Florida’s Great Northwest Seeks Applications for Training Programs

DESTIN — Florida’s Great Northwest Inc. is ready to pump $1.75 million into programs that will help develop a high-paid, skilled workforce for the region.

The private, non-profit organization is comprised of county and local economic development groups, workforce development boards, community and junior colleges, universities and private businesses working to foster economic development in the 16-county region of Florida’s Panhandle.

    For a project to qualify it must encourage or lead to high-skill, high-wage employment or employee advancement in four target high-growth, high-tech industry clusters; aviation, aerospace, defense, and national security; health sciences and human performance enhancement; energy and the environment; transportation and logistics – or in the two support industries of information technology and research/engineering services.

  The program seeks to fund innovative or new program development, fellowships, internships and other creative methods to train individuals for employment or advancement in high-skill, high-wage occupations in Northwest Florida’s target industries.

    “This is one of the most broadly defined grant opportunities that Florida's Great Northwest has ever offered, said Al Wenstrand, President of Florida's Great Northwest.  “This program is focused on addressing the region’s crucial knowledge-based job training and development needs in new and exciting ways.”

   The specifications and requirements of the program are available on the Florida’s Great Northwest’s website, www.FloridasGreatNorthwest.com.  Applications will be accepted from training facilities, higher education institutions, research & development organizations, and specialized targeted businesses within Northwest Florida.  

    Proposals must be received by Florida’s Great Northwest by Wednesday, December 17, 2008.  

   “This is a unique opportunity for Northwest Florida’s higher education, training, research & development, and specialized target businesses to be encouraged to develop original and creative solutions to meet the increasing employment training needs that most impact the region’s critical knowledge-based workforce,” said Florida's Great Northwest Chairman Fred Leopold.

   Florida’s Great Northwest was awarded a U.S. Department of Labor – Employment Training Administration Workforce Innovation for Regional Economic Development (WIRED) grant, creating the WIRED Northwest Florida Initiative.



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