Recognizing that increasing the talent pipeline is vital for Florida’s continued growth and economic prosperity, Governor Ron DeSantis today signed House Bill 7071 (HB 7071), a forward-thinking workforce education package to strengthen the state’s talent pool.
HB 7071, which passed the House and Senate by unanimous vote, establishes the SAIL to 60 Initiative. The goal aims to increase the percentage of working-age Floridians with a high-value postsecondary certificate, degree, or training experience to 60% by 2030. SAIL stands for “Strengthening Alignment between Industry and Learning.” Currently, 49% of Floridians hold such credentials or training.
The bill also charges the new business-led Talent Development Council — a reorganization of the Higher Education Coordinating Council to further align education to business sector needs — with developing a coordinated strategic plan for strengthening workforce education and accountability metrics by December 31, 2019.
Additionally, HB 7071 calls for the State Board of Education and Board of Governors to collaborate on several efforts to achieve this goal including support and publicity for the efforts of the Florida College Access Network in developing public and private partnerships to:
- Increase the number of high school seniors who submit at least one postsecondary education application.
- Increase the number of high school seniors who submit a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to receive financial aid to help pay for their postsecondary education expenses.
- Recognize and celebrate high school seniors for their postsecondary education and career plans and encourage early preparation for college.
- Conduct cross-sector regional meetings with postsecondary educational institutions, business leaders, and community organizations to solve community-specific issues related to attainment of postsecondary certificates, associate degrees, and baccalaureate degrees.
“We are grateful to the governor and legislature for their commitment to strengthening the economic mobility of all Floridians,” said Laurie Meggesin, FCAN’s executive director. “The SAIL to 60 goal and the policies outlined in HB 7071 will go far toward ensuring that all Floridians have the opportunity to achieve the education and training they need for a rewarding career and bright future.”