Closing Florida’s Talent Gap by Improving Educational Opportunities


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Why It Matters to Florida

From local businesses to major corporations, a qualified workforce is a top concern for job creators. To secure Florida’s future, employers need talent that is prepared to enter the workforce. Florida wins when we close the gap by putting students ahead of special interests. The Florida Chamber will continue to champion the best education system for Florida.

The Florida Chamber’s focus includes:

  •  Preparing Students for Success
  • Innovation and Outcomes Are Essential
  • Quality School Choice Matters
  • Improving Attainment and Access to Higher Education
  • Preparing Florida’s Workforce to Address Florida’s Skills Gap

Florida’s Competitiveness Agenda

  • Preparing Students for Success
    Ensuring a talented workforce for tomorrow begins with empowering our youngest learners today. Preparing children to learn provides a foundation for future successes and helps them develop skills such as self-discipline, persistence and cooperation-skills that re essential to their future success in the workforce.
  • Innovation and Outcomes Are Essential
    The Florida Chamber understands the importance of STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, Medicine) education in schools. We will continue to support a focus on STEMM concepts throughout Florida’s education system in order to ensure that Florida’s students become and remain globally competitive.
  • Quality School Choice Matters
    At the Florida Chamber we recognize that education is not a one-size-fits-all option. We continue to advocate for parents to have the freedom to choose the best learning environment for their children .
  • Preparing Florida’s Workforce to Address Florida’s Skills Gap
    Advocating for increased attainment and making college more affordable is a top priority for the Florida Chamber. In addition to adequately preparing Florida’s students to enter the workforce, we must also focus on attracting and retaining world class talent.
  • Improving Attainment and Access to Higher Education
    In order for Florida to remain one of the top business climates in the nation, we must increase educational opportunities in both higher education and in the 21st century vocational trades.

The Fight for Free Enterprise Continues

We believe that a quality education and workforce development system is the best way to enable Floridians to compete in a 21st century global economy. Be a part of the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Business Alliance for Early Learning and help us invest in the future of Florida’s students.


GrayRobinson’s Kim McDougal Featured on the Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line


Florida 2030: Talent Supply & Education Recommendations     Learn More About Education



GrayRobinson’s Kim McDougal discusses K-12 education funding, college affordability and school choice on the latest edition of the Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line.

Closing Florida’s skills gap by improving educational opportunities is essential to providing Floridians with jobs that allow them to succeed.

“The Florida Chamber has done a great job with businesses, you have the for the students to make sure every student knows, ‘If I pursue this degree, these are the types of jobs and wages those jobs pay,’” said McDOUGAL.

In an ever changing world, McDougal also notes that it’s just as vital to ensure the existing workforce has the skills they need, just as it’s important to ensure students are prepared to earn when they graduate.


Workforce is Changing – Florida Must Be Ready

According to research found in the Florida Chamber Foundation’s newly released Florida 2030 recommendations on Talent Supply & Education, the future of work is changing and Florida has both challenges and opportunities on the horizon. Click here to learn more.

Lawmakers Vote to Improve Educational Opportunities

Sweeping education reforms that span cradle to career were just passed by the Florida Legislature.

In the area of Higher Education, SB 4 would expand the Bright Futures Scholarship and further cement Florida’s World Class State Universities.

This year’s K-12 omnibus bill, HB 7055, continues Florida’s school choice legacy by passing several student-centered policies.

From local business to major corporations, a qualified workforce is a top concern for job creators. Florida wins when we close the gap by putting students ahead of special interests.


Legislative Session Coming to a Close

The 2018 Legislative Session is scheduled to end Friday, March 9. The Florida Chamber of Commerce is your number one resource for what passed, what didn’t, and what needs more work. Be on the lookout for the Florida Chamber’s end of session news brief.

Florida Chamber Joins Broad Coalition in Urging Florida House to Support HB 1213


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To: Members of the Florida House

On behalf of our broad coalition of education, business and industry groups, we are writing in strong support of HB 1213 (Porter), a bill that will expand access to computer science in Florida public schools and help prepare Florida students for the 21st century workforce.

Computing is a foundational skill for K-12 students. It develops students’ computational and critical thinking skills and teaches them how to create — not just use — new technologies. These skills will benefit students in every subject, in the classroom and beyond.

In Florida and across the country, computer science is driving job growth and innovation. Computer science skills are in high demand in the job market; in fact, more than half of projected jobs in STEM fields are in computing occupations, and computer science is one of the most desirable degrees for new college graduates. According to the Conference Board, there are approximately 22,365 open computing jobs in the State of Florida, and demand for these jobs is growing at 3.6 times the state average.

