Gov. Rick Scott‘s two-day summit to link education to jobs set for Orlando next week will feature many Florida college, business and Republican leaders as well as the football coaches from the University of Florida, Florida State and the University of Miami.

The Degrees to Jobs Summit, set for May 25 and 26 at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando, focuses on issues ranging from college affordability to marketing degrees that pay.

The final session will be a panel on leadership and teamwork, featuring rival football coaches Jim McElwain of UF, Jimbo Fisher of FSU, and Mark Richt of UM.

Other speakers will include many of Florida’s top elected Republicans including Scott, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Senate President Andy Gardiner, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

Business interests including top executives of Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, CVS, Harris Corp. and Deutsche Bank. Numerous school, college and university executives also are set to speak.

And while University of Central Florida Board Chairman Marcos Marchena is among the university panelists, UCF football coach Scott Frost will not be part of the Orlando discussion by college football coaches. That could be because Frost is new and so has yet to establish himself, and the Knight’s football team has not been competitive lately. Yet the slight continues a trend over the past six months that has seen Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Rubio each come to Central Florida and hail other Florida universities while neglecting to mention the hometown school.

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at

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