FITC Recognized by Florida Board of Governors

It was standing room only this morning at Challenger Learning Center. Top government officials, educators, and community leaders gathered to celebrate the roll-out of the TEAm grant.

Marshall Criser and Garnett S. Stokes

“We’re connecting the dots so that we can provide our students with jobs,” said Marshall Criser III, State University System Chancellor, who opened the ceremony talking about the importance of Information Technology for our state. “We’re ultimately here to connect [students] with meaningful careers.”

The grant, Targeted Educational Attainment grant (TEAm) is awarded to help undergraduates completing their education in the field of information technology. The field of IT is in high-demand with excellent wage pay and Florida’s workforce needs trained workers.

Together, Florida State University interim president Garnett S. Stokes and Elmira Magnum, president of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, received the combined $3 million grant.

Elmira Magnum and Garnett S. Stokes

“The TEAm grant is right in line with our mission,” said Stokes.

The grant is complimented by a joint program, “Expanding North Florida’s IT Career Pathways,” which creates a pipeline from elementary school onward to prepare students for careers in computer information and technology.

“[The grant] is already making a positive difference for our community and our state,” said Magnum.

The TEAm grant funds the Florida State University and Florida A&M University initiative, Florida IT Career Alliance (FITC). FITC is a collaboration between FSU, FAMU, local state and community colleges, and high schools in North FloridaFITC is estimated to produce 2,676 information technology, computer science, and computer-engineering graduates by the Spring semester of 2018. The alliance strengthens ties between FSU and FAMU, the private sector and the community.

Information technology is booming in Florida. Preparing our students and career force of tomorrow is paramount. In 2014, information technology occupied 43% of the top 15 occupations in Florida. The average salary in the information technology industry exceeds state totals by 71%.

“The FITC Alliance will expose more students to the fantastic, creative computing and IT careers available to them in Florida, help keep talented young Floridians in-state and allow Florida to remain a national leader in computing and IT job growth,” said FITC Principal Investigator, Dr. Larry Dennis. “We want many of these talented, young students to stay and help build Florida’s economy.”

Jesse Panuccio, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity closed out the ceremony, “Florida education is laser focused to help students find jobs upon graduation.”

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