Local students and families now have easily accessible information to make more informed decisions about education and career options at their fingertips through Okaloosa County Career Pathways.

Specific education pathways from middle school through university level are compiled in an easy-to-follow “First, Next, Later” in a number of in-demand industry sectors along with job titles and expected hourly wages at each education level.

The program is being made possible through a five-year grant from the Gulf Power Foundation to the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations with Career Pathways websites and resources being developed in the company’s eight county service territory. A comprehensive site, Northwest Florida Career Pathways, is underway to allow students to explore options throughout the region.

The local program is being facilitated through the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation in partnership with the school district, other education institutions and civic and economic development organizations. In addition to the online and print resources, grant funds will support related activities through the education foundation each school year.

With these funds, the Okaloosa County School District will offer a free summer camp for 24 elementary students to participate in hands-on STEMM learning activities. In addition, the funds will be used to promote the Career and Technical Education programs across the district.

“We are honored to support our community partners as they work directly with students and families to make informed, intentional decisions about their future.” said Jennifer McFarren, deputy foundation manager of the Gulf Power Foundation. “Gulf Power has a long history of supporting collaborative workforce development efforts as we work together to grow and enhance Northwest Florida’s economy.”