August 20, 2014

Florida's Advantages: Education and Workforce

United for Success in Florida

Education, workforce and economic development agencies combine forces in Florida to grow a ready supply of talent.

Janet Ware | 9/24/2009

The fact that Florida’s workforce consistently ranks as one of the best qualified in the nation is no accident. Here, the individual agencies devoted to education, workforce and economic development work together to ensure that Florida grows, attracts and retains a highly skilled labor pool — the kind that new and existing companies can readily draw from when they relocate or expand. It’s a team effort devoted to the formation of the most important ingredient in today’s knowledge-based economy — human capital.

Sowing the seeds of a solid workforce

Florida’s educational system is geared at every level for prepping the next generation for future workplace challenges:

VPK program

Education and Workforce in Florida
In Florida classrooms, the students of today perfect the skills they’ll need to join the workforce of tomorrow.

Florida was one of the first states to recognize the link between early childhood education and higher test scores, higher high school graduation rates and higher earnings later on by incorporating a voluntary pre-kindergarten (VPK) program into its public school system. Annual enrollment tops 100,000, and the children who attend VPK programs consistently show themselves to be better prepared for the classroom than their peers who do not.


K-12 public school system

In the K-12 system, workforce preparation is fundamental; reading and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) are curriculum priorities. In addition, every Florida school district has at least one high school-based career and professional academy, where completion of the rigorous academic curriculum can mean a standard high school diploma, the highest available industry certifications and, in many cases, college credits. High school diplomas in Florida must show a student’s specific major area of interest, as well as designations for completion of accelerated college credit courses, career education certification and the Florida Ready to Work Credential, if applicable.


Ready to Work

Sandra Foland

“Florida Ready to Work allows me to interview a pool of 10 applicants instead of 100, and I know they all have the skills I need.”

— Sandra Foland
Baron Sign Manufacturing
Riviera Beach

Florida’s Ready to Work Credential program assesses participants in three key areas: Reading for Information, Applied Mathematics and Locating Information. Each assessment is scored on a scale from 3 to 7; the higher the score, the greater the applicant’s ability to perform more complex skills. The Ready to Work Credential is awarded at one of three levels depending on individual scores in each key area. Employers can be assured that job applicants arriving with the Florida Ready to Work Credential in hand have the skills needed for successful on-the-job performance. Administered by the Florida Department of Education and funded by the Florida Legislature, the Ready to Work program is available at no cost to students, employers, schools or other partners.

Tags: Education, Business Florida

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