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Osceola County Supports School District with $2.3 million for Programs, Equipment

10/15/20

Osceola County, Florida – Osceola County Commissioners are supporting the School District with $2.3 million in CARES Act funds for computer equipment, rapid job training, basic education and language programs.  

 Under the recently signed agreement, programming for technical training will be at Osceola Technical College (oTech) and English Language training will be available at Adult Learning Center of Osceola (ALCO) with locations throughout the County – including St. Cloud and Poinciana.  

 oTech programs provide accelerated pathways to high wage employment in targeted high-growth industry sectors including healthcare, logistics, technology, construction and manufacturing. oTech offers continuing education programs aligned with local industry needs, and result in stackable, nationally recognized industry credentials.  

Programs will include, but not be limited to: Carpentry and Masonry Technician, Electrical and Plumbing Technician, Medical Office Training, Basic Healthcare Worker, Phlebotomist and Forklift Operator.  

 “The impact of COVID-19 on Osceola County’s economic base built – especially for those in the tourism and hospitality industry -- has been devastating,” said Osceola Commission Chairwoman Viviana Janer. “It will be years before we see the industry return to 2019 levels, with a $71 billion impact on our economy. In the meantime, we have an obligation to assist the thousands who have had their hours reduced, been furloughed, or lost their jobs find a way to economic sustainability and self-sufficiency. The School District has some programs that can help prepare people to be re-employed in new sectors.”  

 The School District of Osceola County plans to purchase 3,800 computers, cameras, and other training devices to assist K-12 teachers, provide remote learning opportunities for students, as well as some broadband subsidies to provide internet access for students.  

 “I am particularly delighted that a majority of these funds will be used to provide technology in the hands of students who need it to continue learning in one to one environment,” Janer said.  

 CARES Act funding will support at least 185 eligible students to complete a GED program, ESL language training, and earn credentials leading to gainful employment,” officials said.  

 "This is yet another example of the outstanding intergovernmental collaboration between elected officials in Osceola County," said School Board Chairman Kelvin Soto.  "The Osceola County School Board thanks the Osceola Board of County Commissioners for these funds that will directly help further our goal of closing equity gaps by expanding our device-to-student ratio to set up students for success.  In addition, it is an investment into the economic growth of our county, as we address the workforce training needs of both businesses and workers during this challenging time." 

Caption (in attached photo, left to right): Commissioner Cheryl Grieb, State Representative elect Kristen Arrington, Commission Chairwoman Viviana Janer, Commissioner Brandon Arrington, School Board Chairman Kelvin Soto and Superintendent Dr. Debra Pace.