Retraining out of low paying jobs will save struggling Orlando workers

Biggest mistake I’ve made over my post military career? Not even close. That’s not retraining for a higher paying job that could have saved me from my recent struggles with affordable housing.

Instead? Band-aids. A gig here. A temp job there. A regular job that in the back of my mind I knew paid too little, in a nightmare Orlando economy that pays some of the lowest wages in the nation and exploits families who rent their homes.

Taking the plunge and learning a trade, or earning a certification, would have protected me from a poor quality of life.

If possible, struggling families should make the move to protect themselves.

“If” and “when” are important words.

This is because many of these families can’t afford any time off work. They’re barely making ends meet now. This is why I’ve screamed that we need a partnership with Orange County Public Schools to bring their vocational programs anywhere workers could find a minute to learn anything. Even local public transportation (story HERE).

Otherwise, we’re never going to get anywhere with helping to lift these families up. Every year we acknowledge that economic diversification is the key to building a better Orlando, and yet more years go by where we do nothing.

And there are some industries who are making big money off of our uneducated workforce. They’re paying workers too little and trying to lure them back with bonuses that are as little as $100 after 90 days of work.

$100 bucks. Another band-aid.

Instead, lets move for permanent solutions that will set up our families for brighter futures with real careers. Careers, that could ultimately lead to a generational change that allows them to pull themselves out of this Orlando economic quicksand.

If we do our part and make that training available, they’ll take the opportunity and do the rest. And Orlando will be better off because of it.

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