More than two decades building great careers
Donna J. Beasley
Tri-County Apprenticeship Academy owes its success to the vision and passion of Donna J. Beasley. Donna dedicated her life to Apprenticeship Training. She retired from the State of Florida Apprenticeship System in 2001 and joined the IEC Electrical Apprenticeship Program as Training Coordinator.
Donna made a great impact on the community and apprenticeship in Southwest Florida. Tri-County Apprenticeship Academy opened its doors in 2003 at 13830 Jetport Commerce Parkway, Suite 5 Fort Myers, Florida 33913. Donna was hired as the Executive Director. She revamped old programs and embarked on new ways of embracing apprenticeship. She lead the merger of the ECF Electrical Apprenticeship Program and the Special Contractors Association of Southwest Florida’s Apprenticeship Programs. Donna pursued and established Accredited Training sponsorship from the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER). In 2005, TCAA was officially accredited as an NCCER Training provider.
In collaboration with the Workforce Board of Southwest Florida, Donna partnered with Workforce to provided at-risk youth the opportunity to explore new careers in the construction trades. The Youth Build Grant was awarded in 2006. This grant required that many partners come to the table. Those partners were Tri-County Apprenticeship Academy, Workforce, and Fort Myers Housing Authority. The participants involved in the Youth Build Program rebuilt the senior and family housing projects in the Fort Myers areas.
In 2008, Donna was diagnosed with Lung cancer. Even with her cancer diagnosis she did not let that stop her. Donna nurtured a collaboration with the Lee County School District to help high school students who were having a difficult time in a traditional school setting. It integrated pre-apprenticeship programs with academic education. In 2009, Donna began to pursue a public charter school that focused on students completing one-year of technical programs in Electrical, HVAC and Plumbing and earn their high school diploma.
Donnas’ battle with cancer intensified, and she passed away in 2010. After Donnas’ passing the Tri-County Apprenticeship Academy was officially renamed in her honor to Donna J Beasley Tri-County Apprenticeship Academy. Her last wish was to establish DJB Technical Academy which would open its doors to at-risk youth in Lee County. Donnas’ final wish was fulfilled in 2012 when DJB Technical Academy was established.
Donnas’ vision and passion for apprenticeship programs live on. There are more formal training options than ever – in the schools and in private industry. However, Tri-County Apprenticeship Academy remains Southwest Florida’s Largest Registered Apprenticeship Program.