Gov. Ron DeSantis tapped the state’s Job Growth  rant Fund on Thursday to direct $3.18 million to truck-driving education at Florida State College at Jacksonville.

Pointing to supply-chain problems and a desire to attract more trade to Florida ports, DeSantis said the money will help the school establish the Nassau County Transportation Education Institute and build two commercial driving pads for training. “This will provide people with an ability to have very marketable skills,”

DeSantis said while at the school's campus in the Nassau County community of Yulee. “And I can tell you, if you go through this program successfully, you are going to get hired in the state of Florida and be able to be hired elsewhere if that's what you choose.”

The American Trucking Associations estimated in October that the trucking industry is short 80,000 drivers, and officials say demand will increase as freight volumes grow.

Among recent allocations, DeSantis provided $6 million for transportation-related training programs at Lake Technical College and $2.8 million for a diesel-mechanic training program at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville.

The fund received $50 million for the current fiscal year, and DeSantis has

requested $100 million for the 2022-2023 budget.

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