June 21, 2023

Lake-Sumter State College receives state funding for Workforce Development Center in Leesburg

2.2 min read| Published On: June 21st, 2023|

By Kyle Coppola

Lake-Sumter State College receives state funding for Workforce Development Center in Leesburg

2.2 min read| Published On: June 21st, 2023|

LEESBURG, Fla. –  Lake-Sumter State College (LSSC) is proud to announce that it has been designated to receive $17.5 million from the State of Florida for the establishment of a state-of-the-art Workforce Development Center. This significant appropriation was included in the state budget recently signed by Governor Ron DeSantis, demonstrating a commitment to fostering education and economic growth in the region.

The Workforce Development Center, a cutting-edge facility spanning 50,000 square feet, will be situated on LSSC’s Leesburg Campus. Designed to meet the evolving needs of the local workforce, it will provide LSSC students with access to modern classrooms and spaces that facilitate immersive, hands-on experiences. These experiential learning opportunities will support both new and existing programs, addressing the growing demands of various industries offering high-skill, high-wage employment prospects in the region.

Functioning as a vibrant hub, the center will bring together students, community members, and local employers in a collaborative environment. It will serve as a focal point for academic support, career readiness, and planning workshops, entrepreneurship initiatives, apprenticeships, interviews, enrichment activities, meetings, and more. By fostering these connections, the Workforce Development Center will empower individuals to thrive in the current job market.

Dr. Heather Bigard, President of Lake-Sumter State College, expressed her enthusiasm about the transformative impact of the Workforce Development Center on the institution and its students.

“This new facility will revolutionize how we serve our students and equip them for success in today’s workforce,” she stated. “LSSC extends our gratitude to Governor DeSantis, Sen. Dennis Baxley, Rep. Keith Truenow, Rep. Taylor Yarkosky, and Rep. Stan McClain for their unwavering support of LSSC and our community. This project will have a positive influence locally and expand access to postsecondary educational opportunities.”

Lake and Sumter Counties have experienced remarkable population growth over the last decade, ranking among the top 5 counties in Florida. The population is expected to continue growing at an unprecedented rate. Additionally, Central Florida’s job market is expected to outpace state and national averages through 2030, creating an unprecedented demand for skilled workers.

“We look forward to working with our local employers to build educational pathways that lead to rewarding careers,” said President Bigard. “With support from our community and legislators, Lake-Sumter State College is on a bold journey to transform the ways in which we serve our students and prepare them for their future.”

Planning and design for the Workforce Development Center will begin in the upcoming fiscal year with completion as early as 2025.

About Lake-Sumter State College 

Founded in 1962, Lake-Sumter State College (LSSC) offers a high-quality education at an affordable price to the communities of Lake and Sumter counties. LSSC embraces its mission as a community college to increase access and opportunity for all learners in its community. As a proud member of the Florida College System, LSSC serves more than 7,500 students annually at three locations and online: Leesburg, South Lake (Clermont), and Sumterville. A fourth location in Four Corners will open in fall 2023. LSSC offers non-credit, certificate, associate degree, and bachelor’s degree programs designed to support and prepare students to pursue their goals and join Florida’s dynamic workforce. LSSC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Learn more about LSSC at www.lssc.edu.

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About the Author: Kyle Coppola

Kyle Coppola was born in Newton, Massachusetts and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications from Curry College in 2016. After traveling to Florida on a family vacation, he decided he could not get enough of the warm weather and made the move from snowy Massachusetts to central Florida 8 years ago.

For the last decade Kyle has gained valuable experience in social media content creation, marketing and sales, writing, video production, sports announcing and even broadcasting for local radio stations, such as FM 102.9 in The Villages and FM 91.5 in Massachusetts. Every year he volunteers at The Villages Charter High School as a play-by-play sports announcer for the football games as well as a public address announcer for the basketball games, including the annual Battle at The Villages Tournament.

Outside the office Kyle is a husband and father to two beautiful girls along with their cat. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family, travel, play golf and swim. He is also a huge sports junkie and even bigger motorsports fan and loves to attend racing events when he can.

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