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District wins $150,000 Grant to Enhance Pathways to Career Opportunities

2680 West County Road 476
Bushnell, Florida  33513

Press Release

From:  Colleen Strickland, Curriculum Supervisor

Date:  February 1, 2019

Subject:  District wins $150,000 Grant to Enhance Pathways to Career Opportunities


The Sumter school district was recently awarded the Pathways to Career Opportunities competitive grant in the amount of $150,000.00.  Through the use of these funds, students will be engaged in pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship training and employment in the areas of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration.   Completers will be eligible for careers as mechanics, installers and electricians. Sumter will use the grant funds to establish and implement an HVAC and electrician pre-apprenticeship/apprenticeship program in Wildwood. Sumter is excited to have this opportunity for students as HVAC and Electrician occupations are high-skill and high-demand occupations. Superintendent Richard A. Shirley said, “This is a great opportunity for some of our older students and adult learners, providing a high skill, high wage program with immediate job opportunities upon completion.”

Over 250 job openings in the career fields are estimated in the region over the next five years. This will be a cooperative project with registered apprenticeship partners, local business leaders, CareerSource Central Florida, and Lake Sumter State College.  We are proud to offer training in this program at the Wildwood Middle High School learning lab. If you would like more information or are interested in enrolling in this program, please contact Casey Ferguson, Supervisor, Career Technical and Adult Education at Casey.Ferguson@Sumter.K12.FL.US or 352-793-5719. 

This funding opportunity, was offered through the Florida Department of Education, Division of Career and Technical Education as part of the 2020 General Appropriations Act, Appropriation Number 127, Aid to Local Governments.  The funds were offered statewide for the purpose of establishing new registered apprenticeships, pre-apprenticeship programs, or expanding existing registered apprenticeship programs.  It is an honor to be awarded this competitive grant to serve our students and community.