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Florida’s economy will soon demand more college graduates. According to a recent analysis of occupation data and workforce trends by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 59% of Florida’s jobs will require postsecondary education by 2018. Between now and 2018, Florida will need to fill about 2.8 million vacancies resulting from job creation, worker retirements and other factors. Of these job vacancies, more than 1.6 million will require postsecondary credentials.

Only 38% of the Florida’s 9.5 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold at least a two-year degree, according to 2010 Census data. This compares to a national average of around 37%. If Florida continues to increase attainment at the rate it did over the last decade (2000-2008), the state will have a college degree attainment rate of 43% in 2025 — far short of the 60% state goal. Having an infrastructure in place that maximizes resources for students, reduces the duplication of student services, and builds broad-based consensus around Florida’s programmatic and policy direction as it relates to improving college and career readiness, access, and completion is essential to helping Florida to meet the challenge.

Building and strengthening the Florida C ollege Access Network (Florida C.A.N.!) will require a collaborative effort of individuals and organizations determined to serve all students including the growing number of Florida’s limited-income students, often racial or ethnic minorities, who have traditionally registered the lowest high school graduation, college-going, and college completion rates.  Florida C.A.N.! is a cross-sector network of partners working constructively alongside schools, colleges, and universities enhancing programs and policies administered by the state, higher education institutions, and school districts resulting in a community-wide college-going and success culture.   The goal, as with all other networks in other fields, is to build enough momentum through collaborative action to produce positive systemic change.

The Florida College Access Network (Florida C.A.N.!) is committed to create and strengthen a statewide network that catalyzes and supports communities to improve college and career readiness, access and completion for all students.

Click the links above to find out how YOU can partner with Florida C.A.N.!