Uniting our community in support of quality public education since 1986.

Technical Education

The Situation

Consider the numbers:

  • In Florida, for every 100 students who enter high school, only 53 graduate four years later.
  • Of those 53 high school graduates, only 32 immediately enter college.
  • Of those 32 college freshmen, only 14 graduate with a bachelor’s degree within six years.
  • From 1969 to 1980 the number of college graduates holding jobs in positions not requiring a college degree increased from 1 million to 3.6 million.
  • From 1980 to 1990, that number rose to 5.8 million and continues to rise.
  • Only 23 percent of jobs in the 21st Century will require a college degree.
  • 43 percent of four-year college grads are underemployed or in jobs not utilizing their degrees.

The reality is that the overwhelming of job-seekers today and in the future will not need a college degree, but rather will need advanced training or some sort of certification in what we have traditionally called “vocational” or “workforce” education.

The Problem

At a time when the demand for technical training and skilled labor is increasing, thousands of jobs in fields like nursing, automotive technologies, building trades, computer support, plumbing and many others. are going unfilled in our community. Yet, between 1997 and 2004, funding in Florida for workforce education has decreased 8 percent while funding for community colleges has increased 33 percent and university funding has increased 27 percent.

Economic Impact

Workforce education is a great investment! Sixty six percent of students entering the Pinellas Technical Education Centers will complete their field of study and 82 percent will be placed in the careers of their choice. Pinellas technical schools place approximately 2,000 students in jobs each year with an annual impact on the local economy of more than $50 million.

The Solution

  • Increase funding for technical education programs by $112 million
  • Promote Workforce funding parity to meet Florida’s technical education needs today and to meet our state’s growth. Please read Whitepaper Jan 2006.
  • Support the Consortium of Florida Education Foundation challenge fund. Match funds to encourage scholarships for vocational/technical training.

Help us Advocate for a Solution

  • Advocate for an additional $112 million in workforce education funding. Click on this link to find a list of elected officials in your zip code http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/officials/ and find a sample support letter for workforce education Support letter to legislators.doc
  • Assist with marketing initiatives aimed at better educating students and the general public about workforce career options.
  • Invite the Pinellas Education Foundation to make a presentation on workforce development for your community group, employer, or other organization.
  • Sponsor Frances Stavros Career Technical Education Scholarships through the Pinellas Education Foundation.