Make Florida's workforce globally competitive
Prepare for jobs not yet created
If you aren't amazed by the speed at which technology is changing our world, just think back 20 years. Would you have imagined cellphones with the capabilities of a laptop computer or the possibility of driverless vehicles roaming the streets of Tampa? Today's world is dominated by innovation, guiding the creation of entirely new jobs and changing the way industries operate.
To compete in today's global markets and build on our recent successes, Florida will need to think strategically about how to build success for 2030 and beyond. Florida's workforce must be prepared for jobs that may not exist today and may require new skills and an entirely new way of thinking.
The Florida Chamber Foundation traveled to all 67 counties and heard from more than 10,000 Floridians as part of Florida 2030, a three-year, once-a-decade, blueprint for Florida's future. Its findings echo the No. 1 concern of businesses — that in order to succeed, Florida must develop, attract and retain a globally oriented workforce.
The recommendations released at the foundation's annual Learners to Earners Workforce Summit show that talent is the key currency of the future. Will Florida take advantage of the opportunities in the disruptions just around the corner or will we lag behind? The future depends on us making the right choice by investing in the young men and women who will lead us in the years ahead.
Doug Davidson, Tampa
The writer is a market executive for Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Tampa and chair of the Florida Chamber Foundation.
Changing law won't change
hearts | Column, July 10
What babies deserve
The columnist fails to understand why women seek abortions. It is because they feel ill-equipped to raise a child. Let's ensure every child, regardless of income, race, citizenship or age of the mother, has a good education, proper health care, food and a safe home. If every mother could be assured of this, there would be fewer or possibly no abortions.
Ann Jamieson, Tarpon Springs
Verdict: Kavanaugh | July 10
No diversity on high court
President Donald Trump's pick for the Supreme Court is yet another Ivy League, inside-the-Beltway judge. The circus that will surround Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing will focus on his conservative philosophy and whether his elevation will mean the overturning of Roe vs. Wade. No attention will center on the lack of geographical and educational diversity on our Supreme Court. Are Yale, Harvard and Columbia the only three law schools in America? Do these justices understand the struggles of a farmer, rancher, worker or small business person? Diversity is not just about race, ethnicity and gender.
Susie Hoeller, Land O' Lakes
Rescue at Thai cave ends in triumph | July 10
Yes, but how did it happen?
Amid all the breathless coverage of the boys trapped in the Thai cave, no one seems to be asking the obvious question: Just how did they get in this pickle in the first place? Any serious adventurer or mountaineer will tell you that most "heroic tales of survival" start with someone doing something really stupid.
Pete Wilford, Holiday