TCC scholarships help Big Bend area get back to work

Community college training workers in weeks
Posted at 4:54 PM, Jan 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-13 17:37:53-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida experienced a loss of 418,500 jobs between November 2019 and November 2020. The regional unemployment rate for Gadsden, Leon, and Wakulla counties was 5.6 percent for November 2020. Gadsden County had the highest rate at 7.5 percent.

To bring about some relief, Tallahassee Community College is rolling out new opportunities outside of the city. They’re continuing programs that could help you rebound into a new job this spring.

“It’s a big deal,” said Jessica Griffin, the director of Continuing Workforce Education at TCC.

“When we talk about Gadsden County, this definitely helps residents become upskilled and employed in areas where there is a high demand,” she added.

TCC’s scholarship program called “Gadsden Connect” is an opportunity for up to 60 people living in the county to get back on their feet.

It covers tuition, it covers books and uniforms. The idea gets people on track for a job in the healthcare field in a matter of weeks. Through a partnership with Sunshine Health, home health aides and certified nursing assistants are the main focus.

“They’re beginning on a career ladder, a ladder that means promotion,” explained Kim Moore, the vice president for Workforce Innovation at TCC.

Moore says Gadsden Connect along with their ongoing Be Essential program are filling jobs when more than 10,000 people in the Capital Region are out of work.

Unemployed residents in the Capital Region, November, 2020

Outside of healthcare, Moore says some programs take no longer than 90 days to complete. They train people to work in areas including truck driving, IT, and public safety.

“It really is a commitment that they can continue to build on,” Moore added.

While Gadsden Connect focuses on Gadsden County only, Be Essential is open to just about anyone.

There is still scholarship money available. The cutoff to apply is in March. For more information or to apply, click here.