Putting Nassau County Florida news in the light.

Applications are being accepted now for a free 8-week summer program for adults to learn Java programming.

The training class begins June 1st and runs through July 24th. It will be held at the Betty P. Cook campus of Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) in Yulee, Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

In return for free training, students must agree to work for three years for the company offering the course. That’s Cook Systems International based in Germantown, Tennessee. Students must also agree to relocate around the country for employment. Many of the jobs the company offers are temporary consulting gigs that require travel, according to job postings on the company’s website.

Open House May 4th Officials say they are looking to enroll 25 to 50 people for the course and they will hold an Open House for the Java boot camp on May 4th at the FSCJ campus at 6:00 p.m. For information, visit:


The training is being offered with organizational help from the Nassau County School District. The district’s Director of Career and Adult Education Brent Lemond said employment is guaranteed to people who successfully complete the program.

“Yes, it’s a big time commitment but it will lead to a good job with a good salary,” said Lemond in a phone interview earlier this week.

He said salaries will start at $31,000 and then jump into a six-figure range.

“By the end of the three-year commitment (participants) are making more than $70,000 and they can look forward to six-figure salaries within the next few years,” said Lemond in a news release.

Java is one of the most popular programming languages used throughout the web, and programmers don’t necessarily need to have a college degree, said Lemond.

“But the job requires methodical thinking and implementation,” he said in the interview. “Employers aren’t going to let you loose on their mainframe because you know Java. After taking this course, students will receive real world experience.”

Lemond said that the course might seem outside the school’s typical activities. But, he said, there is a long-term vision. Lemond said the school’s video game programming/simulation instructor Kalvin Thompson will take the course and then he and Lemond will design a K-12 curriculum with help from Cook Systems. He said the course might be ready for the second half of the 2015-2016 school year.

“The ultimate goal is a program that leads directly to employment right out of high school,” said Lemond.

He said the program is the first of its kind in Florida and that the application process for the course is stringent.

According to Lemond, there is an aptitude test that must be completed via webcam to ensure proper identification, and an interview via Skype where the applicant will be asked to explain and defend their work.

“There’s a process to weed out people who can’t do this,” said Lemond.

There is a need for Java programmers, according to the Cook Systems International website. There’s a listing of more than 100 job openings. The jobs are scattered across the country, from Phoenix and Austin to Nashville and Memphis. The closest job posting to Nassau County was in Norcross, Georgia. It is for an assignment at Riverbed Steelhead. The job posting calls for an implementation project manager and says that the project is expected to last three months. The requirements include five years of experience.

“Over the long-term this is about economic development,” said Lemond.

That’s true, said the Executive Director of the Nassau County Economic Development Board (NCEDB) Laura DiBella.

“It will help with recruiting efforts across the board as pretty much every industry is becoming highly technical and will require these skills,” said DiBella in an email today.

Bring Lunch to the Training Class FSCJ does not have an on-site cafeteria. Anyone who wants to grab grub during the lunch break must bring their own food or travel to SR 200/AIA for fast food fare. Lemond said that a food truck came to campus last year but hit the road because there was not enough business to sustain profitability.

Lemond said the campus is co-owned and operated by the Nassau County School District and FSCJ. He said the school largely uses the school’s facilities in the morning and that FSCJ largely conducts classes in the afternoon and evening.