Don Gaetz/Will Weatherford column: Education a path to jobs
Senate President Don Gaetz and House Speaker Will Weatherford are touring the state to tout their "Work Plan Florida" and today's Tampa Bay Times opinion page carried a joint column from the two. An excerpt:
When the Career and Professional Education Act was signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott last month, we stated this bipartisan, bicameral initiative would not only reform but transform education in Florida.
This transformation from archaic seat time requirements to academically rigorous, economically relevant education is in full force in schools like Tampa Bay Technical High School, which we visited during the first leg of our Work Plan Florida Tour.
While more than half of last year's U.S. college graduates are unemployed or underemployed, the ironic truth is that there are thousands of jobs in Florida unfilled because employers can't find workers whose skills meet industry specifications.
That's why Florida's education system needs to be linked to the realities and opportunities of the economy, and that's exactly what the new law does.
You can see that link in Tampa Bay Tech's Diesel Technology Academy, where students learn diesel engine repair and heavy equipment maintenance and operations from industry trained instructors like James Mitchell. Diesel engines are donated to the program by companies that then compete to hire its graduates.