JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida State College at Jacksonville’s (FSCJ) was recently awarded a $555,507 grant from the National Science Foundation in support of the Industry 4.0 Technicians in Advanced Manufacturing (Industry 4.0 Tech) project. In partnership with the College of Lake County (CLC) in Illinois, as well as businesses and industry associations representing 300 employers, Industry 4.0 Tech will work to address the widening skills gap in the manufacturing industry due to new and emerging innovations in technology and processes.
Over the three-year grant period, FSCJ and CLC will enroll 214 students in new Industry 4.0 courses, providing them the opportunity to earn multiple industry certifications. Beginning in year one, FSCJ and CLC will modify a minimum of 20 courses in coordination with industry partners to reflect newly acquired equipment. With increasing participation and persistence of underrepresented and underserved populations as one of the project’s main objectives, FSCJ and CLC will partner to specifically connect and support females, minorities and veterans to create a diverse technical workforce.
Thanks to this grant, FSCJ and CLC will expand and outfit existing training labs with the latest in simulation equipment, implement face-to-face training workshops for faculty and lab managers, and also enhance learning experiences for 30 incumbent workers over the project period. An Industry 4.0 Tech Business and Industry Team will also be established to analyze job skills, curriculum development and to identify areas of opportunity. Additionally, the implementation team will work to modify and adapt training opportunities to present applied science, engineering and technology curricula to 80 high schoolers from underrepresented populations and 24 postsecondary faculty and K-12 teachers.
“The National Science Foundation continues to be a tremendous partner for our College, bringing innovation and educational enhancements within reach and preparing our students to excel in their future endeavors,” said College President Dr. John Avendano. “We are incredibly honored to partner alongside the College of Lake County to do our part in recruiting, training and supplying a skilled workforce who will shape our future.”
Known as “the community’s college,” Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) exists to provide valuable, high quality learning opportunities to anyone with the desire to enhance themselves through the pursuit of higher education. Serving more than 50,000 students and awarding more than 6,000 degrees and certificates on an annual basis, the College plays a significant role in supplying the region’s employers with a highly skilled, educated workforce.