Florida Colleges Focus on The Future

We caught up with Florida College System Chancellor Madeline Pumariega and four of Florida’s college presidents to discuss how Florida’s colleges can help connect the right talent to businesses, both regionally and around the state. Click below to hear the full interviews.


Part One – Chancellor Pumariega: Meeting Florida’s Talent Pipeline Needs

“If you think about the students that are in our colleges today- we are actually beginning to train for the job of tomorrow.”


“The [Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida] Jobs 2030 report gives us a blueprint… [Florida Jobs] 2030 gives us a little bit of outlook- it says, here are these five emerging industries, how are we going to be ready? And it also gives us a little bit of the time to say how are we going to build K-12 partnerships, how are we going to make seamless transition from certificates that lead right into associates, and associates that lead right into baccalaureates, that meet the workforce. The [Florida Jobs] 2030 report, one, is data driven and that’s the best decision making we can do. Second, I think it has the outlook of Florida- Florida in 2030 not just Florida today.


If you think about the students that are in our colleges today- we are actually beginning to train for the job of tomorrow. That job pretty much doesn’t exist today… [Florida Jobs] 2030 report gives us that information, let’s us plan, let’s us be strategic and I think then align resources and investments to meet the talent pipeline of Florida for 2030.”

Chancellor Madeline Pumariega


We met with several presidents of Florida’s colleges and got their thoughts on the partnerships between Florida’s colleges and Florida’s business community.

Click the videos below to hear more.


Part Two: Chancellor Pumariega to Business Leaders- We Are Here

“We are here. We are ready to listen. We are ready to put together programs. And that’s where we’re partners in the work together.”


Chancellor Pumariega on attainment:

“If you’re a business thinking about coming to Florida, they know attainment. Because they want to know the adults in a community that are 25 and older- how many of them have a post-secondary credential. That means do they have a certificate, do they have an associates or they have a bachelors or beyond? That begins to give a business an idea of what their talent pipeline looks like. So attainment for a business that is looking to come to Florida or to grow in Florida is really important.”

Chancellor Pumariega to businesses:

“We are here. We are ready to listen. We are ready to put together programs. We need to consider how do we look at internships, paid internships and how do we create meaningful real life experiences for students, because that begins to address the whole student- not only the academic skills that they need, the business skills, but also those soft skills that we so often hear about. And that’s where we’re partners in the work together. But we work for you and we want to produce the right gradate and the right employee for you and the right leader. We are partners in this.”


Is Tallahassee Ready to Tackle the Jobs of the Future?

Authored By: Dr. Jim Murdaugh, President, Tallahassee Community College


In 1994, the Florida Chamber Foundation released “No More Excuses: What Businesses Must Do to Help Improve Florida’s Schools,” which showed that assessment, accountability and improving student learning were the keys to creating a world-class education system in Florida.

Thanks to the resolve of families, teachers, and education and business leaders, Florida went from having a graduation rate that was 48th in the nation to a state that is ranked in the top quartile in educational achievement. Leon County is now graduating more students from high school and more students from its higher education institutions.

That is good news, but has the improvement been enough to ensure our workforce is prepared? According to the Florida Chamber Foundation’s latest research report, “Florida Jobs 2030,” 64 percent of Florida jobs will require some form of postsecondary education by 2021. The workers of tomorrow will need to remain competitive in the midst of automation, globalization and technological advances. Many of the jobs that Floridians will hold in 2030 are still emerging, and some do not even exist yet.

While we must address the continuing gaps between the requirements of these positions and current levels of education, this is also an opportunity for students and communities to take advantage of middle-skill and entry-level opportunities that do not require advanced degrees.

“Florida Jobs 2030” poses a call to action to businesses, educators, training providers, employers, employees, communities, local government and policy makers to work together to create pathways to success for today’s students.

 At Tallahassee Community College, we take these conversations seriously. Do our students have opportunities to prepare for the jobs of the future? Will they graduate in a future that has the jobs they need?

Creating a workforce that is prepared and that is globally competitive is one key to ensuring Florida’s future remains bright. If you agree, visit www.FloridaChamber.com/FloridaJobs2030 and learn more about how you can get involved.


Continue These Conversations

You can help continue these conversations and more by registering for the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Learners to Earners Education Summit, held June 13-14 in Orlando. Click here to learn more.