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Gov. Rick Scott Wants Job Training, Teacher Internships To Develop STEM Workers

John O'Connor

Gov. Rick Scott spent Monday touring high-tech South Florida companies looking to hire.

He wants to make sure firms like Boca Raton's Modernizing Medicine, which designs electronic medical record systems, have workers ready.

“I’ve got kids and even... grandkids – the jobs of the future are going to be science, technology, engineering and math-related," said Scott, a Republican. "So we need to do workforce training in those areas.”

Business leaders are worried the U.S. isn’t producing enough scientists, engineers and other highly skilled workers.

STEM is a hot topic in education. It’s also important in the governor’s race.

Last week Democratic candidate Charlie Crist stopped at a tech incubator and promised more emphasis on skilled workers.

Job training is just one piece of Scott’s plan. He also wants to create a state program to give public school teachers paid summer internships so they'll take what they learn back to the classroom.

“I want to take the top STEM teachers in our K-12 program and have paid internships – paid by the state," he said, "where they go to work at companies like Modernizing Medicine. ... They’ll come here and work for the summer and they’ll go back and inspire their students.”

Scott also wants state colleges to create $10,000 degrees in science and technology fields. Scott has made the economy and education two of his top issues as he seeks reelection.