Florida TaxWatch Releases Assessment On Economic Impact Of Florida College System
Florida watchdog TaxWatch has released it’s assessment of the Florida College System. Their research found the schools raise wages for their graduates and boost the state’s economy.
With 28 colleges around the state, the Florida College System serves as an entry point to higher education for many students in Florida.
"What we found is that in just a ten-year window, it’s between a $4.80 and $6.80 return on investment in increased GDP," says Robert Weissert, Executive Vice President of TaxWatch. "So, over the work life of these employees we're looking at about $10-$15 returned to Florida’s economy for every one dollar spent on the states college system.”
In his state of the state address, Governor Ron DeSantis made it a goal to help Florida become the most educated workforce in the nation. Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, says she’s hopeful TaxWatch’s report will entice lawmakers to provide adequate funding for colleges.
"Further investing in our state college system is not just good for the students today but it’s good for the student tomorrow," she says. "As we start formulating our budgets, I’m hopeful that what this report is going to show is that making this investment is a right thing for us to do for our economy."
The college system has long focused on workforce development and currently serves over 800,000 students. Tallahassee Community College’s Kimberly Moore, the Vice President of Workforce Innovation, says a bigger budget will help TCC continue it’s mission of training people for higher paying jobs.
“With a strong budget year by the way of the legislative session it will allow us not only to maintain what we’ve done but also be able to move forward move forward in a way that takes into account the future needs of area employers creating those programs that meet there needs that align with the direction their going in while at the same time making sure there is strong support for us to reinvest in those programs that have performed well.”
The Florida College System is asking for $212 million for faculty recruitment and workforce program expansions. The FCS is also asking for an additional $10 million for industry certification funding.