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'A career in the skilled trades is admirable': Gov. DeSantis signs bill supporting vocational programs

The governor emphasized the idea that a four-year college education is not the only path to success.
Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

TAMPA, Fla. — Florida's governor doubled down on the state's commitment to supporting vocational training during a press conference Thursday in Tampa.

During the event at Hillsborough Community College, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill benefitting those who want to pursue vocational and technical training programs.

The bill, HB 1507, creates the office of Reimagining Education and Career Help (REACH) to provide coordination and alignment in Florida’s workforce development system. 

Part of that program includes an online portal giving Floridians access to tools to help with career planning, employment, and getting connected to different vocational education opportunities.

It also establishes a money-back guarantee program for students at institutions in the Florida College System. This means students in vocational schools who are not able to find a job within 6 months of completing their programs will get a refund of the cost of their tuition.

DeSantis emphasized the idea that a four-year college education is not the only path to success, and in fact, often lands people thousands of dollars in debt without a job in their field.

"Pursuing a career in the skilled trades is admirable. It’s something that can lead you to a very productive career," the governor said.

The bill will also provide more funding and flexibility for apprenticeship programs in the state.

"It’s obviously gonna benefit the state. It’s gonna benefit the overall economy. But, I think it’s gonna make sure that we’re opening doors for people from all walks of life at all stages of life," DeSantis said.

Watch the full press conference below.

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