JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — High school seniors in the Jacksonville area can get a fast track to launch their careers through a new initiative announced by Florida State College at Jacksonville called Stepping Stones.
The program is a workforce and employment initiative that will give high school seniors a clear plan to help them reach their personal and professional goals, according to the FSCJ website. It is specifically tailored to students at low-income, high-needs schools who don't know what steps they should take after high school to reach those goals.
Stepping Stones offers certificates in one of four different specialized industry areas, including:
- Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
- CompTIA™ A+ Certification
- Supply Chain Management (SCM Principles; Customer Service Operations)
- Manufacturing (Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) and HAZWOPER)
The certificates will be earned through accelerated career-related training and personal critical soft-skill development, allowing students to work toward employment in high-wage careers with room for advancement, FSCJ said.
Selected students will spend the summer after their high school graduation working toward industry certification while also earning a stipend, the FSCJ site explains.
Students who participate in the Stepping Stones program will also receive the following benefits:
- Accelerated tuition-free program that can be completed online during the summer
- Free transportation
- A $2,000 stipend
- Industry-recognized certifications that can be applied toward earning employment and degrees
- Mentorship from FSCJ faculty and staff, and leading industry partners
- Soft skill development such as time management, career and financial planning, goal-setting and critical thinking/problem solving
- Small class sizes
- Individualized advising and tutoring
- Financial aid/scholarship assistance
- Job placement support
Once students complete the Stepping Stones program, they will continue to receive assistance as they progress in their career and education.
If you're interested in applying for the program, you can find a link to the application here. FSCJ will also be holding live question and answer sessions every day via Zoom starting Monday and lasting through Friday, April 24. Those sessions are at 3:15 p.m. To learn more, click here.