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WPEC-TV CBS12 News :: News - Treasure Coast News - Indian River State College defies unemployment odds with public-private collaboration

Indian River State College defies unemployment odds with public-private collaboration

FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- 55-percent of college graduates are finding themselves unemployed. But the hiring rate for one class is at 100-percent. All hired the day they graduate in a public-private collaboration to recruit and educate locally.

It's about teaching students lessons for real life. Real life because they will have real jobs once they get out of the classrooms. Casey Kraus will be a nuclear mechanic for Florida Power and Light.

"Everybody else I know, they go through the classes and wonder what am I going to do. Now I have to find a job and for me I always knew it would be waiting for me at the end," said Kraus, a graduate and FPL apprentice.

The Brown Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Indian River State College pairs students up with corporations and local companies for specialized training and education and the promise of a job at the end of graduation.

"We were asked by Florida Power and Light to train the next generation of nuclear technicians," said Jose Farinos, Advanced Technology Division Dean, IRSC.

All 23 graduates hired on graduation day by Florida Power and Light will work locally at the St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant.

"It was almost guaranteed and it was a good incentive knowing that when things got kind of tough that at the end of this program I have something waiting for me," said Kraus.

Georginna Crump hopes to work her way up the ladder to administration.

"Working for FPL you get a 401k and you get health insurance and it is a very steady paycheck and a stable job," said Crump.

It also makes good economic sense for FPL.

"By training and hiring local, local students, the retention rate will double and it's makes the investment in the students..makes much more sense," said Farinos.

That's why FPL is now expanding the program to bring local students to the next nuclear level. Building a nuclear dynamic flow loop replica at the college for hands-on training. Since the program began six years ago FPL and IRSC have had more than 100 students graduate who have been hired. Indian River State College defies unemployment odds with public-private collaboration

Saturday, August 3 2013, 05:33 PM EDT

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