DeSantis grants FSCJ $3.1 million for new commercial driving education center

Gov. Ron DeSantis during a news conference at Florida State College at Jacksonville in Yulee. (Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

YULEE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday announced a $3.1 million grant for Florida State College of Jacksonville that will go towards building a new commercial driving facility on its Yulee campus.

DeSantis said the Nassau County Transportation Education Institute will be funded by the governor’s job growth grant fund and support 120 graduates each year who will earn the driving endorsements they need to get a job in the transportation industry.

With the recent supply chain issues, DeSantis said it’s important to bolster the number of available truck drivers to guard against any future issues.

“If you look in the state of Florida, 85% of the goods that ended up being delivered are delivered by truck. There is a big shortage of truck drivers throughout the United States in Florida,” DeSantis said. “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 because there is such a strong demand and people are willing to pay good money for people.”

The institute will allow students to earn certificates for a commercial license Class A, which allows someone to operate trucks or truck combinations weighing 26,001 pounds or more, Class B for large commercial trucks, or a Class C license, which lets them to drive trucks with sensitive or hazardous materials.

The grant money will also help provide funding for equipment purchases and the construction of two commercial driving pads for training.

It wasn’t immediately clear when the institute would open.

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