Breakout Session II, Developing Local Talent Through Career Academies, was moderated by Jennifer Grove, Worforce Development Coordinator for Gulf Power. The panelists included Carl Leiterman, Director of Workforce Education in the Escambia School District, and Cheryl Smith, Director of Workforce Education in the Santa Rosa School District. There are now 31 career academies in Escambia County, most of which are in their 2nd year. These 4-year programs provide applied learning in real-world work situations that provide context and relevancy for academic subjects. Graduates not only earn high school degrees but also Gold Standard certifications in their chosen field. Career fields include drafting and design technology, criminal justice, sports medicine, pre-professional nursing, biomedical sciences, engineering, first responder/fire and rescue, and many more. An added treat was a brief address by a career academy student, who described how going to career academy changed his perception of school.