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Miami Dade College, FPL Collaborate to Mitigate Staffing Shortage and Train Students for Nuclear Apprenticeship Program

FPL Class

Miami, June 12, 2008 - With many employees retiring and a great need for more skilled employees, FPL has found a creative way to address its operations and staffing needs by partnering with Miami Dade College (MDC) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, to develop the Nuclear Maintenance Apprentice Training Program, a professional training pipeline program now in its second year. Last month, 22 students from MDC began the internship phase of the professional training program, which also supports FPL’s workforce by preparing highly-trained employees for future careers with the utility company.   

“If an aging workforce and attrition is to blame for any shortages in the engineering and nuclear power industry, then [this program at] MDC is working to be part of the solution,” said Dr. Richard White, director of MDC’s School of Computer and Engineering Technologies. “The students participating in this program will receive an education that is unattainable solely in the classroom. This is the ideal program to prepare them for a long career in a growing and exciting field.”

The professional training pipeline program provides MDC students with the skills needed to staff FPL’s Turkey Point nuclear power plant as well as any of the 103 nuclear plants across the nation. Successful candidates graduate with an Associate in Science degree after two years of study in one of three career tracks: Instrumentation and Controls, Electrical, or Mechanical Maintenance. Under this partnership agreement with MDC, FPL is committed to hire as interns, 30 students who have successfully completed the first year of the program at the apprentice wage scale of $16.50 per hour. In addition, at least 20 students per year who have completed the 2-year program will be hired in full-time positions, with a starting salary of about $52,000.

In the two years since the MDC and FPL professional training partnership began, the utility company has been able to address its long-term critical staffing shortage; and to date, about a dozen students are on the brink of becoming permanent employees of FPL with more in the pipeline.

“It’s a great time to join the nuclear industry,” said Bill Jefferson, senior vice president at FPL. “These students can have a long career with FPL. The industry is rewarding and creates a wealth of opportunities for them and their families.”

For more information about the FPL/MDC Professional Training Pipeline, contact: Thania Rios, 305-237-5107 or Dr. Richard White, 305-237-3735. Program information is also available at: http://scet.mdc.edu/.

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611, jmendiet@mdc.edu, MDC communications director
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359, tcarroll@mdc.edu, media specialist




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