LAKE WORTH — Palm Beach State College will enhance its information technology, welding and machining programs using two grants totaling $2,387,539, newly awarded as part of the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant program.
The grants announced by Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez are the third installment of the nearly $2 billion community college initiative to expand targeted job training for unemployed workers as well as local employer partnerships in growing industries. Palm Beach State received $1,249,356 to further develop its information technology programs.
The award is part of a $10.2 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant awarded with the goal of launching Florida XCEL-IT: Information Technology Careers for Rural Areas, delivering programs that offer credentials in competencies including manufacturing, logistics and supply chain management, and cybersecurity. The college will build a dedicated information technology computer lab to provide academic assistance and allow students to transfer what they learn from theory to practice. The college also received $1,138,183 of the $12.7 million TAACCCT grant awarded to focus on improving education and training programs in advanced manufacturing. Palm Beach State will use its grant to enhance its established Machining Technology and Welding Technology programs.
“Receiving TAACCCT grants in three consecutive years is an important milestone for the College,” said Palm Beach State President Dennis P. Gallon. “The funds will help us continue to provide local employers with the highly skilled talent they need.”
Overall, grants totaling $474.5 million were awarded nationwide. The Labor Department is administering the program in coordination with the U.S. Department of Education.
In addition, on Thursday, Oct. 3, students and the public will be able to meet hiring employers at the Job & University Transfer Fair, 1 – 4 p.m. at the BioScience Technology Complex on PBSC’s Palm Beach Gardens campus, 3160 PGA Blvd. The free event hosted by the campus Career Center is designed to help students and community members find immediate employment. Exhibiting will be more than 40 private and public sector employers with full- and part-time openings, representing an array of industries from energy, insurance and health care to broadcasting, retail, social services and more.
Attendees will have the opportunity to meet hiring managers from NextEra Energy, Office Depot, WPBF and WPEC, the Health Care District of Palm Beach County, Northwestern Mutual, Pet Supermarket, Studio Dance and the Florida Department of Children and Families to name a few. Job openings range from entry level to managerial.
Also exhibiting will be universities offering transfer and advanced education options for people with associate and bachelor’s degrees. The University of Florida, Nova Southeastern University, Florida Atlantic University and Lynn University are among the schools attending.
“Although the local economy has been improving over the past couple of years, there are still many people looking for work,” says Tracy Joinson, coordinator for the Palm Beach Gardens campus Career Center. “We hear from local employers that they are looking for people who are the right fit in terms of professional behavior and skill set. The college’s job fairs can hopefully connect the two groups to serve our community’s needs.”