Tomorrow’s Workforce Impacted by Changes in Education 


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As the 2019 Legislative Session gets underway, education priorities including early learning and kindergarten readiness, K-12 curriculum, student attainment and workforce training are all in the spotlight. Developing, attracting, and retaining talent is crucial to supporting and growing Florida’s economy. As we look at Florida’s future workforce requirements, how do we adapt education and training to emphasize and promote the needed employability skills?

Join us at the 2019 Florida Chamber Foundation’s Learners to Earners Workforce Summit for business-led discussions on workforce needs and how we prepare today’s students for the disruptions ahead.

2019 Learners to Earners Workforce Summit
June 18-19, 2019
Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek
Orlando, Florida

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to engage with other business and education leaders in cradle to career discussions about the future of work. Click here to complete a short survey and give us your thoughts on the topics we should incorporate into this years’ Learners to Earners Workforce Summit.

Learners to Earners: Is Florida Ready?

Florida Chamber Foundation’s annual Learners to Earners Education summit brings together educators, business leaders and elected officials to focus on what the future of Florida’s workforce and education look like.

From cradle to career, Florida wins when communities, education institutions and businesses work together to solve issues surrounding education and workforce needs. Below, WEDU reports live from the Learners to Earners Education Summit and asks, is Florida ready?

2017 Learners to Earners Summit Asks, Are We Ready?

Florida’s Cradle to Career Continuum- Are We Ready for the Future?

Leaders Gather in Orlando Today to Discuss at 2017 Learners to Earners Summit


ORLANDO, Fla. (June 14, 2017) – Business, workforce and education leaders are gathered in Orlando today for Day Two of the Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2017 Learners to Earners Education Summit.

“Business, education and workforce leaders have shared time and again that conversations on Florida’s cradle to career continuum matter to Florida’s economy.  But as we plan for 2030 and beyond, how can we ensure these conversations help drive our state forward?” said TONY CARVAJAL, Executive Vice President, Florida Chamber Foundation. “We’ve visited every county in Florida and have found that education is key to ensuring our state’s success and opens the door to important conversations on healthcare, economic development, prosperity and more.”


Day One Recap:

Day One focused on the importance of early learning, and the critical role Florida’s business community plays in our future. Attendees heard from mayors and elected officials during a Special Session on Afterschool and Summer Opportunities, who provided great insight on how communities can work together to ensure students are successful year-round.

 “There is nothing more important than doing our jobs to ensure that every student has an opportunity to accomplish their goals,” said CHANCELLOR HERSHEL LYONS, Florida Department of Education.


Day Two Highlights Include:

The Case for Businesses to Get Involved in Education

  • Cissy Proctor, Executive Director, Florida Department of Economic Development started off the morning with a call to action for businesses.

“I challenge all employers today to have a conversation with your higher education institutes,” said CISSY PROCTOR, Executive Director, Florida Department of Economic Development. “The first step toward prosperity…is education. We know that when you learn more, you earn more.”

What Does Florida’s Education and Workforce Future Look Like?

The Florida Chamber Foundation’s recent Florida Wins video released today takes a closer look at where Florida is and, more importantly, where we need to be.  Access the video at

Futurist Asks: Who Do You Want To Become In 2025, Florida?

  • Mary O’Hara Devereaux, CEO of Global Foresight and world-renowned futurist shared her outlook on where the nation, and where Florida, needs to be.

“Education and business need to become better partners, and this isn’t a ‘nice’ thing to do – it’s a critical thing to do. This has to happen at multiple levels – it can’t be that you just learn when you get to a corporation. There has to be input, advice, decision making about K-12 between business and education. And they have to have, not just a voice at the table, but they have to have a vote at the table about what kind of knowledge and skills young children need today, even at preschool education,” said MARY O’HARA DEVEREAUX, CEO of Global Foresight. “I think we need radical innovation in the relationships between business and education…and we don’t have any time to lose.”

A Conversation With Florida’s State University System: Connecting Business & Research to Florida’s Future Economy

  • Dr. David Norton, Vice President for Research at the University of Florida and Beverly Seay, a member of the University of Central Florida’s Board of Trustees and Chair of the University’s College of Engineering & Computer Science Dean’s Advisory Board, discussed the importance of research and innovation at the state’s universities, as well as how best the employer community can work with higher education institutions.
  • Emily Sikes, Director of Workforce Education & Economic Development at the State University System of Florida, walked attendees through the State University System’s new website, – A Higher Degree for Business. is a portal for businesses to recruit and interns and recent grads.

