Crawfordville – the Triumph Gulf Coast Board voted unanimously to award a $20 million grant the Wakulla County School Board (WCSB) to create the War Eagle Career Academy, a free-standing facility that will embed Career Tech Education (CTE) training in the curriculum for students in rural Wakulla and Franklin Counties in partnership with Lively Technical College.
The Triumph Board awarded WCSB the Triumph Horizon Award for outstanding innovation and attainment in Career Tech Education.
The Triumph Board moved forward Florida State University – Panama City’s (FSC-PC) $7,600,000 grant request to create a new Collegiate Laboratory High School to serve grades 9 – 12 resulting in at least 2,048 industry certification and dual enrollment milestones. The proposed Collegiate Laboratory High School would be the 8th lab school in the state extending the benefits of having a local, top 20 university to families in Northwest Florida.
The lab school will immerse students in a collegiate culture with supported services and defined curriculum pathways enabling students to earn dual enrollment credits toward a degree. It will also engage students in advanced coursework in the fields of engineering, computer science, cybersecurity, and health sciences, among others, that will allow them to earn industry certifications aligned with local workforce demand.
The FSU-PC Collegiate Laboratory High School will expand the region’s capacity to serve students, especially the growing military dependent population in Bay and Gulf counties. Concurrent to the development of the Collegiate Laboratory High School, the US Air Force is undergoing a multi-billion dollar, rebuilding of Tyndall Air Force Base to be a “Base of the Future.” As part of this massive undertaking, Tyndall AFB will be increasing its military personnel and bringing in new squadrons and families far above their pre-Hurricane Michael capacity.
The Bay County Board of County Commission request for a $2,000,000 property tax reduction grant to support the recruitment of Project Arrow also moved forward. Project Arrow is a manufacturing company seeking to locate in Bay County where they will create at least 100 high wage jobs with a capital investment of at least $45,000,000.
The War Eagle Career Academy to be located at Wakulla High School will provide expand career and technical education for Wakulla and Franklin County in partnership with Lively Technical College (LTC) to meet regional workforce demands at a total cost of $38,900,000. The programs within the academy will prepare students for high-skill high-wage in demand jobs resulting in at least 7,450 industry certifications. The Academy classes will be open to students in grades K-12 during the school day, summer programs and adult students in the evening.
The grant will embed CTE in existing curricula, in standalone programs and stacked micro-credentials to build unique employees for employer needs. Examples of the new and expanded programs include artificial intelligence; AWS (Amazon Web Services); physical therapy/sports medicine; television production; Comp Tia +; Digital Media; Cloud Computing; banking, finance, and investments; and automotive/diesel/marine technology.
This proposal includes career micro-certifications designed to rupture silos as they exist in education today allowing for CTE integration into existing state curricula, as well as integration of steadily updated and relevant industry certifications. The academic and workforce readiness path will culminate in full post-secondary credentials and an avenue to continue education or seek workforce placement.
The Triumph Gulf Coast Board of Directors is appointed by the Governor, Chief Financial Officer, Attorney General and presiding officers of the Legislature. The appointees to the Triumph Board are David Bear, Allan Bense, Chair Don Gaetz, Reynolds Henderson, Ben Lee, Collier Merrill and Matt Terry. All meetings of the Board are public.