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Press Release

Friday, February 12, 2010

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Florida’s Elected Officials Applaud the Benefits of Career and Technical Education Courses

~ Increased course offerings provide students opportunities to explore and gain knowledge in today’s leading career fields ~

Tallahassee - In recognition of Career and Technical Education Month, the Florida Department of Education is highlighting the real-world learning opportunities and advantages students receive when participating in career and technical education courses. Florida’s career and technical education programs now encompass more than 6,337 different courses serving more than 500,000 students in high school, college and adult education in 2009-2010. Many of Florida’s elected officials have benefited from career and technical education and support the need for relevant, hands-on training geared toward today’s workforce needs.

Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp-
“Education is the engine that drives the economy for Florida. Equipping our workforce with the knowledge to tackle 21st century jobs is crucial to our economic vitality,” said Lt. Governor Kottkamp. “Training our future workforce and fostering a culture of job preparedness will ensure Floridians are ready and able to enter the diverse industries that will secure Florida’s economic future.”

Commissioner Charles Bronson-
“I started my career teaching vocational agriculture education and am extremely supportive of technical education programs,” said Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles Bronson. “These programs enable so many people to have gratifying careers and to contribute to their communities.”

Senator Stephen Wise-
“I have great respect and appreciation for Career and Technical Education programs of study,” said Sen. Stephen Wise. “This common-sense approach to education can provide real-world relevance as well as academic rigor for all students, increasing their opportunities to succeed in school and work. As we look for ways to keep students in school and to raise the achievement bar, Career and Technical Education programs of study must be at the heart of our education reform efforts and to our “Race to the Top.”

Representative Debbie Boyd-
“Career and technical education is a critical need, especially in our more rural areas of the State,” said Rep. Debbie Boyd. “The viability of our business community depends not only on a well-educated, but trained and highly skilled workforce. Future Farmers of America (FFA) is one organization that coordinates well with career and technical education and instills great work ethics and responsibilities in our young people.”

Representative Bill Heller-
“I had an opportunity in high school to participate in a vocational agriculture program and to this day I consider it one of the best educational and learning experiences I’ve ever had,” said Rep. Bill Heller. “I was a member of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) and had experience in debate and public speaking which continue to be skills that I use every day in my role as a legislator. I strongly support and encourage career and technical education because unquestionably it was a key player in a successful career for me as an educator and legislator.”

Representative Jimmy Patronis-
“As a recipient of career and technical training, I know first-hand how effective these courses are for engaging and motivating students,” said Rep. Jimmy Patronis. “By offering students real-world training opportunities, career and technical programs provide immediate access and understanding into their future careers and adds value to their overall education.”

Representative Kelli Stargel-
“Providing opportunities for all students to learn should be the priority goal for educators,” said Rep. Kelli Stargel. “I know firsthand the value of having career classes available in school. My business education classes provided me valuable skills which I was able to use immediately in the workforce while in high school and after graduation.”