With Florida’s unemployment rate well over 10 percent, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) and Miami Dade College (MDC) provided bright futures for 22 students in the college’s Electrical Power Technology program, who received diplomas and full-time jobs during a recent graduation ceremony at the college’s Homestead Campus.
Dr. Jeanne Jacobs, MDC Homestead Campus president, and Mike Kiley, Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant vice president, presented the graduates with official letters of employment and their first FPL hardhats.
“The future of energy rests on a new generation of leaders, and we are pleased to offer crucial education to students eager to learn,” Kiley said. “Our entire state benefits from this partnership.”
The graduating students have completed two years in the program, which provides a comprehensive education in the understanding of power plant operations and technologies. They will now embark on high-tech careers in the energy sector with a full-time position at FPL’s Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant. The apprentice-level wage scale averages $55,000-$57,000 per year, in addition to an attractive benefits package.
This is the fourth graduating class of the program, which includes three tracks: mechanical, electrical, and instrumentation and control. After two years of training, the graduates have earned an Associate in Science degree and job offers from FPL, one of the state’s largest employers.
“The MDC program continues to lead the nation in energy education at a time when the nuclear industry is in critical need of new, highly trained workers,” Dr. Jacobs said. “Thanks to our partnership with FPL, we can increase the number of technicians entering the field of nuclear power.”
With the 2011 graduating class, FPL has hired a total of 55 full-time graduates to work at the Turkey Point plant since the program started four years ago. In addition, 21 current FPL employees have graduated from the program with enhanced technical skills.
With the support of grants from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, the program is designed to support workforce development and respond to the growing energy need in the Homestead/Florida City area for employees trained in the latest energy technologies.
For details about the program, contact Dr. Richard White, director of MDC’s School of Engineering and Technology, at 305-237-3735, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.