EducationNewsWorkforce Development

In Global Talent War for Jobs, State Leaders Turn to Florida Chamber Foundation’s Learners to Earners Workforce Summit To Help Prepare Florida’s Talent for Jobs of the Future

Orlando, Fla. (June 18, 2019) – With talent quickly becoming the economic development tool of choice, Florida is in a global talent war for jobs, statewide leaders attending the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Learners to Earners Workforce Summit said today.

As Florida prepares to add 4.5 million more residents and create 1.5 million more jobs by 2030, we must set Florida up for success and remain globally competitive by ensuring we have a strong talent pipeline to fill the jobs of the future,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce.

Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, educators from across the cradle to career continuum, business leaders and elected officials are gathering today for the first of the day-and-a-half summit.

“Lifelong learners are earners,” Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, said in keynote remarks to the sold-out event. “And there is nothing more important than a world class education system. Education is everything”

Just minutes before going on-stage, Commissioner Corcoran sat down for a quick interview with the Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line public affairs program, and talked about his passion for school choice, his first session as Florida’s Education Commissioner, and how workforce education is changing. Watch the full interview below.

Key take aways from Day 1 of the Learners to Earners Workforce Summit:

  • A focus on employability skills, growing industries in Florida and the need to better identify the skills employers need for jobs that may not exist today.
  • A preview of a new Florida 2030 report — Employability Skills Framework – was released for a 60 day comment period.
  • Key speakers in addition to Commissioner Corcoran:
    • Representative Vance Aloupis, Jr.
    • Zack Gibson, Director and Chief Child Advocate, Governor’s Office of Adoption and Child Protection
    • Representative Mel Ponder
    • Todd Powell, Vice President for Real Estate Development, Weyerhaeuser Company
    • Madeline Pumariega, Executive Vice President and Provost, Tallahassee Community College
    • Madeleine Thakur, Chief of Staff, The Children’s Movement of Florida

For a complete list of today’s events, click here for the full agenda.

Tomorrow, Day 2, will include a special focus on apprenticeships and the role of apprenticeship programs in meeting Florida’s skills gap. New data from  will be released, and will highlight the number of active apprentices in Florida and the growing number of apprenticeship programs. Speakers will include:

  • Michelle Dennard, President & CEO, CareerSource Florida
  • Ken Lawson, Executive Director, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
  • Michael Myhre, State Director, Florida SBDC Network
  • Dr. Tonjua Williams, President, St. Petersburg College

Click here for a full list of speakers and the full agenda.

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