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Unemployed Floridians Head Back to School

August 21st, 2008 by flanews

More and more Floridians are trading their 9 to 5’s, for college text books. 5-hundred and 70 thousand Floridians are unemployed and the number is growing. As Whitney Ray tells us, when the economy gets bad college classrooms fill up.

Hear it Here: Unemployed Floridians Head Back to School

Marlynn McWade-Murray is a junior at Flagler College Tallahassee. Marlynn lost her job as a loan originator. She decided going back to school is a better investment than going back to work.

“Even if I do find a job, if its just minimum wage, it doesn’t pay me,” said Marlynn.

With more and more businesses closing, Florida’s unemployment rate is exceeding the national average at 6.1 percent. Last year about 100,000 Floridians lost their jobs. Florida’s Commissioner of Education said the state is seeing more unemployed people returning to college.

“As people are laid off or looking for new jobs, new opportunities, the tendency to go back to college and get some new skills, some new training drives the numbers up dramatically,” said Florida Commissioner of Education Eric Smith.

It’s not just the jobless who are heading back to class. Bobbie Chappell works for the state. She went back to school after watching some of her coworkers lose their jobs.

“With the trend in government, I feel personally its time to get that degree, because the government’s not as secure a workforce as it use to be,” Bobbie said.

Nontraditional students are more likely to attend a college close to their homes and families, which is good news to the state’s 28 community colleges. Admissions coordinators say the majority the unemployed Floridians returning to school are former construction workers and real estate agents.

Posted in Education, Hurricane Season, State News | 16 Comments »

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