HB 1213 will better prepare Florida students for these high paying, in-demand careers by phasing in a reasonable requirement that high schools offer computer science courses and providing professional development for computer science teachers.

Please join us in supporting HB 1213 to ensure Florida students have educational opportunities that prepare them for a successful future in a competitive, global workforce. Thank you for your consideration, and please consider our organizations as a resource as you deliberate this bill.

College Board
Florida Chamber of Commerce
Project Lead the Way

A Guide to K-12


Join a Caucus


In an increasingly complex and global economy, America’s students are facing more competition for meaningful employment from candidates around the world. At the same time, employers’ expectations for the level of education and training needed for entry level jobs have increased. Today’s learners are preparing for jobs that may not yet exist.

Below are a few examples of Florida’s success in providing our students with an exceptional education system.

  • In 2013, Florida jumped from 11 to 6 in the nation for educational quality.
  • Florida has the highest graduation rate in the nation for Hispanic students.
  • In 2013, Florida was the only state in the nation to narrow the achievement gap between White and African American students in grades 4 and 8 in both reading and mathematics.

Source: Florida Department of Education


Florida has made impressive strides in its statewide high school graduation rates, which increased from 59.2 percent in 2003-2004 to 80.7 percent in 2015-2016. However, Florida still lags slightly behind the national average, which was 83 percent for the 2014-2015 school year. In addition, while about 75% of students who enter high school graduate within four years, this number drops to approximately 62% of Black and 68% of Latino students.

Between now and 2030, Florida will need to create 2 million more net new jobs. Is our state’s workforce prepared? According to the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Survey (link), 23 percent of survey respondents indicated “Workforce Quality” was their top issue. Florida’s education initiatives are moving in the right direction, but continued partnerships with business, education and workforce leaders are key to continued success.


Education Videos

A Guide to Higher Education


By 2030, Florida will need to create 2 million net new jobs.2 At the same time, rapid innovation technology will drive increased automation, globalization, digitization, and advances in machine learning.

While these shifts are already well underway, by 2030 these and other disruptive technologies will lead to the development of new jobs and a shift in the skills and competencies required for existing jobs within the state’s economy. Though many of the jobs Floridians will hold in 2030 have not yet emerged, Florida has a strategic opportunity to prepare for these shifts by leveraging its many assets and changing demographics to make decisions that will have generational benefits and create economic opportunity for millions of Floridians.

The Florida Chamber Foundation released Florida Jobs 2030, a report that analyzes projected shifts in Florida’s labor market and the changing skills required for 21st-century jobs. To review the report, click here.


From Students & Parents to Teacher Development, Supporting Reforms Helps Florida’s Future

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A talented workforce is Florida’s best long-term economic strategy. The Florida Chamber believes a quality education system is the best way to ensure our students can compete in a global economy. We will continue to fight for an education system which also creates an atmosphere that allows parents to take control of their child’s academic future while supporting the growth of quality teachers.

  • Championing School Choice Options
    Empowering parents to take the lead on choosing the best learning environment for their children gives students more opportunities for success and promotes competition, which encourages continual improvements to Florida’s education system.
  • Advocating for Rigorous Accountability Standards
    Continuing to support assessment and accountability systems at all levels of Florida’s education system will help ensure a globally competitive talent pipeline.
  • Improving Professional Development Options for Teachers
    Fighting to improve professional development and benefit options for Florida’s teachers will create opportunities for America’s best teachers to train and remain in Florida, while helping our state remain competitive.
  • Investing in Digital and Virtual Education
    Expanding the use of cost-effective digital learning and virtual education tools throughout Florida’s education system will ensure Florida’s talent pipeline remains able to compete globally.

Florida competition is no longer Georgia or California, but Brazil, India and China. And while reforms continue to move Florida in the right direction our fight is far from over. From championing early learning initiatives to supporting a K-12 system that allows students to succeed, Florida wins when we place the needs of our students before the needs of unions.

A highly-educated workforce drives future private-sector job growth. Be a part of the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Business Alliance for Early Learning and help us invest in the future of Florida’s students.

Senator Legg Champions Quality Education

Please take a moment to thank Sen. John Legg (R-Lutz) for his efforts to enhance Florida’s K-12 assessment and accountability system.

A quality education is the best way to ensure students can compete in a global economy, and Sen. Legg’s education accountability legislation ensures fewer and better tests while also not retreating from education reforms.

Take Action Now

Click here to send Sen. Legg a “thank you” email.