New Florida apprenticeship, education bill provides more pathways to technical careers

Gov. Ron DeSantis signs bill at Space Florida offices in Merritt Island

By Ezzy Castro - Reporter, Emilee Speck - Digital journalist

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. - Gov. Ron DeSantis made a stop in Brevard County ahead of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy launch Monday to sign a bill that will help increase increase work opportunities in the Space Coast.

The governor signed the bill at the Space Florida offices on Odyssey Way Merritt Island.

The bill will help students in the state have alternative pathways to careers in technical education.

It also addresses the need of the space industry to have workforce readiness and help future Floridians get ready for jobs in the Space Coast.

"What we are building here is not only not only an apprenticeship program like we have with Lockheed putting folks in the ecosystem," DeSantis said. "You know, that tends to build and so even other companies apart from Lockheed Martin like to see that cause they come and say hey there are a bunch of folks here on the Space Coast who could fit or need."

The governor said the state also received about $10 million in teacher development for computer science instructors. He's hoping this will prepare students for workforce in the state of Florida.

"I think these type of programs will help the folks that go through them, but it will also help me turn Florida for additional investment into the future so I'm really excited to do it and get it done," DeSantis said.

While in Merritt Island, the governor also said he isn't done fighting to host the re-established U.S. Space Combatant Command in Florida.

After the U.S. Air Force released a short list in May of possible locations, which did not include Florida,  it was thought that the Sunshine State was off the table to host the 11th Combatant Command.

The final decision is made by the Air Force Secretary but, according to DeSantis, the president "gets the final say."

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