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Chamber Outlines Steps To Grow Economy

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Florida’s economy is currently 17th largest in the world. Florida Chamber of Commerce CEO Mark Wilson wants it to be in the top 10.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce held its annual workforce summit this week. The two-day event focused on how to continue growing Florida’s economy. CEO Mark Wilson says the state must fill vacant jobs to do so.

“289,000 jobs in Florida right now can’t find people to fill them," said Wilson.

Wilson believes filling those jobs starts with education.

“If we get early learning right but we can’t get K-12 right. If we get k-12 right but we don’t get skills training. If we don’t get college, career, technical if we don’t get life learning right, then we really don’t have a system we don’t have a talent pipeline," said Wilson.

Former Chancellor of the Florida College System Madeline Pumariega says the education system must work with businesses to make sure they are on the same page.

“Instead of a passive here’s an open job that’s available, its working with education and business and community and chambers and non-profits and policy makers in building that strong talent management approach," said Pumariega.

Jason Tyszko (Tish-co) the Vice President of the Center for Education and Workforce, a group within the US Chamber of Commerce, says employers should play a large part. He says it’s important for them to tell communities and educators.

“We think what’s important is when employers lead in this way and make talent supply chains it sends a very important signal to learners and workers. Because employers are now going to be able to identify, as end customers on the talent supply chain, who are the preferred and trusted provider networks that are best able to reach them who are responsible in reaching their needs," said Tyszko. "So when a student or worker has an industry or employer of choice in mind they know the exact network to go to, to get to that employer and get the kind of outcome they’re looking for in terms of employment career advancement.”

With the summit all wrapped up The Chamber is hoping educational institutions around the state will work with business to make sure they are putting students on the right educational path to match up with skills that are needed in the workplace.

Blaise Gainey is a State Government Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.