Universities Launch Effort To Highlight Business Relationships

Jan 20, 2016

Florida’s public universities are uniting in a common goal: Growing business in the state. Now they've launched an initiative to show lawmakers and the public how they're doing it.

The campaign is called ThinkFlorida, and every month the universities will showcase how their programs contribute to the state’s business community. Enterprise Florida President Bill Johnson says his group’s top goal is to diversity the state’s economy and training starts with higher education.

“The ThinkFlorida campaign will allow us to build stronger relationships between our outstanding state universities, businesses large and small, and of course, creating opportunities for our students and the future leaders of tomorrow," he said.

The campaign kicked off Wednesday with university and business leaders stating their a desire to create more internships for students, and programs tailored to economic needs. House Speaker Steve Crisfafulli says the campaign shows promise.

“We’re excited to see what happens. This is a great opportunity to bring everyone in the room together and at least roll out the new plan and show everyone what the future holds," he said.

Governor Rick Scott is pushing the universities to have 100 percent of students in the top two programs at each school have jobs within a year of graduating. He's called it the "Ready, Set, Work!" Challenge.

Scott has called for greater  alignment between the degree programs offered and the state’s job market.