TCC students benefit from Florida's new workforce education initiative

Posted at 5:17 PM, Oct 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-28 17:17:19-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A new workforce education initiative is getting the Big Bend back to work.

"It is absolutely amazing to turn a situation that is considered absolutely dire and to create that silver lining," said Kimm Moore, the vice president of Workforce Innovation at Tallahassee Community College.

Four TCC students are going through a local firefighting program and say they're grateful for the opportunity to Rebound from the pandemic.

"Watching everybody lose their jobs to COVID-19 and seeing the first responder community flourishing," said Tim Cozart.

Brothers training to fight fires in Tallahassee.

"I'm only 19," said Tyler Cozart. "I'm trying to get money, get a house and do things early."

"I feel good about it because I feel like firefighting is an essential job," Treyvion Cozart said.

They're working on setting themselves up for a successful future despite the challenges of the pandemic.

"Growing up, I was always the one to be hands-on, helping someone if they needed me.," said Davonte Riley.

One of the dozens of essential jobs the "Get There Florida" initiative is helping people train for.

"The governor, the commissioner, earmarked $35 million out of the governor's education relief fund," said Henry Mack, the chancellor of the state's Division of Career and Adult Education.

Mack says that money goes toward scholarships for students at all of Florida's state and technical colleges, including TCC.

"We're excited about the social mobility that it allows," Moore said.

TCC received around $374,000 to enhance their program, increasing the capacity to enroll and graduate students in short-term, in-demand, high-wage jobs, and workforce programs in 20 weeks or less.

Programs these brothers say they're grateful to be part of. They're all benefiting from scholarships.

"I applied for it, and we all got it," Davonte Riley said. "It's going to help us tremendously."

The brothers will finish firefighter training and move on to EMT training. They all hope to be working full time within the next year.

To see which programs might be the best fit for you and get you back to work, click here.