Florida is one of the fastest growing states in America, in both population and jobs. However, wages have stagnated and unemployment among younger age groups has continued. We need to re-think our approach to growing Florida’s economy and the opportunities offered to students and low-skilled workers. If we want higher paying jobs, then we need to develop a higher-skilled labor force. This means embracing alternative education options as a pro-growth strategy.
“With the right leadership, we can transform Florida into a trailblazer in today’s new economy.” — Rosy Palomino
The opportunities of the New Economy allow people to quickly re-train into higher wage position. These “new,” high-growth industries are the driving force of economic growth, are based on vocational training and apprenticeship programs. These industries are technology oriented such as Internet-based business (think Amazon.com and Uber) and biotech where rather than a traditional 4-year degree and specialization, these jobs can be learned after a 3-month course, 12 month to 2-year program.
Over the short term, supporting measures to reduce costs for existing businesses and start-ups is important. These measures immediately give business-owners more capital to reinvest into their companies leading to new hires across the board. Similarly, reducing the cost of living for homeowners through property tax and windstorm insurance reform will increase their purchasing power and spur consumer spending.