Rapid Credentialing Grant Program to Benefit 90 Students

Rapid Credentialing Grant Program to Benefit 90 Students
Posted on 09/28/2020
Two students turning over a mannequin in a hospital bed

The School District of Lee County has been awarded special funding through Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ Emergency Education Relief (GEER) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Rapid Credentialing, to assist in educational training for residents who are unemployed, underemployed, or furloughed. Scholarships are available for 90 qualifying students at Cape Coral Technical College, Fort Myers Technical College and the Southwest Florida Public Service Academy.

At Cape Coral Tech and Fort Myers Tech, “Rapid Credentialing” grant funds are available to assist 30 qualifying students at each campus with tuition and fees for the six-week long, 165 clock-hour Nursing Assistant program. The Southwest Public Service Academy will use the grant funds to assist 30 qualifying students with tuition and fees for the Firefighting I program.

“We applied for this grant to help mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 for potential students and facilitate training in new career pathways,” says Cape Coral Technical College Director Charlie Pease. “We hope to help fulfill the local demand for healthcare workers and first responders as rapidly as possible. We were recently informed that Lee Health has nearly 100 CNA openings across their network.”

The Rapid Credentialing Grant Program provides 100% scholarships that include tuition, fees and books in two approved areas of study. The goal is for participants to gain certifications in high-demand fields, ideally positioning them for a quick turnaround into higher wages

In order to qualify, individuals must be unemployed, underemployed (defined as employed less than full-time or at a job inadequate based on training and educational attainment), or furloughed (or expect to be furloughed due to economic impact in the next six months). Participants must also be a resident of Lee County, a U.S. citizen or resident alien and at least 18 years of age.

The School District was awarded $367,492 for the Rapid Credentialing Grant Program and is providing an additional $91,873 in CARES Act funding for a total of $459,365 available to qualifying students.

Cape Coral Tech and Fort Myers Tech have Nursing Assistant program classes starting in November, January, February and April. Anyone interested in becoming a Nursing Assistant is encouraged to contact Cape Coral Technical College at 239-574-4440 or Fort Myers Technical College at 239-334-4544.

The Firefighting I program at the Southwest Florida Public Service Academy begins in January. Interested students can call 239-334-3897.