Importing Lessons of Florida TRADE to Your College

In Florida, 13 state colleges are part of a grant program that is helping to close the skills gap. Here’s what you can learn from its success.

At Broward College, in Florida, closing the skills gap takes a village — or at least the public and private components of one.

“It becomes a community effort,” says Robin Swanson, program manager for the Florida TRADE Program at Broward. “We have a strong partnership with vocational schools that have machining and welding programs. We engage with cities and partner with community organizations.”

Perhaps most importantly, Broward College partners with the local manufacturing association as part of the Florida Transforming Resources for Accelerated Degrees and Employment (TRADE) program, a grant program spending $15 million statewide to move 1,000 Floridians into advanced manufacturing jobs by this time next year. Broward College is one of 13 state colleges and universities selected for the program as part of the Florida TRADE Consortium.

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