State and Local Leaders Working to Increase Educational Attainment Rate

PANAMA CITY, Fla. -
Experts are forecasting that by the year 2025, the State of Florida will have more jobs requiring post-high school education, than there will be qualified workers to fill the positions.

To meet this anticipated job demand, The Resourcing Industry for a Stronger Economy (RISE) is kicking off the 'Rise to 55' movement.
    
Madeline Pumariega, the Florida College System Chancellor explains that this will challenge Florida leaders to increase the current 47 percent of adults with degrees or educational certificates, to 55 percent by 2025.

"This is really about helping to give the resources that are needed to businesses so that we can build a stronger economy for Florida," she said.

Jimmy Patronis, Florida's Chief Financial Officer, said the state needs trade jobs like carpenters, plumbers and electricians.

So he believes that as institutions try to increase the education attainment rate, they should also focus on areas that need employees most.

"If you see an opportunity to expand these particular career fields, then do it," he said. "Because the whole goal is to get a more educated workforce, talented workforce out with job creating opportunities."

Dr. John Holdnak, Gulf Coast State College's President said the plan relies on high schoolers continuing their education.

"It's making sure that we have a continuum and that we make sure that we can get people through the public school systems, private school systems, and get them into Gulf Coast and into Florida State to get those jobs," he said.
    
Local educators also said working toward a better educated workforce will also attract more high paying businesses like GKN to the Panhandle.


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