“Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” was the campaign slogan then Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott ran on during the 2010 mid-term election cycle.
Scott delivered on virtually all his economic and jobs creation campaign promises, so it goes without saying that keeping Florida solvent and leading the nation in jobs creation is the number one challenge for Rep. Ron DeSantis and AG Commissioner Adam Putnam, two Republicans looking to replace Scott in Tallahassee.
We caught up with Putnam at the recent Broward GOP Lincoln Day dinner in Fort Lauderdale, where the Bartow resident told us that he was laser focused on picking up where Gov. Scott will leave off with his “Jobs first agenda” to continue diversifying the state economy and raising average wages.
Putnam referred to Scott as a “turnaround CEO” that “stopped the bleeding” in Florida after inheriting a fractured economy with lagging job numbers from then-Governor Charlie Crist
We asked him if he was going to announce a bold jobs creation number like Scott did back in 2010, but Putnam simply smirked and jokingly said that he was “not going to break that news here today.”
A job-creation campaign goal appears to be in the works for Team Putnam.
Like Senator Rubio has done, Putnam is putting a major focus on jobs creation in vocational training.
When you think of vocational jobs, one thinks of hairdressers, nail technicians, and car mechanics, but according to Putnam, tech jobs go further than that.
“Trying to force students into a 4-year university tract and they are ending up more broke and more liberal than they began, and we are not preparing them for the jobs of the future.”
Putnam says that vocational and technical training needs to be “destigmatized” because those jobs entail more than looking under a car’s hood, and is calling out school officials responsible for doing so.
“Guidance counselor and others are just stigmatizing anything other than student loan debt and university degrees, and that’s just wrong,” said Putnam, adding that these” jobs are not just the traditional construction trades” but include “engine and boat manufacturing, is healthcare and financial services, its aviation and aerospace, and in many cases, those jobs are paying more than the average Algebra teacher who is driving the kid crazy.
We have to destigmatize vocational and technical training. We need to do a better job of education the students about what they can earn in these positions because I don’t think they have any idea that.”
The primary election will take place in August, so there is plenty of time for this race between Putnam and DeSantis to unfold.