Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, currently running to replace term-limited Governor Rick Scott, says that Florida is facing a “talent gap” when it comes to the work force, and he’s calling for middle and high schools to boost vocational and technical education programs in order to tackle this issue.
He says that to continue the sunshine state’s job growth, students that don’t pursue a four-year college degree need to be better prepared.
He’ll be explaining his measure during campaign stops in the Tampa area and Panama City, but advanced remarks were given to the Associated Press that give an idea of what he’ll be detailing. In the remarks, the commissioner explains that “Florida needs to change the conversation surrounding career and technical education and realize the launch pad for the American Dream is not built only on a four-year university degree. Students should not be told the only pathway to success is a college education, and they shouldn’t be forced into student loan debt for a degree they can’t use.”
Putnam’s focus on vocational enhancements only shows that education will continue to be an important topic heading into the election as the Democratic candidates have all expressed intentions to push for increased spending on schools or to enhance charter school regulations.