Job creation has been a top priority for the past eight years under the administration of Gov. Rick Scott. Providing the skills for Florida’s students to fill those jobs is a top priority of Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam.
Putnam unveiled his Florida Jobs First Agenda on Monday at Ring Power in Riverview. He says that agenda is aimed at giving Florida’s young people the skills they “skills they need to succeed in this economy — and win.”
“I want every Floridian to have the education, skills and experience they need to find their version of the American Dream right here in the Sunshine State,” said Putnam.
Ring Power is headquartered in St. Augustine and during his visit to the company’s Riverview facility, Putnam expressed concern about the inability to find enough skilled workers to fill what he calls “good-paying technical jobs” at Ring facilities and at other businesses across the state.
Putnam’s plan would restore vocational and technical education back into middle and high schools. He says that type of training would provide Florida’s students with the tools and practice necessary to find a skilled job that pays well.
“Liberal elites are telling our kids that they must go to college, or they’ll be a failure in life. That’s just not true,” said Putnam. “There is an array of options for our future workforce. And with the right skills and training, our kids can pursue good-paying careers without taking on a pile of student loan debt for a degree they don’t want and can’t use.”
Putnam says his jobs agenda would be composed of three components.
First, he wants to partner business with job training programs to ensure the right skills are being taught to prepare students for real jobs. He wants to modernize vocational training to include today’s real world skills, such as coding and advanced manufacturing. And he’s calling for the development of more apprenticeship programs so that students can “earn as they learn.”
Putnam says his goal it to develop a “robust education pipeline that puts vocational and technical education back into middle schools and high schools.” He says by helping students obtain the tools and practice they need to fill high-skilled positions, they will be better equipped “to find their piece of the American Dream here in Florida.”
Putnam, Florida’s agriculture commissioner who is running against U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis in the GOP primary, says Monday’s announcement in Riverview will be the start of a two week tour across Florida promoting his Jobs First Agenda.