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Florida Chamber of Commerce issues education report

• Mike Thomas

The Florida Chamber of Commerce has been a strong and consistent supporter of education excellence in Florida.

This support goes beyond pronouncements and press releases. The Chamber has made education a top priority for more than 20 years and has consistently pushed for proven reforms that advance student achievement.

This effort includes collaboration with education reformers, employers, job creators and state and local leaders. No group better understands the skills and knowledge that students must have to succeed in the 21st century economy. The Chamber’s agenda is necessary for the success of children and the competitiveness of our state.

The Chamber recently released a comprehensive report on our education system that is a must read for all stakeholders: “From Excuses to Excellence.”

While acknowledging the tremendous strides Florida has made since the 1990s, the report states that we are not yet where we need to be and warns of stagnation if the state does not redouble its efforts to continue with the reforms responsible for past success.

It notes that “there are approximately 300,000 open and unfilled jobs in Florida. As we fight to create economic opportunities for everyone, we simply cannot rest until we close the talent gap our education system creates.’’

The Chamber is following up this report with the 2016 Learners to Earners Education Summit, an event held for the business community, workforce professionals and education thought leaders June 2 in Orlando. The theme is connecting today’s students to tomorrow’s opportunities, and your participation is welcome.

About the author

Mike Thomas @MikeThomasTweet

Mike Thomas serves in the communications department, writing editorials and speeches. Prior to joining the Foundation, Mike worked for more than 30 years as a journalist with Florida Today and the Orlando Sentinel. He has written investigative projects, magazine feature stories, humor pieces, editorials and local columns. He won several state and national awards, and was named a finalist in the American Society of New Editors’ Distinguished Writing Award for Commentary/Column Writing in 2010. As a columnist for the Orlando Sentinel, he wrote extensively about education reform, becoming one of its chief advocates in the Florida media. Mike graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in political science and journalism. His wife is a teacher and he has two children in public schools. Contact Mike at