Career Campus program to bridge vocational gap


The Arc Jacksonville and Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) have partnered to launch a first-of-its-kind program in the State of Florida for students transitioning to their next step in life.

Beginning in the 2023-24 academic year, 15 inaugural students with intellectual and developmental differences (IDD) will endeavor on a vocational program culminating in FSCJ certificates of completion, college transcripts, and gainful employment or additional education depending on their career path preferences. 

The Arc Jacksonville staff and FSCJ faculty will work in tandem to give young adults with IDD a new choice in education. FSCJ courses will be taught by credentialed faculty and The Arc Jacksonville staff will provide additional coursework, skills training in simulated classroom job sites and internships at local businesses.

Career paths include child care, welding, digital media, nursing, clerical and more. 

“We are looking forward to the impact Career Campus will bring to young people’s lives and the local workforce,” said Kari Bates, CEO of The Arc Jacksonville. “Every day we meet young adults with incredible work potential but no consolidated path to achieving their goals. Career Campus will provide that path and unlock their full potential.”

The Arc Jacksonville has a history of innovating vocational programs through partnerships with high schools, colleges/universities and local businesses to open up career paths and educational opportunities for students with IDD.

On Campus Transition at the University of North Florida was among the first in the nation to offer higher education to students with IDD. In addition to that, High School High Tech, a partnership with The Able Trust, exposes high school students with IDD to potential careers in STEM fields

Now, the Career Campus program will fill a void for young adults with IDD who are seeking specialized instruction to secure competitive employment.

“FSCJ is thrilled to partner with The Arc Jacksonville to launch the Career Campus program,” said Greg Wurth, FSCJ dean of workforce education. “We are eager to play a part in the positive impacts this program will bring to students and the community overall.”