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Let's spend $30 million for jobs training, Gov. Scott says in Jacksonville

Posted: January 23, 2014 - 11:23am  |  Updated: January 23, 2014 - 11:47am
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Gov. Rick Scott announces a proposed $30 million plan designed to enhance workforce training in Florida. He made the announcement Thursday at the Greencore USA plant on Jacksonville’s Northside.

Gov. Rick Scott proposed an initiative Thursday that would pump $30 million in state money into workforce training and would earmark about $1.5 million for trade and export assistance.

“It’s to help our families get more jobs,” Scott said at a news conference in Jacksonville. “We want to make sure this is an opportunity economy where you can be whatever you want to be. “

Scott made the announcement at the Greencore USA food-packaging and convenience-store supply plant on Jacksonville’s Northside.

He said his proposal primarily would improve employment-education programs at Florida colleges and vocational institutions. But he said companies in Florida also will be eligible to apply for the assistance funding.

“If they’re underemployed, it will help them find out what they want to do. If you have employees that need training in some areas, it will help companies like Greencore. Also, when companies come here, we have money for training when they move here, we have $12 million in the budget for that,” Scott said.

Chris Hart, CEO of Workforce Florida Inc., a jobs-development organization that will receive much of the money if the program is approved by state lawmakers, said the proposal could be a huge boost to job-placement efforts.

“This can increase the right curriculum and right programs that then lead to those job seekers having the right skills at the right time. That’s how all of this comes together. This training fund is going to help us build this at a superior level right here in Florida,” Hart said.

Greencore CEO Liam McClennon, who also announced Thursday the company was expanding 100 percent by adding another 160 workers, said Scott’s proposal fits well with the likes of the Jacksonville business.

“We maintain varying levels of skills that we need and we have high levels of food safety to meet. Workforce training is very important to us,” McClennon said.

Linda Sparks, executive director of the Jacksonville Academy of electrical Technology, said that while the proposal may seem geared toward workers, it’s also a significant benefit to employers.

Sparks is also a member of the Worforce Florida board.

While Scott was touting his proposal in Jacksonville, Democrats in Tallahassee used the occasion to remind citizens of the malfunctioning state website that has confounded applicants for unemployment compensation.

House Minority Leader Perry Thurston, D- Fort Lauderdale, accused Scott of failing those “who have lost jobs through no fault of their own.”

Scott has started fining the website vendor, Deloitte Consulting, $15,000 daily and withheld a $3 million payment from the company.

But with reviews of unemployment claims stuck in gridlock and no timeframe for fixing the problem, Scott has been quiet on the issue, even as the Department of Economic Opportunity he oversees has put out daily updates.

“We need to have the governor make a statement … take a leadership position,” said House Minority Leaders Perry Thurston, D- Fort Lauderdale. “He is not talking to the people.”

Drew Dixon: (904) 359-4098

Comments (5)

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tinman 01/26/14 - 02:58 pm
Premium Member

Yes_man called it right. This

Yes_man called it right. This would be thrown into communities that already feed at the public trough and make no effort to move up. That's how these programs always work.

Don Gene - of course, but so what? How is that any different than any other politician, including Obama The Messiah? Remember his executive order to stop deportations just before the last election? Freezing interest on education loans? Or the imaginary "war on women" that pops up every campaign season (and ONLY during campaign season)?

Funny how some people only see what they want to see.

olgator 01/24/14 - 02:35 pm
Premium Member

If this ever did happen,doubt

If this ever did happen,doubt the money would ever make it past giving it to well connected companies that claim they are training people for jobs. Those companies can hire a few people who go through some training motions and then deposit 1 million in their bank account. Got to be a cut for the gov somewhere.

the_yes_man 01/23/14 - 07:44 pm
Premium Member

I agree. You can't train

I agree. You can't train people that are too lazy to graduate high school or learn English.

Ebonics and Spanish ........that's the future!

finder 01/23/14 - 03:19 pm
Premium Member

Sounds like a strong,

Sounds like a strong, fiscally responsible program to me. Throw $30M down the commode to train people for jobs that don't exist.

DonGene 01/23/14 - 11:57 am
Premium Member

If it weren't so obvious what

If it weren't so obvious what our great governor is up to I'd want to laugh. Election year actions are a little bit late. Why didn't he come up with this offer when he was elected? Because the conservative base that bought the office for him would be upset? It doesn't seem to bother Scott now. He is a joke as Governor. He has done absolutely nothing to help this state grow. His promise of 700,000 jobs has barely been scratched. Remember the past 3 years before you go to the polls. This will be the last help you will see offered by him because if he wins again he will be a lame duck. No telling what he will or won't do if that happens. He only cares about the rich and powerful. The little guy and what is going on with him never enters into his mind that is obvious from the lack of help during a trying and terrible economic time.

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