FSCJ gets $3.1 million for new commercial driving program in Nassau County
Florida State College at Jacksonville is expanding its program for training commercial drivers with a new facility in Nassau County.
Gov. Ron DeSantis was in Yulee on Thursday to make the announcement and to award a $3,181,791.70 check to the school to purchase equipment and construct commercial driving pads for training, a step toward solving supply-chain slow-downs.
FSCJ has had a commercial driving program since 2007, but only in Jacksonville. The new facility will be the first educational program offering commercial drivers licenses in Nassau County, according to the school.
Students who attend the Jacksonville or Nassau program will be able to earn Class B licenses to operate large trucks for hauling goods and Class C licenses to transport sensitive and hazardous materials. The goal at the Nassau Center will be to support 120 graduates each year.
"This will provide people with an ability to have very marketable skills," DeSantis said. "I can tell you, if you go through this program successfully you are going to get hired in the state of Florida and be able to be hired elsewhere if that's what you choose.”
The funds come from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity through its Florida Job Growth Grant.
DeSantis says he will ask the state Legislature to approve $100 million for the grant's budget next year, after previously vetoing an increase in funds last fiscal year "because we had COVID hit and we weren't sure what was going to happen."
"$100 million will allow us to do a lot, and we will be doing stuff with infrastructure, of course, but we will be doing more stuff on career education and vocational training," he said.