TAMPA, Fla. — Governor Ron DeSantis made a stop in Tampa Thursday morning to sign a set of bills focused on improving workforce training and vocational education in the Sunshine State.
House Bill 1507, which is now law, passed unanimously in both the House and Senate and is an effort to streamline the classroom to workforce process in the State of Florida.
“The bills we’re signing today, really doubles down on Florida’s commitment to vocational education, providing people with skills that can then be applied in the real world,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.
Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls said there is nothing like it in the nation.
“What we found when we threw open all the couch cushions, was that we have this disconnected, disjointed workforce system, where people are doing little parts of things, but they’re not doing it together,” said Speaker Sprowls.
Now, with the signing of these bills, these systems will have to work together.
Governor DeSantis also said the state will hold schools accountable, making sure they’re successful in placing students in jobs.
“All these colleges pick three areas for these credentials, and students go into that program; if they graduate, and they don’t have job offerings, the student gets the money back,” said Governor DeSantis.
Governor DeSantis also said each school will be able to pick its three areas since each specialty area will be different depending on the region of the state.
HB1507 also created the office of Reimagining Education and Career Help (REACH), which will be in the Executive Office of the Governor, tasked with coordinating workforce training.
The President of Hillsborough Community College says the signing of these bills will make their jobs easier.
“Our job has always been to change the trajectory of people we serve, so this gives us an opportunity to provide not barriers, but make it easier for us to do that,” said Ken Atwater, President of Hillsborough Community College.
Governor DeSantis emphasized the importance of vocational and technical education, saying this new streamlined process will put more people into the workforce with little to no debt.
“You look at things in aircraft maintenance, you look at things like welding, all these things, there’s a demand, these are good-paying jobs, and it gives you an opportunity to do even better in the future,” said Governor DeSantis.
For the full text of HB 1507, click here.