Travis Hutson files bill to move workforce training money to charter schools
Travis Hutson will be central to Special Session.

Career Technical Education funding.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is all-in on charter schools, and a Senate bill contemplates increasing their roles in workforce training.

SB 130, sponsored by Sen. Travis Hutson, would cede job-growth grant fund money to “certain” charter schools.

Much focus has been on the infrastructure created by the fund, solely administered at the discretion of the executive branch.

The Hutson legislation, however, focuses on the workforce training piece. The fund would go solely to charters that offer the Career and Technical Education pathway.

Back in June, Hutson told Florida Politics he envisioned just this scenario.

Career technical education (CTE) charter schools could emerge, as Tallahassee seeks further guidance in aligning education to the needs of employers.

A continuing frustration with companies requiring skilled labor, as multiple participants at the Florida Chamber of Commerce Military and Veterans Summit said this week: there often aren’t enough skilled workers for the jobs.

Space Florida head Frank DiBello said that a recurrent pressure in aerospace was finding skilled workers in Florida.

“They get their employees from other companies,” DiBello contended. “They have to interview seven times as many as they hire.”

One solution: Creating feeder programs in educational institutions, including trade schools and colleges.

The Hutson proposal, which builds on reform and expansion of workforce training passed in 2019, would facilitate an option for earlier training in a charter setting.

Workforce education, related Hutson in June, will be of use as areas like his St. Johns County grow.

In addition to construction and public safety, Hutson notes that a school in his district (Pedro Menendez High School) offers a nursing program that allows students to work in the field once they graduate high school.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Kathy Betancourt

    August 15, 2019 at 10:27 am

    Infrastructure already exists to build important segments of our skilled labor workforce: the training programs which are provided by our state’s labor unions. It would be wise for the state to beef up its relationship with trade unions where intensive programs ensure safety in the professionals who make it through the rigorous programs. My late brother-in-law, a proud member of IBEW Local 915, reminded me that it takes five years to be a journeyman electrician. But once a man or woman makes it through the training, the public can be confident that a professional is doing the work.
    Thank you.

  • gary

    August 15, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    I am pro learning skills at the high school level in any capacity. Not every student goes to college, and frankly, a lot students would be better served not going to college. Vocational training at the high school level used to be a thing, it’s time we returned to that.

  • Eddie

    August 16, 2019 at 7:46 am

    I think it would be a good idea for Travis to visit the Technical schools in his district and see how to better fund them. Also look into the Charter school’s that were once in his district and see why they no longer exist.

  • bill lazar

    August 19, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    As the past Chairman of the St Johns Builders Council in St Augustine, in Sen Hutson’s district, I’ve spent over 15 years on the Menendez High School Construction Academy Advisory Board. St Johns County schools have a great system with academies at each high school for different professions. They actually get the students out in the field, to “test drive” their interests while still in school. (Vystar actually set up actual teller stations at the school and trained students to run them) They are great programs and feeders for employers after graduation. Our company has hired several from the Construction Academy. These are pre-apprenticeship programs, and both union and non-union will benefit from the caliber of students who graduate, but those apprenticeship programs do not offer basic education classes, so we need both. I’m not sure what charter schools will offer, especially in construction where we need a shop lab with equipment, not a cheap start up cost.

Comments are closed.


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