On Tuesday, Governor Ron DeSantis visited Panama City to announce $27 million to help Northwest Florida’s communities recover from Hurricane Michael.
Governor DeSantis is administering the Florida Division of Emergency Management to sanction pending disaster recovery cost-share waivers for competent local governments, which is expected to provide an estimated $22 million in financial aid to these communities.
Through the Rebuild Florida Workforce Recovery Training Program for Hurricane Michael Recovery, he also announced that $4.7 million had been awarded to 2 educational institutions. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity administers the program, and it is designed to train Floridians in construction trades important to support the recovery efforts of disaster recovery.
FDEM Director Jared Moskowitz said that today’s announcement is based on the work we have done since the first day the Governor took charge of his office.
“I’m especially happy for the fiscally-constrained cities and counties which no longer need to bear the burden of cost-share as they continue to rebuild,” he said.
DEO Executive Director Dane Eagle said that the Department is hoping to partner with Tallahassee Community College and Chipola College to bring these programs to accomplishment and provide Floridians impacted by Hurricane Michael with the opportunity to rehab.
Chipola College is awarded $1,732,576 to create welding technology programs and building constructions that will train carpentry, masonry, electrical, framing, and welding trades.
On the other hand, Tallahassee Community College is awarded $2,990,313 to develop a construction technology program that will train concrete finishing, masonry, plumbing, carpentry, electrical, and HVAC trades. Under the Habitat for Humanity of the Big Bend partnership, this funding will help the college create an impactful and long-lasting living program.
The program will not only help our Panhandle communities to recover from Hurricane Michael, but also it will give lifelong skills to the workers of the construction sector.
Dr. Sarah Clemmons, President of Chipola College, said that Chipola College is honored to be a part of Rebuild Florida’s Workforce Recovery Training program in response to Hurricane Michael.
Chipola launched a new Building Construction program last year to train the workers to rebuild businesses and homes devastated by Michael. Our construction students’ first class has partnered with Habitat for Humanity to build 4 homes for local families in 2021. We are also recruiting new construction students for the Fall semester, which begins in August.
Tallahassee Community College President Jim Murdaugh said that It is critically important to ensure that educational institutions play a significant and active role in Hurricane Michael’s rehabilitation efforts.
“TCC is pleased to assume a leadership role in creating training programs that will provide the skills needed to fill not only the workforce gap in these but also address another important aspect of our mission related to the sustainability and environment.