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Leon Schools Highlight Workforce Education Programs

C. Petley
Leon Co. Schools

Port St. Joe High Schooler Lauren Davis really likes computers. And while she doesn’t quite know yet what she wants to do in that field after high school, she’s pretty sure she’s on the right track. In fact, she just earned an industry certificate in Microsoft Word:

 “I’ve always wanted to do something with computers, and it just seemed like the thing to do," she said.

Davis was able to earn her certificate while going to school. And she hopes it will be the first of several more. That’s the idea behind career and professional education academies, special student training centers set up in 15 school districts across the state including Leon County.

Leon's Griffin Middle School is one of the schools that is home to an industry certification program. And in a recognition ceremony at the middle school, one of the program's sponsors Allen Raymond, said he believes Florida is a global leader.

“As I travel around, there are many countries in the Middle East that use the same certifications you all just receives as entrance exams for post graduate degrees. So use that as a data point. You’re in Middle School in the U.S. in Florida. And if you were in the Middle East, the certification you have now would get you admitted to a post-graduate degree in several counties in the Middle East.”    

Raymond is Vice President of Global Channel Sales at Certiport, Inc. The company designs the tests used to award industry certificates.

Under a bill passed five years ago sponsored by Senate President Don Gaetz, every district must have at least one middle and one high school that carries a certification program.

For more news updates, follow Lynn Hatter on twitter @HatterLynn

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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