#Learners2Earners Focuses on Florida’s Cradle to Career Continuum


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The Florida Chamber Foundation’s annual Learners to Earners Education Summit conversations covered everything from the role businesses must play in education initiatives to what education, workforce and Florida look like in 2030 and beyond. The cradle to career continuum conversations began with a discussion on early learning, the importance of 3rd grade reading levels and how poverty impacts our youngest learners, led by Kim Reckley, PNC Bank, Jennifer Grove, Gulf Power, Dr. Brittany Birken, Florida Children’s Council, Vance Aloupis, The Children’s Movement of Florida, and Charles Hokanson, Helios Education Foundation.

We were proud to once again host the Education Commissioner’s Business Recognition Awards program presented by Wells Fargo with Commissioner Pam Stewart and, for the first time, a conversation with mayors and municipal leaders from across the state on the importance of after school and summer learning opportunities. Special thanks to Chancellor Hershel Lyons, Ted Granger, United Way of Florida, and the mayors and municipal leaders for their leadership on K-12 opportunities.

Leaders from Florida’s higher education institutions including Emily Sikes, State University System, and Chancellor Madeline Pumariega, Florida College System, discussed the connection between skills and workforce needs. Michelle Dennard, CareerSource Florida, closed out the summit with a look at what the jobs of the future look like, and how Florida can prepare.

Check out the highlights from the event below.


Why Should Businesses Get Involved In Education?

Today’s learners are tomorrow’s earners- but are they prepared to meet future workforce needs?

Kate Wilson of Wells Fargo, a Title Sponsor at the Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2017 Learners to Earners Education Summit, shares exactly why businesses should play a key role in education conversations.

Click here to learn how you can continue the conversation.

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 www.FloridaChamber.com/FutureofEducation

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, Think-Florida.org – A Higher Degree for Business.  Think-Florida.org 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 www.FLFoundation.org for more information.

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

Between now and 2030, Florida will need to create 2 million more net new jobs. Is our state’s workforce prepared?

Florida’s education initiatives are moving in the right spot, but continued partnerships with business, education and workforce leaders are key to continued success.

Watch the below Florida Wins video and share three ways:

  1. TAG US on social media using #Learners2Earners and @FLFoundation
  2. EMAIL this video to your employees, colleagues, boards and the leaders of tomorrows
  3. POST this video on your company’s website and help spread the word on why education is key to Florida’s economic development

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 FloridaWins.org 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 FloridaWins.org 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?

Did You Know 5.7 Million Children are Expected to Live in Florida by 2030?

The number of Floridians under the age of 18 is projected to grow to 5.7 million by 2030, a 58.2 percent jump from 2000. Many of the jobs of tomorrow are in STEM fields, which means it’s imperative that this growing population develop the right skills needed to compete in a global economy. Florida’s education system is responding by providing more options that prepare students for career and college and forming vital partnerships with businesses and philanthropic organizations to ensure that today’s learners have the skills they need to become tomorrow’s earners.

Next month, Florida’s Commissioner of Education, Pam Stewart, will recognize Duke Energy, Odebrecht USA, PotashCorp and Florida Power & Light Company and other companies for their commitment to fostering student success at the 2015 Commissioner’s Business Recognition Awards. The event will be held in conjunction with the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Education Solutions Summit on June 9, in Tampa.


Share Your Story:

What is your business doing to help today’s learners become tomorrow’s earners? Email the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Chief Economist Dr. Jerry D. Parrish at jparrish@flfoundation.org and share your story.

Get Involved:

To add your voice to the conversation on education, join us on June 9 in Tampa for the 2015 Education Solutions Summit. Click here to register.

About the Florida Scorecard:

The Florida Scorecard, located at www.TheFloridaScorecard.com, presents metrics across Florida’s economy. Each month, the Florida Chamber Foundation produces a Scorecard Stat that takes an in-depth look at one aspect of Florida’s economy. If you would like additional information on the Weekly Scorecard Stat or on the Florida Scorecard, please contact Dr. Jerry Parrish with the Florida Chamber Foundation at 850.521.1283.