December 2, 2020

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What’s next after a lay-off? FL hopes you consider trade school

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Get There Florida is the department of education initiative with the goal to make Florida...

Get There Florida is the department of education initiative with the goal to make Florida No. 1 in workforce education in the next ten years.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — More people are getting back to work again, but thousands are also getting laid off.

If you’ve been thinking about a career change or forced into one, officials with the Florida Department of Education are hoping you’ll consider going to a career and technical college.

Florida’s unemployment numbers are down, according to the Department of Economic Opportunity, but we do not know how many of those jobs are part-time. At Florida State College at Jacksonville, people are hoping the push for trade school will get more people into lasting careers.

“Even as COVID has hit, we have seen an uptick in our career and education tech program,” said FSCJ President Dr. John Avendano.

Get There Florida is the department of education initiative with the goal to make Florida ‘number one’ in workforce education in the next ten years. But more short-term, many choose career tech because it takes less time and usually less money than a four-year degree.

“I’m a mom,” said Rebecca Ogletree, FSCJ Student Nurses Association president-elect. “I want something that I can go ahead and start working immediately and instantly provide a better life for them.”

Ogletree is a nursing student who owns a fiber optic cable construction company. 

“I will not have any debt from this program,” she said. “I have debt still from my four-year undergrad program.”

According to the DEO, registered nurses are one of the occupations gaining the most new jobs. Some reports show nursing as one of the most in-demand jobs.

Ogletree also sees the business owner side of things with her construction business. She says it’s difficult to find workers, and the last person she hired was from out of state.

“People are beginning to realize that we need workers,” said Lake Ray, president of the First Coast Manufacturers Association.

Ray says about a quarter of their manufacturers have seen an increase in business and a quarter have lost business during the pandemic. How business is doing after 2020 may depend on the type of work you want to do.

FSCJ is hosting a virtual trade and manufacturing career day Thursday. Early registration for their spring term begins next week.

RELATED: Floridians continue to struggle despite dropping unemployment rate

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