MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The Miami Dolphins Social Impact Committee announced that they have joined the Lennar Foundation to fund Florida Memorial University's Certificate Program in Construction Trades. This program, the first of its kind at a Historically Black College in Florida, will play a key role in economic empowerment by providing equitable access for minorities in South Florida through employment in the construction business. Tuition, along with meals and transportation, will be free for all participants in this 12-month certification program. The donation is in collaboration with Miami Dolphins players, the organization, the Lennar Foundation and a NFL Foundation social justice grant. Participants can register for the program at www.fmuniv.edu/trade.
"We are excited to partner with the Miami Dolphins Social Impact Committee and Lennar Foundation to launch the FMU Construction Trades Certificate Program," said Dr. Jaffus Hardrick, President, Florida Memorial University. "This program will provide residents in underserved communities throughout Miami-Dade, Miami Gardens and Opa Locka the opportunity to develop career skills to help fill the talent gaps in the construction industry."
FMU's Certificate Program in Construction Trades will work with the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) and Associated Builders and Contractors Institute (ABC) to develop curriculum, lab material, transportation, and industry-recognized credentials. Upon completion of the program, participants will have the ability to receive several certifications including OSHA 10, NCCER Blue Card, NCCER Level 1 and a Program Completion Certificate from ABC will receive a certification in an Electrical, HVAC or Plumbing trade.
"The thing I love about this program is that it gives people an opportunity, and in some cases, a second chance," said Dolphins player Patrick Laird. "Most people want a job and the ability to provide for themselves, not a handout. This program can give someone a great start to a lifelong career where they can become their own boss."
"In many parts of America, people aren't afforded the opportunity to grow up in neighborhoods with well-funded school, effective after school programs, or economic opportunities," said Dolphins player Byron Jones. "This program fills the gap that many people of underserved communities fall into. Whether you're a high school dropout or have a criminal history, this program gives people a chance to develop career skills that will change their lives for the better."
"The Lennar Foundation is honored to partner with the Miami Dolphins Social Impact Committee in sponsoring the Residential Construction Skills Certification Program at Florida Memorial University. We know that such training can not only lead to a career that averages compensation of over $51,000 a year but can also lead to owning one's own company. Many of Lennar's current Trade Partners started as skilled laborers themselves." noted Marshall Ames, Chairman of the Lennar Foundation.
The Miami Dolphins Social Impact Committee was formed by players to positively impact civic engagement, education and economic empowerment. Previously, the committee donated $100,000 to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition Fines and Fees program, which assists returning citizens who have outstanding fees to complete their sentences and become eligible to vote. In addition, the committee gave $300,000 to public schools in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties to bridge the digital divide and assist with wireless technology for underserved students.