New job training program coming to Northwest Florida State College Chautauqua Center

WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Cybersecurity, industrial trades, law enforcement, fire science, and emergency medical technician are just a few of the careers students can soon choose from at the new Walton Works Training Center.

The Chautauqua Center in DeFuniak Springs will soon begin construction on a new Walton Works Training Center. (WJHG/WECP)

The Chautauqua Center in DeFuniak Springs got a $2 million grant from Triumph Gulf Coast for an expansion that will train students for jobs.

Northwest Florida State College students say having more opportunities in Walton County is important.

"The idea of being able to do the same level of training that I'm taking here at Niceville, at a smaller more closer proximity school like in Walton County, or DeFuniak Springs, or something like that, it's definitely beneficial," said Nick Taylor, an EMT student at Northwest Florida State College.

More than $1 million from the Walton Economic Development Alliance, Walton County, and the City of DeFuniak Springs was also donated to the program for construction.

School leaders and students say this will help because the classes they are offering will help the county keep up with the growing populaton.

"So anywhere in the Gulf Coast, along with in our county, Walton County and Okaloosa County, there is that need, because there's more diversity, manufacturing coming to this area so there's more need for skilled trades, and a skilled workforce to fill the need of the manufacturing that's coming to this area," said Scottie Smith, Lead Welding Instructor at Northwest Florida State College.

"To bring economic vitality to regions, education and training is incredibly important to provide a skilled workforce, and so by investing in this area and investing in our community, we're able to exactly that," said Dr. Deborah Kish, Vice President of Academic Affairs.

This program is expected to create at least 500 new high wage jobs.

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