Focus on Florida TRADE

As the Florida TRADE grant comes to a close, we would like to share some of the highlights
and accomplishments of the Consortium. Through the end of April 2016, 873 unemployed program completers were placed into jobs in manufacturing across the state, and the consortium is on track to place 1,000 students into jobs by the end of September. In addition, 89% of our program completers have earned at least one industry certification, with many earning more than one credential. Our outreach efforts enrolled almost 750 women, 1,800 minorities, and over 600 veterans into Florida TRADE programs statewide.

Florida TRADE has been one of FLATE strategic partners that has worked closely with the Center on a number of projects that targeted to promote manufacturing and technician training and education. Florida TRADE has achieved, and in many cases surpassed the goals that were set for us. We set out to make a difference and we did; in people’s lives, in our communities, and in the partnerships we formed with our Career Source boards, our manufacturing associations, and other organizations such as FLATE. Along the way, we have bonded into a formidable team. The heart of Florida TRADE is these strong relationships and teamwork we have developed, and is our legacy as our Department of Labor funding ends. In closing we proudly say that “We Are Florida TRADE!”

The 12 state and community colleges that began the Florida TRADE consortium received federal
Department of Labor money to develop and implement short-term training programs in manufacturing, to include industry certifications, paid internships, and employment. This funding was part of the second round of Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training (TAACCCT) program designed to build a stronger workforce at the end of the recession by preparing unemployed workers to meet the needs of local industry.

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This article was contributed by:
Gary W. Graham, Ph.D.
Director: Florida TRADE Consortium
St. Petersburg College

Jill D. Flansburg, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator, Florida TRADE
St. Petersburg College