Commissioner’s Business Recognition Luncheon

  • Commissioner Pam Stewart discussed Florida’s progress and honored the businesses and organizations that go above and beyond in education, workforce and more.

The afternoon’s panels:

A Conversation With Florida’s State College System: Securing Pathways for Florida’s Future Earners

  • Chancellor Madeline Pumariega, Florida College System
  • Ava Parker, President, Palm Beach State College
  • Mike O’Neill, Site Manager, Pratt & Whitney
  • Marlene Spalten, President and CEO, Community Foundation of Tampa Bay

Conversation With CareerSource Florida: Career Readiness for Florida’s Jobs in 2030

  • Michelle Dennard, President and CEO, CareerSource Florida
  • Pam Nabors, President and CEO, CareerSource Central Florida
  • Angela Pate, President and CEO, Focused Management Solutions



The Florida Chamber Foundation is the business-led, solutions development and research organization working in partnership with state business leaders to secure Florida’s future. The Foundation’s “Six Pillars” serve as a visioning platform for developing the first-ever, long-term strategic plan for the state. The Foundation’s work focuses on: 1) Talent Supply and Education, 2) Innovation and Economic Development, 3) Infrastructure and Growth Leadership, 4) Business Climate and Competitiveness, 5) Civic and Governance Systems, and 6) Quality of Life and Quality Places. Founded in 1968, the Foundation is a crucial voice for improving the state’s pro-business climate to enable Florida to grow and prosper. Visit for more information.

Dr. Ed Moore on Florida Chamber Bottom Line: Attracting Talented Teachers is Key to Future Success

“All the other things we talk about being ready- having the right people, in the right place at right time- if you don’t have a teacher there to cause that to happen, it’s not going to happen.”


Dr. Ed Moore, President of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida



Teachers are an important part of ensuring Florida has a qualified talent pool for the 2 million net new jobs that need to be created between now and 2030.  But according to Dr. Ed Moore, President of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida, as Florida, the third most populous state in the nation, continues to grow, our state hasn’t produced many new teachers—and it’s a crisis that’s looming.

“In Florida alone, we produced 29 percent fewer teachers over the most recent five year period, while we’ve been growing 350-400,000 people a year, we are producing fewer teachers. If you don’t have a quality individual standing in every classroom, you can bring in all the technology… you still have to have … a maestro in each classroom across the state.


We have to do something to re-professionalize that profession to make it more attract and attract more people into it as a worthwhile career that has a tremendous impact. All the other things we talk about being ready- having the right people, in the right place at right time- if you don’t have a teacher there to cause that to happen, it’s not going to happen.”

Businesses can help by engaging education leaders in conversations on the skills they need for the jobs of the future, which is just part of the discussions being held at the Florida Chamber’s annual Learners to Earners Education Summit on June 13-14 in Orlando.

Register Today for 2017 Education Summit


Today’s Learners Are Tomorrow’s Earners – Are They Prepared for a Global Economy?

Between now and 2030, Florida will need to create 2 million net new jobs. Ensuring Florida’s workforce is trained to fill those jobs is crucial. The Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2017 Learners to Earners Education Summit (June 13-14, 2017, Hyatt Grand Cypress Orlando) will connect Florida’s business community, workforce professionals and education thought leaders with interactive discussions on how to connect today’s learners to tomorrow’s career opportunities. Be sure to forward this email to your friends and colleagues.

We will also once again host the Florida Department of Education’s 2017 Commissioner’s Business Recognition Awards program, presented by Wells Fargo, which recognizes businesses that promote academic achievement in their communities and around the state.


Exciting New Addition You Don’t Want to Miss!

You’re invited to join Florida’s Mayors, city officials and business leaders at the Mayoral Summit on Afterschool and Summer Learning Opportunities. Held in conjunction with the Learners to Earners Summit, the mayoral summit will showcase positive outcomes and return on investment of quality afterschool and summer learning opportunities. Don’t miss this opportunity to strategize on improving and expanding these vital investments for neighborhood, economic and workforce development.

Click here for more information.

New Video Highlights Florida’s Education System

With half of today’s occupations expected to be obsolete by 2030, Florida must focus on turning today’s learners into tomorrow’s earners. The Florida Chamber’s non-partisan employer-to-employee program is leading the charge on making sure employees have important information on issues that matter to Florida families, job creators and to our state’s economic success.

