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CareerSource Tampa Bay and Hillsborough County Announce Continuation of ACE Program

~Are you 18 to 29 years old and looking for a career? ~


TAMPA, FL –CareerSource Tampa Bay (CSTB) is thrilled to announce a renewed partnership with the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) to continue the Apprenticeship-to-Career Empowerment Program (ACE), now entering its fourth year as of October 2023. This program has been instrumental in empowering young adults to find their footing in targeted industries such as Manufacturing, Information Technology, Financial Services, and Hospitality, while also introducing healthcare and trades.


ACE is a transformative initiative aimed at connecting young adults, aged 18 to 29, living in Hillsborough County, with valuable short-term occupational skills training. The program ensures they attain industry-recognized certifications, gain meaningful work experience with local employers, and embark on a promising career path. Income eligibility is a requisite for program participation, with specific healthcare track prerequisites.


Designed to empower young adults to seize control of their futures, ACE offers an opportunity to acquire industry-specific skills and credentials while earning income and real-world work experience. This unique pathway accelerates their future earning potential and career growth.


Participants will receive two days of free occupational skills training from local training providers or pre-apprentice programs and three days of hands-on training with local employers. This combined training approach results in industry-recognized certifications and paid work experience. Participants earn as they learn, receiving $15 per hour for a maximum of 24 hours per week at their worksite.


The ACE program schedule is as follows:

• Cybersecurity – November 2023

• Front-End Web Development – January 2024

• Phlebotomy – January & April 2024

• Patient Care Technician – February 2024

• Green Construction – February & April 2024

• IT Help Desk/Support – March 2024

• Digital Marketing – May 2024


The program offers special consideration for young adults who are aging out of the foster care system or recovering from the effects of human trafficking.

The ACE program continues to be supported by six key industries and will provide opportunities in Financial Shared Services, Information Technology, Healthcare, Hospitality, Trades, and Manufacturing. CareerSource Tampa Bay will introduce additional healthcare opportunities in 2024.


The program will encompass career paths running for 8 to 16-week periods in the following areas:

• Digital Marketing (8-week program)

• Cyber Security (10-week program)

• Phlebotomy (12-week program)

• Front End or Software Development (10-week program)

• Green Construction (10-week program)

• Aircraft Electronics Technician (12-week program)

• Patient Care Technician (16-week program) — NEW TRACK!

• CNC – Milling, Programming, and Operations (10-week program)

• IT Help Desk (10-week program)


Saleema Bennett, Director of CSTB Programs, expressed gratitude to the employer partners who have supported ACE participants over the last three years, adding, “ACE is always seeking additional local Hillsborough employers in the mentioned targeted industries to partner with CareerSource Tampa Bay, providing worksite training, mentoring, and a future for young adults. Employer partners receive paid youth interns during their worksite hours. CSTB hopes to have multiple industry representatives’ partner with us in this program.”


In the last program year, 106 candidates were enrolled in the ACE program and created a career pathway for participants in Information Technology, Business Operations, Healthcare, and Trades with an 82.5% completion rate. Those completers gained 103 measurable skills and 269 credentials. Of the individuals who moved on to permanent employment, their entered employment rate was $17.62.


“We are honored that the County has entrusted us with the funding to provide the ACE program for another iteration,” said April Torregiante, Vice President of Program Services. “We look forward to expanding and increasing the number of tracks available for our entry-level workforce.”


For more information or to register for the program, please contact the ACE team at [email protected] or call (813)-647-2046. You can also visit the ACE program website located at Cynthia Diaz, the ACE Program Coordinator, can be reached for further assistance at (813)-930-7158.


About CareerSource Tampa Bay

Programs and initiatives are sponsored by CareerSource Tampa Bay and the State of Florida, Department of Economic Opportunity, and fully supported by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Agriculture as part of awards totaling $23,377,669.


CareerSource Tampa Bay works with businesses and candidates to leverage their training, retraining, and competitive opportunities in the workforce. CareerSource Tampa Bay provided 97,000 services to 20,000 active Wagner-Peyser individuals during the program year 2021-22. CareerSource Tampa Bay, with our six career centers, is the single largest source of job candidates in the region, from entry-level to executive-level candidates. We work closely with all Veterans.


Businesses can access CareerSource’s wide range of services, including recruiting, training for new and existing employees, targeted hiring events, and retention support strategies. All resources and services are provided at no cost to both businesses and job candidates. Programs funded through CareerSource Tampa Bay are equal opportunity programs with auxiliary aids and services available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Persons using TTY/TTD equipment use Florida Relay Service 711. A proud partner of the American Job Center network, to learn more, visit




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