On Oct. 23, at Warriors Hall Community Center, in Crestview, the board of Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc. approved the Franklin County School District's proposed project for the Franklin Environmental, Career and Technical Training Center was approved.

The district is seeking $2.33 million from Triumph for this project.

"The staff of the Franklin County School District Office in partnership with staff of the Apalachicola Bay Charter School have worked diligently to secure this vital funding for Franklin County," said Superintendernt Traci Moses.

"This is a huge win for our county. The long-term positive impacts for our students, families and community are life-changing," she said. "We are educating our students and preparing them for a future, whether that be on to a four-year university or straight into the work-force.

“It is also a way to help our adult population earn industry certifications. All of this will lead to a more highly qualified workforce, and yield strong dividends for economic development and growth for Franklin County, for years to come,” she said.

The school board will partner with Lively Technical Center to hire teachers and provide curriculum materials, and to partner with Apalachicola Bay Charter School to ensure uniformity in curriculum and training materials across the county.

The project will have three areas of focus, the first of which will include curriculum and materials for elementary and middle grade students to earn CAPE certificates as well as materials needed to support the Medical Academy and its students as they earn multiple certifications preparing them for an array of careers in the medical field. 

The second focus will include constructing and equipping a welding facility on the grounds of the Franklin County School located at 1250 U.S. Highway 98, Eastpoint.

The third focus will include constructing and equipping a computer laboratory on the grounds of the Apalachicola Bay Charter School located at 98 12th Street, Apalachicola.

The district’s goal is to have 25 percent of the eligible students earn CAPE industry certifications by the 2020-2021 school year. The project proposes to result in 777 CAPE industry certifications over a 3.5 year period. 

The proposed project would take place both at FCS and at a computer laboratory at ABC School. The Franklin Environmental, Career and Technical Center will train students for targeted industries such as welding, health related fields, environmental fields, and manufacturing once all phases of this project are completed. This will provide job opportunities for graduates above and beyond any that have ever been available to them.

The Franklin Environmental, Career and Technical Training Center will serve both Franklin County students and the community. The Center will concentrate on preserving the history and culture of Franklin County while promoting educational opportunities that prepare students for both career pathways and higher education.