Bush to Visit FCCJ, Promote Education and Job Training; College's Distance-Learning Programs Tie in with President's Push on Workforce Training

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID DeCAMP, The Times-Union

President Bush will visit a campus of Florida Community College at Jacksonville on Friday to promote his education and job-training policies.

The visit precedes the unveiling of the president's next budget, due Feb. 7, that could include a proposal to shut down the USS John F. Kennedy at Mayport. White House spokesman Taylor Gross deflected a question whether Bush would address the potential decommissioning of the aircraft carrier, which is a proposed budget cut.

"The president's focus will be on higher education and job training," Gross said.

The Kennedy, which has a crew of 2,900, is the pillar of the Mayport Naval Station. A 2002 report for the Navy said the economic impact of the carrier was nearly $200 million. The potential carrier shutdown has prompted U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw and other Florida lawmakers to begin an uphill battle to save the ship, jawing with the White House and congressional leaders. It would reduce the fleet from 12 to 11 carriers.

Bush is expected at the college's South Campus off Beach Boulevard. The format will be a town hall meeting event, allowing him to have conversations with education and business officials. …