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Governor Ron DeSantis Awards $8.7 Million for Hurricane Ian Recovery Efforts and Workforce Education

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Governor Ron DeSantis. Photo: John Raoux/AP.
MATLACHA, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis awarded $7.7 million through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) grant program and the Job Growth Grant Fund (JGGF) to support a large-scale rapid credentialing effort between three state colleges, two technical colleges, and Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDBs). Governor DeSantis also announced $1 million through the Florida Disaster Fund to organizations to support emergency management personnel, national guardsmen, and community members in the recovery process. Organizations awarded today include the Florida Emergency Preparedness Association, the Florida National Guard Foundation, and three community foundations. The Florida Disaster Fund has raised more than $55 million to support local recovery efforts.
“Today’s awards will help residents rebuild, help emergency management personnel and national guardsmen begin their recovery, and provide new employment opportunities for residents,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.
Under Governor DeSantis’ bold leadership, Florida will continue to see dynamic investments that create solutions and break down silos to better support communities,” said Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Secretary Dane Eagle. “Today’s awards will go a long way for Southwest Florida communities that are still working to get back on their feet following Hurricane Ian, and I look forward to the opportunities these programs will create for Floridians.”
“Governor DeSantis has led an unprecedented effort to expedite recovery in the areas of our state affected by Hurricane Ian,” said CareerSource Florida President and CEO Michelle Dennard. “The Governor’s investment will provide additional resources to connect Floridians with rewarding new careers, and we applaud the selfless service of our colleagues at CareerSource Suncoast, CareerSource Heartland, and CareerSource Southwest Florida as well as our education partners who are helping make their communities whole again.”
“Hurricane Ian caused unimaginable loss to families across Southwest Florida,” said Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. “Some will have to completely start over and others will have to go to significant lengths to mitigate the financial impact. Due to the unwavering support and leadership of Governor DeSantis, this funding will allow our educational institutions to lighten the burden and transform lives through workforce education.”
Following Hurricane Ian, several high-skill and high-wage occupations like trucking and logistics, healthcare, information technology, manufacturing, and diesel maintenance will be needed in the region. Funding awarded today will help students graduate with Commercial Driving Licenses and provide opportunities for short-term, high-impact training in manufacturing and technology. This initiative also focuses on the development of rapid credentialing programs in welding, logistics, and aviation maintenance throughout the impacted counties in Southwest Florida.
Funding highlights include:
$7.7 million through WIOA and the JGGF to administer funding for rapid credentialing programs.
  • State College of Florida ($2,940,000) – for the commercial driver license credentialing program.
  • Florida Southwestern College (1,980,000) – for information technology credentialing programs.
  • South Florida State College ($618,842) – for commercial driver license, welding, and tractor programs.
  • Fort Myers Technical College ($973,000) – for diesel maintenance mechanic and Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) programs.
  • Cape Coral Technical College ($200,000) – for practical nursing credentialing programs.
  • $482,000 through the Governor’s Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to support credentialing program equipment needs across the five awarded educational institutions.
  • $1 million to CareerSource Suncoast, CareerSource Heartland, and CareerSource Southwest Florida to provide training and support for rapid credentialing programs.
The Florida Disaster Fund is the State of Florida’s official private fund established to assist Florida’s communities as they respond to and recover during times of emergency or disaster. In partnership with the public sector, private sector, and other non-governmental organizations, the Florida Disaster Fund supports response and recovery activities.
Organizations awarded funds from the Florida Disaster Fund today are:
  • $500,000 to the Florida National Guard Foundation.
  • $125,000 to the Florida Emergency Preparedness Association which represents emergency management professionals across the state.
  • $125,000 to the Collier County Community Foundation.
  • $125,000 to the Charlotte County Community Foundation.
  • $125,000 to Collaboratory, a community foundation helping communities across Southwest Florida.
Funds awarded to the community foundations will be utilized for local efforts to repair and rebuild homes in Southwest Florida.

North Florida News

VIDEO CONSUMER ALERT: Attorney General Moody Recognizes Utility Fraud Awareness Day with Tips to Avoid Scams

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— Attorney General Ashley Moody is recognizing Utility Fraud Awareness Day by issuing tips for Floridians to avoid utility scams. Fraudsters aiming to swindle consumers may pose as representatives of utility companies, and claim immediate payment is needed or the customer’s service will be cut off—or scammers may attempt to obtain personal information from an unsuspecting consumer. Attorney General Moody wants to ensure Floridians don’t fall victim to these schemes.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Utility scammers will prey on the fear of losing an important service such as power or gas in order to elicit an immediate payment. Don’t fall for these imposter scams. If you receive a suspicious message or phone call, do not provide any personal or financial information. Instead, call the utility company directly and check on the status of your account.”

Attorney General Moody suggests Floridians use the following tips to avoid utility scams:

  • Understand that scammers pressure customers to act fast, so do not rush to act on an unsolicited call or email;
  • Verify information given by purported utility representatives by checking the latest bill;
  • Never provide or confirm personal information to a solicitor, whether by phone, in-person or email, purporting to be a utility company representative;
  • Know that utility companies will not demand immediate payment;
  • When in doubt if a call is legitimate, hang up and call the utility company directly using the number listed on the company’s website;
  • Be wary of anyone demanding payment by a reloadable card, gift card or cryptocurrency; and
  • Authenticate the identity of someone posing as a utility representative who comes to the door. Look for company ID and logo, and know whether the visit is expected or not.

Consumers can report utility scams to Attorney General Moody’s office by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or filing a complaint at MyFloridaLegal.com.

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North Florida News

US Senate Candidate Val Demings to Launch “Showing Up To Work Tour” in Jacksonville

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FILE - Congresswoman Val Demings delivers remarks at the 2018 International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Conference at the Orange County Convention Center. (File photo: Willie David / Florida National News / FNN News Network)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – On Friday, November 4, 2022, at 7:00 pm., Chief Val Demings will launch her statewide “Showing Up to Work Tour” for the final days of the election. During the tour, Demings will hold GOTV events in Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, Miami, and Broward County encouraging voters to show up at the polls.

Visit: valdemings.com

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Florida

Winning $494M lottery ticket sold in city battered by Ian

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A winning lottery ticket worth a share of a $494 million Mega Millions jackpot was purchased in a southwest Florida city hammered by Hurricane Ian late last month.

Florida lottery officials on Monday said one of the two winning tickets was purchased at a 7-Eleven in Fort Myers. The other winning ticket was bought in California.

Hurricane Ian made landfall in southwest Florida as a Category 4 storm on Sept. 28 and has been blamed for more than 100 fatalities in the state. It was the third-deadliest storm to hit the U.S. mainland this century. More than half of the storm-related deaths in Florida were reported in Lee County, which includes Fort Myers.

Lottery winners in Florida have 180 days to claim their prize. Under a new state law, lottery winners can remain anonymous for 90 days from the day they claim the winnings, if their prize is worth $250,000 or more. Past winners have also set up legal trusts as a way to keep their identities anonymous.

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