been on the Comprehensive List) requires endorsing letters from a state-based industry, or trade association, a regional workforce board, and an economic development organization. If anyone has a certification you want added to the Comprehensive List, you must work with either a school or CareerSource office. Submission information and the online portal are found on the CareerSource website. (http://careersourceflorida.com/cape/)


In 2007, the Florida Legislature passed the Career and Professional Education (CAPE) Act with the intent to improve the state’s talent pipeline and to attract and retain targeted, high-value industries. The CAPE Act also requires that education, industry, workforce and economic development organizations work together to create meaningful opportunities for students. For educators, the annually updated CAPE funding list provides guidance in selecting rigorous and industry valued certifications for their local career academies. Students can earn these workforce credentials and schools can earn additional FTE (full time equivalent) funding based on the number of certifications awarded to its students.  

The CAPE funding list is defined by the Florida Department of Education (FL DOE) and is derived from CareerSource Florida’s Comprehensive Industry Certification List. Once a credential is reviewed and added to the Comprehensive List, it becomes eligible to be included on the FL DOE Certification Funding List. Currently new Comprehensive Lists are finalized by March 1, each year. Schools have until April 1 to make requests that a certification on the Comprehensive List be added to the FL DOE Funding List, which is published by July each summer for implementation in the upcoming school year.

To be on the CAPE Industry Certification Funding list, the certification must (1) be on the
Comprehensive List; (2) be achievable by a secondary student; and (3) require a minimum of 150 hours of instruction. Career and Professional academies have several requirements in addition to being aligned to an industry recognized certification: certifications must align with and be guided by local industry needs, articulate for credit in a post-secondary program, provide learning communities, and provide work experience for students.

The overarching objectives of Florida’s CAPE Act are:
·   To improve middle and high school academic performance by providing rigorous and relevant curriculum opportunities
·   To provide rigorous and relevant career-themed courses that articulate to postsecondary-level coursework and lead to industry certification
·   To support local and regional economic development
·   To respond to Florida's critical workforce needs
·   To provide residents with access to high-wage and high-demand careers

Over the years, there have been additional nuances and lists! The state continues to refine and improve the process to be more robust and meaningful. You can read about the successes of Florida’s CAPE academies in an annual report published online (http://www.fldoe.org/workforce/pdf/1213cpaepr.pdf).

Next month, we will look at the manufacturing certifications currently on various “lists” and how they fit into Florida’s manufacturing education pathways. For now let’s turn to the rest of the stories in the September edition of the FLATE Focus. This is especially an important month as kick start our statewide effort to make Manufacturing Day in Florida a big success. We have many tours lined up for the month of October. You can read what’s brewing in the pipeline for Manufacturing Day in this edition and reach out to us if you would like to be part of this national phenomenon.

This month we also have stories contributed by two of our partners: Florida TRADE at Hillsborough Community College and Florida Association for Industrial and Technical Educators (FAITE) which is committed to the advancement and enhancement of technical/industrial education throughout Florida. Rounding up camp season we have our last story about a robotics camp FLATE supported at Palm Beach State College. With school back in session, we’ve also featured some of our own FLATE staff who are currently attending and/or teaching at school. Be sure to read about them and cheer them on as they race to the finish line. Last but not the least, take a stab at cracking the solution to our Olde but Goodie series of the sTEm puzzle!