Governor Ron DeSantis took time out of his day to speak with students at Tampa Bay Technical High School, before making an executive order to audit Florida’s career and technical programs to make sure they are in line with demands in the current workforce.
DeSantis is requesting millions for technical programs to make Florida No. 1 in workforce and technical training by the year 2030. Currently, Florida ranks 24th in the nation in workforce training programs.
“I’m excited with the governor’s announcement that they are putting money into workforce education. This will ensure programs across the state will align with the needs of the workforce. We want to make sure we are setting our students up for success in the future,” said Superintendent Jeff Eakins.
Joined by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. Students had the opportunity to sit down with them to share what programs they are in at Tampa Bay Technical High School and their plans after they graduate.
Jayden Martinez, is a senior in the Architecture program. He shared that he worked as an apprentice at a construction company utilizing his skills in Autocad this past summer. Destiny Welch, a second generation Tampa Bay Technical High School student, is in the Emergency Medical Responder program and has plans to become a certified EMT and continue her education at the University of South Florida, where she plans to major in Biology.
Glenn Wester III, a junior at Tampa Bay Technical High School who is enrolled in the welding program and takes AP courses, shared that he is at a 3.7 GPA right now and has goals to graduate at a 4.0. GPA.
The students explained that there are many opportunities at their school, something for everyone— from welding and medical programs, to architecture and technology, they recognized that it’s nice to know there are so many options to make a living after high school.
“Schools like Tampa Bay Technical High School really give hope to a lot of people in the community. We are able to put a lot of people to work and really drive the economics in the community that I represent because of the programs available, said School Board Chair, Tamara Shamburger.
Shamburger also shared with the governor that she gets a lot of calls about folks wanting help getting into schools and Tampa Bay Technical High School is by far the number one request.
Junior, Glenn Wester III said that the welding program allows for many job opportunities and field trips to meet with companies.
“I have even gotten a couple of job offers because of the fact that he attends a technical school—he says it definitely puts him a step ahead of other,” said Wester.
When Glenn graduates he plans to join the union and be a traveling welder or go into the Port of Tampa to work. He says because he takes AP and honor level courses in addition to the welding program, he has the opportunity to weight his options, either go directly into a welding profession or attend a four-year college.
Glenn has been welding since he was seven years old. His passion started because of his grandmother, she has been a welder for over thirty years and is now a welding instructor at the Port of Tampa for Gulf Marine. “She really opened up the door for me to come to the welding program at Tampa Bay Tech, it’s a privilege to be in the program and I am honored to be here,” said Wester.
“It was an honor to host the governor and to hear him applaud the students and teachers at Tampa Bay Tech— he’s seeing what we already knew, this is a showcase school where students are being prepared with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful," said Eakins.View Full Album