Our American private enterprise system has led the world in the creation of wealth and jobs for many, many years. The freedom to start a business and the response of entrepreneurs to meet market needs have created the business cycle. Businesses continue to be started, some businesses fail, and existing businesses grow and create new jobs. Small businesses in the private sector have typically led all employment sectors in net annual job creation.
With the huge number of new jobs being created and the constant need to fill vacancies, business employers’ voracious needs for trained workers have resulted in the continuing development of new job training and placement programs by many kinds of organizations. Over the years, community colleges, public school systems, private, non-profit community-based programs, and apprenticeship programs have spent much time and effort developing new training programs and teaching students the skills necessary to fill these jobs.
Chasing all those job vacancies has not been easy. New providers have constantly needed to be created. Providers have had to continually develop new training programs and upgrade existing programs to keep up with changes in technology and in the business environment. Covering the expensive start-up costs of new career training programs for equipment and teachers has greatly compounded the challenge.
Community colleges have suffered from competition for curriculum dollars for university-parallel freshman and sophomore courses and basic and high school programs for students who need to strengthen basic skills before entering job-specific programs. Public schools have been faced with the same kinds of curriculum and funding competition from their core K-12 classes.
Apprenticeship programs sponsored by employers and unions have had to deal with really expensive equipment costs for high technology training programs in areas like heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, electrical, construction, and pipefitting.
None of these providers have been able to meet the entire workforce need of an American private industry sector that is the envy of the world.
This is where community-based non-profit academies like Plant City’s Future Career Academy have filled an important niche, Academy developers Yvonne Fry, Danny McIntyre, and Maginda Montero explained at January’s meeting of the Plant City Downtown Luncheon Club. With their total focus on non-university, community and employer-based training programs, our Career Academy’s constant message has been
Our career programs are just as important as university and college bachelors programs, and you can have a well-paying career in any of our programs. If your interest and abilities lie in high technology programs and in hands-on learning, come check us out. Our aim is to make it possible for you to have a meaningful career right here in Plant City or East Hillsborough.
Borrowing from athletic recruitment programs where student-athletes get to sign scholarships in the public limelight, our Career Academy gives its graduates the same high visibility when they sign agreements in large, school-wide assemblies to accept jobs at community businesses using the skills gained through high school in these programs. Such a strategy underlines the importance of workforce careers and raises them to levels equal to baccalaureate programs and athletic scholarships.
Plant City has the Future Career Academy to thank for stepping up to fulfill a vital job training need—meeting the needs of local businesses for new workers prepared to fill jobs which require skills not taught in universities and colleges.