Moments ago, attendees at the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Education Summit viewed the latest video focusing on the importance of Florida’s education system. It’s our hope to share this story with education, workforce and business partners like you and the more than three million Floridians that Florida Chamber members employ. We encourage you to share this video with your employees, colleagues, friends and family members.

Please share the video on twitter using #Learners2Earners and tagging @Florida_Wins and @FLChamberFDN.

Many of Today’s Top Jobs Didn’t Exist 10 Years Ago

The job market is constantly changing, which means students are preparing for jobs that don’t yet exist, using technologies that have not been invented, to solve problems we don’t know are problems. Nearly 50 percent of subject knowledge is acquired during the first year of a four-year technical degree. However, in many occupations, that information outdated by the time a student graduates, requiring advanced education or retraining.

How can we prepare for these changes? Will you or your children be able to find high-wage, high-skill jobs in Florida? Will your business have the talent needed for success in the future?

Preparing Today’s Learners for Tomorrow’s Career Opportunities

If you had to guess the number of open jobs in Florida, could you? It’s probably a lot more than you think. Nearly 500,000 Floridians are currently unemployed, and yet Florida has more than 260,000 open jobs – many of them in high-skill, high-wage industries.

Florida’s skills gap is a big challenge and with an additional 6 million residents expected by 2030, there is no better time to address it than now. While there is no quick fix, there are many things we can do to better match Floridians with good-paying job opportunities in their communities.

The first is to ensure that every student graduates from high school ready for success in college and career. While Florida’s statewide high school graduation rate has climbed over the past 12 years, one in five students still doesn’t graduate on time or at all. These students lose out on $250,000 in lifetime financial earnings.

While Miami-Dade has a higher graduation rate than the statewide average, 20 percent of our residents still live in poverty. Imagine what quality career training could mean in their lives.

There are many different paths to a successful career. One possible solution is to utilize programs that give students on-the-job experience and training, such as apprenticeship programs. The best part of programs like these are that workers gain new skills and apply what they learn in a professional setting, all while earning a paycheck.

It will take Florida’s business community and education leaders working together to improve our schools and workforce systems in order to give our students the best chance at success. If you are interested in collaborating on solutions to Florida’s current and future skills gap, then I hope you will join me at the Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2016 Learners to Earners Education Summit on June 2 in Orlando.

Together, we can prepare today’s learners to become tomorrow’s earners.


Carolyn Bermudez is Vice President of Operations and General Manager, Florida City Gas

Workers with Unique Abilities Play a Vital Role in Florida’s Workforce

Florida’s economic recovery is well underway.

Since 2010, Florida’s leadership has been focused on jobs.

In fact, Florida Chamber of Commerce members and others have created more than 800,000 private-sector jobs.

As Florida continues on the path to become the No. 1 job-creating state in the nation, Florida has an opportunity to help encourage underemployed Floridians — especially those with unique abilities — to reach their full employment potential.

Over the next 15 years, Florida will add 6 million new residents and need to fill 2 million new jobs.

Finding and keeping a talented workforce is among the chief concerns of Florida Chamber member businesses.

Broadening the scope from which employees are hired can help expand our existing workforce and provide even greater diversity and access to necessary skills and experience.

Typically, individuals with unique abilities struggle with higher unemployment rates.

These so-called “disabilities” come in many stripes. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for people with a unique ability was 13.2 percent in 2013, compared with a 7.1 percent unemployment rate for people without what the federal government calls a disability.

Yet leading national reports show that businesses experience increased productivity and above average performance and quality of work simply by employing individuals with unique abilities.

This is something that our partners at the Able Trust have known for years, and they’ve made it their mission to be a key leader in providing Floridians with disabilities opportunities for successful employment.

Leading Florida Chamber members and partners recognize that diverse, talented and dedicated people are critical to their success.

Florida Chamber member Darden Restaurants has also been recognized as a Corporate Champion by Able Trust.

The Florida Chamber Foundation is currently partnering on a research project to learn more about the best practices of hiring persons with unique abilities.

Initial findings will be released during the Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2015 Education Summit scheduled for June 9.

To provide input, please email:

In the meantime, we look forward to advancing the legislative conversation to empower students with unique abilities as they prepare to play a leading role in Florida’s workforce.

Whatever the ZIP Code, whatever the unique ability, free enterprise is a ladder to success for everyone.


Mark Wilson, CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce, Tallahassee