Adam Putnam Releases “Florida Jobs First Agenda”


Last week, Republican gubernatorial frontrunner Adam Putnam unveiled his plan to improve vocational and technical training throughout Florida. It’s all about jobs.

Recognizing that America has a 20th century-prepared workforce dealing with 21st century challenges, Putnam is planning to do something about it.

Part of his “Florida Jobs First Agenda” includes revamping the $400 million in annual spending on K-12 jobs training programs.

The Bartow native explained the current initiatives aren’t delivering the desired results for students and for workforce development in Florida.

Putnam, Florida’s Agricultural Commissioner, stated that his proposal focuses on modernizing the content of the existing vocational curriculum.

Investing in technical and vocational colleges, as well as introducing 21st century training early on (in fields like electronics, coding, health care, and advanced manufacturing) to middle schools and high schools across the Sunshine State will ensure that Florida’s students have the training they need to enter the workforce.

Stronger career training programs, in Putnam’s view, will lead to long-term, well-paying careers.

In 2014, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development released a report that found the United States lags behind other economically developed countries in its amount of vocationally certified individuals trained to meet the demands of a competitive global economy.

Only 16 percent of the American labor force aged 20-45 hold some form of vocational certification as their highest educational qualification, compared to 34 percent of the Canadian workforce.

The prevailing attitude of American society is that vocational and technical jobs are second-rate compared to those requiring a four-year bachelor’s degree.

Putnam sees this view as short-sighted because it ignores the demands of a burgeoning Trump economy.

In his view, his plan will rebuild the middle class in America and prepare the next generation for job success.

Will Adam Putnam’s plan raise the vocational standard of America’s labor force and make our country more prepared to handle 21st century challenges?

What do you think about Putnam’s “Florida Jobs First Agenda” proposal?