SJR State’s "Rapid Credentialing" provides new skill sets for unemployed

St. Johns River State College is ready to help local residents get back to work. The College has been awarded a Rapid Credentialing grant through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The $449K grant will support rapid career and technical training that can lead to middle and high-wage jobs throughout Northeast Florida.

The grant program is designed to connect qualified residents who are unemployed, underemployed, furloughed or at risk of job loss from the impact of COVID-19 with career and technical education (CTE) and support. The Rapid Credentialing program aims to assist participants in getting to work faster, affordably and with in-demand credentials.

SJR State President Joe Pickens said the College is ready to assist displaced workers who want to upskill themselves to be more competitive for jobs. "The pandemic has generated an increase in unemployment, with many others still at a risk of losing their jobs," said SJR State President Joe Pickens. "For some, life has changed; but we’re here to help them forge ahead. Give us one semester, and we’ll provide the training to re-enter the workforce with a new skill set," Pickens said.

"An additional benefit is that many of the programs serve as a springboard to future learning," Pickens continued. "It enables students to find jobs with their new credentials, yet remain at SJR State and continue their education, since many of the courses articulate into degree programs."

The Rapid Credentialing program will include in-demand, short-term CTE programs in several workforce fields. Participants in the Rapid Credentialing program will have access to excellent CTE training, tailored student support and placement assistance. In addition, the RC program will provide financial support for program tuition, fees, books and/or certification exam costs—reducing or eliminating the cost of training for eligible students in select programs.

Specific Rapid Credentialing opportunities include:

  • Scholarships to support costs for students who are currently enrolled in corrections, nursing assistant, and EMT
  • Scholarships to support program costs for new students enrolling in select business, computer and manufacturing programs such as accounting technology operations, digital marketing management, risk management and insurance operations, QuickBooks online certified user, insurance claims adjuster, insurance customer service rep, Amazon Web Services solutions architect, and Amazon Web Services cloud practitioner

Students must meet program and grant requirements to be eligible to participate.

The RC grant also provides support to defray certification exam costs for students currently enrolled in several health programs, provide additional academic, career and placement assistance, and purchase hands-on training equipment for the manufacturing program.

The Rapid Credentialing program criteria and applications are available online at For more information, call (386) 312-4232 or email .

The program’s purpose aligns with Florida’s Workforce Education Initiative "Get There" ( and the state’s overarching goal to be number one in workforce education by 2030.



Susan Kessler
Director of Public Relations and Publications
(386) 312-4020