Category Archives: Chamber Initiatives

Key Strategic Initiatives


More Than Half Of Lakeland Schools An “A”

The Florida Department of Education released the FCAT grades for the 2008-2009 school year and more than half (51 percent)  of Lakeland schools received a grade of A.

The statistics for Lakeland schools:

A – 22     B- 7     C- 11     D-2     F- 1

Exactly two-thirds (67 percent) of Lakeland schools (29 schools) received an A or B. Ninety-three percent (40 schools) received an A, B or C. The Polk Public Schools received an overall grade of B from the state for the second consecutive year.  A listing of Lakeland schools by FCAT grade is listed below:

A- Blake Academy, Carlton Palmore Elementary, Cleveland Court Elementary, Dixieland Elementary, Griffin Elementary, Highlands Grove Elementary, Jesse Keen Elementary, Kathleen Elementary, Lakeland Highlands Middle, Lawton Chiles Middle Academy, Lincoln Avenue Academy, McKeel Academy, McKeel Elementary, North Lakeland Elementary, Phillip O’Brien Elementary, Rochelle School of the Arts, Scott Lake Elementary, Sikes Elementary, South McKeel Elementary, Southwest Middle, Valleyview Elementary, Wendell Watson Elementary.

B- Dr. N.E. Roberts Elementary, Kathleen Middle, Lake Gibson Middle, Lakeland High, Padgett Elementary, R. Bruce Wagner Elementary, Southwest Elementary

C- Churchwell Elementary, Combee Elementary, Crystal Lake Elementary, Crystal Lake Middle, George Jenkins High, Lake Gibson High, Medulla Elementary, Sleepy Hill Elementary, Sleepy Hill Middle, Socrum Elementary, Winston Elementary.

D- Kathleen High, Tenoroc High

F- Oscar J. Pope Elementary


Education and Employment Fair- Free to Job Seekers and Exhibitors

Congressman Adam Putnam and Senator Mel Martinez will sponsor an Education and Employment Fair on August 4 in Plant City. The event is free to both individuals seeking employment and employers looking to hire. The following is a letter from Congressman Putnam.

Dear Friend,

        It is my pleasure to inform you of the upcoming Education and Employment Fair which I am hosting with my colleague in the United States Senate, The Honorable Mel Martinez.  The event is free to exhibitors and job seekers and will be held on Tuesday, August 4, 2009 at the Plant City Campus of Hillsborough Community College, John R. Trinkle Center, 1206 N. Park Road, Plant City, FL 33563 from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. 

        Due to the state of the economy and its affect on unemployment, the Senator and I would like to notify all businesses, education providers, non-profit agencies and job seekers in Polk & Hillsborough Counties about the fair.  It is our hope to attract all businesses in need of one or more workers to participate as exhibitors. Please feel free to share this with your business networks to assist in us gaining more employer exhibitors.

        Please be so kind as to inform your human resources department, organization members and any individual seeking employment of this great opportunity. An informational flyer and exhibitor registration form are attached for your review.

        If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Pam Fuller or Cheryl Flood at 863-534-3530.  Thank you!


Adam H. Putnam

Member of Congress


Union Threat Increase

The U.S. Senate may be voting soon to consider a new version of the Employee Free Choice Act, S. 560. This act would take away the employee’s right to secret ballot in union organizing elections. Not only is the right to secret ballot taken away, but the right to employer negotiations with labor unions regarding union contracts is taken away as well. This provision would force retailers into a mandated contract after 120 days of negotiation.

The Employee Free Choice act will not just affect large businesses, but it will affect small businesses as well. S. 560 will make it easier for unions to organize. For example, if a business employs 10 people, it would only require 6 people to agree for the business to become unionized. The employees could be forced to agree under pressure or coercion because the voting is not private.

In the Senate, 60 votes are required to bring this dangerous piece of legislation up for “cloture” or final vote. Adopting this legislation would then only require 51 votes.  Supporters are claiming that they have 58 Democrats prepared to vote yes on cloture.  Please contact Senator Bill Nelson by phone or by email and request that he vote no on cloture for S. 560, the Employee Free Choice Act.

Senator Bill Nelson     (305) 536-5999 FL office      (202) 224-5274 DC office


Governor Crist Vetos Property Insurance Bill

Florida Chamber Alert:

Today, Governor Charlie Crist vetoed Chamber-backed property insurance reform legislation – HB 1171.  Here is the Governor’s veto letter.

The Florida Chamber continues to believe that Florida is financially unprepared for a hurricane and that we must enact solutions to fix our state’s insurance crisis. The Chamber will continue to work closely with Gov.  Crist and the Florida Legislature to craft legislation to address this critical issue.

The report “Into the Storm: Framing Florida’s Insurance Crisis” by the Florida Chamber and The Florida Council of 100 outlines several of the policy recommendations we will continue to pursue.