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.