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$500k banner center launches at UNF

Workforce Florida Inc. awarded UNF’s Division of Continuing Education two $500,000 contracts from to launch two Employ Florida Banner Centers: Creative Industries and Financial and Professional Services.

Starting in summer A, summer B and in the fall, the Banner Center will offer communication juniors and seniors an opportunity to take these “special topic courses” and receive a certificate in television and film production, while receiving three upper-level division credit hours.

The courses are currently available and open to professionals, businesses and educators. Course costs for each Banner Center range in price from $29 for one-day creative workshops to approximately $5,000 for a two-year program.

The duration of certain programs range from a one-day program to a semester-long, certificate program; classes offered will be in the communication department’s building in the television studio area.

Costs for the certificate program for UNF students, through the university’s continuing education division, will be the equivalent of normal credit hours, said Dr. Berrin Beasley, communication department chair.

“[Students] will receive three upper-division elective credit hours for these special topic courses,” Beasley said.

Beasley said former communication chair Dr. David Goff will teach the course will be taught by former communication chair Dr. David Goff, but guest speakers, such as industry professionals, will assist in providing insight into their profession.

UNF is the first institution to launch two Banner Centers simultaneously and is eligible to receive another $1 million for both Banner Centers over the next three years.

“The Employ Florida Banner Center was started as an initiative through the Jeb Bush administration to help Florida become more economically prosperous and diverse-based on-job training in industry sectors that have been identified for specific job growth,” said Philip Green, state director for Employ Florida Banner Center for creative industries.

Green has developed 15 courses, including a certificate in TV and Film Production, Social Media for Business, Motion Picture Screenwriting, Documentary Production, Digital Photography and Digital Advertising.

Green said Workforce Florida Inc. developed the Banner Centers concept in response to Roadmap to Florida’s future – Florida’s strategic plan for economic progression – by Enterprise Florida, a public-private partnership, which serves as Florida’s primary organization dedicated to statewide economic development.

UNF’s two Banner Centers are the only Banner Centers in the state offering workforce development in creative industries as well as financial and professional services. Check out employflorida.com to see all 13 Banner Centers.

“Basically, what our responsibilities are, is to bring industry, workforce, education and economic development together,” Green said. “We are creating cutting-edge curriculum to train entry-level workers in high-skilled, high-wage job sectors.”

Green said Creative Industries is forecast to grow faster than any other targeted industry cluster — with a 20 percent increase in employment opportunities over the next five years.

“Many of these certificates have national certifications attached to them,” said Bob Wood, dean of Continuing Education.

Wood said employers are aware of these certificates — they help develop them and the guidelines to the program.

“The whole state Banner Center initiative is to have one of the most well-trained workforces in the United States, so we can attract new business and industries to come to Florida,” Wood said. “That way, we can have a really competitive business environment in the state.”

The money the Banner Center receives goes to paying instructor salaries and other operational costs to run the programs, Wood said. The money the Banner Centers receives comes from Workforce Florida Inc., and the Department of Labor.

Continuing Education does not come from state funds, he said. All of the money comes out of the student tuition we generate as a noncredit program.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity,” Green said. “Not only for our students to be able to add something extra to add to their credentials list, but also to understand all the jobs that are going to be in the creative industries throughout the state of Florida.”

Info Box:

Summer A – T.V and Film production: RTV 4930

Summer B – Digital Media Essentials: MMC 4930

The Financial and professionals program is not being offered for credit at this time.

There will be 16 students to each class.

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