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To help boost the local skilled workforce in supply chain management, SPC will begin offering entry and mid-level certifications in January 2015. The training is being offered through a $1.5 million federal grant received last year.

The certifications, to be endorsed by the national Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), will cover key aspects of supply chain management like planning and forecasting, purchasing, product assembly, storage and transportation. The training programs will include internships, apprenticeships and on-the-job training opportunities so participants get hands-on, real world experience.

“The initiative will solidify partnerships among colleges, universities and the industry, while at the same time, provide opportunities for students to access the training, skills and resources needed to succeed in today’s competitive job market,” said Greg Nenstiel, Dean of SPC’s College of Business. “Students will be able to earn stackable certifications that lead to in-demand jobs, as well as college credit.”

Businesses including manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, warehouses, healthcare providers and government agencies utilize supply chain management principles to plan, assemble, store, ship and track products from beginning to the end consumer. Successful companies rely on the skills of supply chain management professionals to ensure their products are delivered to the marketplace in a quick, efficient and cost-effective manner.

Meeting workforce needs

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for supply chain talent has been rising and jobs in logistics are estimated to grow by 26 percent between 2010 and 2020. SPC will meet this growing urgency by educating and training a local, skilled and qualified workforce.

Career paths span a variety of functions covering planning, procurement, manufacturing, and logistics to include job roles as logistics assistants, warehouse and production associates, supply chain specialists and analysts, fulfillment supervisors, purchasing, fleet and transportation managers.

Certifications through SPC will include Supply Chain Management Principles, Customer Service Operations, Transportation Operations, Warehousing Operations, Demand Planning, Inventory Management, Manufacturing and Service Operations and Supply Management and Procurement.

Community partners

SPC is looking for local experts in supply chain management for the following:

  • Serve as curriculum subject matter experts
  • Become an advisory board member
  • Provide internship opportunities for students
  • Host educational tours of supply chain in action
  • Refer prospective students to the program for training
  • Employ qualified graduates

Initially slated as non-credit training, the LINCS Supply Chain Management program is funded by a Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration last year.

For information on the LINCS Program, please contact Marta Przyborowski, at 727-341-7973 or Przyborowski.marta@spcollege.edu

SPC alumna Nicole Becker looks over X-rays from one of her four-legged patients while working as lead veterinary technician and office manager at North Boulder Companion Animal Hospital in Boulder, Colo.

SPC alumna Nicole Becker looks over X-rays from one of her four-legged patients while working as lead veterinary technician and office manager at North Boulder Companion Animal Hospital in Boulder, Colo.

Attend our Open House

Wednesday, Oct. 15
4 to 7 p.m.
RSVP online

History of successful vet tech alumna
SPC alumna Bonnie Loghry received the 2013 Linda Markland Outstanding RVT of the Year Award – Non-Private Practice from the California Veterinary Medical Association. Read more about Loghry.

St. Petersburg College School of Veterinary Technology alumna Nicole Becker was named 2014 Technician of the Year by the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association Sept. 20.

Since she was a child, Becker, 30, knew that her future would revolve around the love and care of animals.

“Ever since I was 9 years old, I always wanted to be a veterinarian or work with animals,” said Becker, who serves as office manager and lead veterinary technician at North Boulder Companion Animal Hospital in Boulder, Colo. “I never really strayed away from that; my feelings for it never changed.”

Born in Colorado, Becker grew up in Pinellas County, where she attended high school in Indian Rocks Beach. She remained local for college, and received an associate degree in veterinary technology from SPC in Summer 2008.

“The biggest thing I find that I am grateful for during my time at SPC was all of the hands-on training that we did,” Becker said. As a student, she worked on animals every day in the kennel – taking X-rays, placing catheters, performing dental and other medical care.

Her dream is to own and operate her own veterinary clinic.

“Nicole was always a great student,” said Rich Flora, dean of the School of Veterinary Technology. “She was dedicated to her courses, her learning and mastering the skills required to be an effective, contributing, valuable member of our profession. I have no doubt that she will be a very successful practice owner.”

A few years after graduation, Becker moved back to Colorado in August 2011, where she began working as a veterinary technician at North Boulder Animal Companion Hospital. After a short period of time, she realized she wouldn’t be satisfied in the entry-level position. When the hospital’s lead veterinary technician quit with only a week’s notice, she jumped at the opportunity to take on the role.

“I told my boss that I would like to try to take on the responsibility of head technician, so I took the reins and ran with them,” Becker said. When the animal hospital’s office manager left a few months later, she decided this was her chance to do and learn more.

“I asked her to let me also take on this responsibility,” she said. “I want to keep going and don’t want to stop – I want to work my way as high up the ladder as I can go.”

What she wasn’t expecting was the difficult she faced hiring new employees. The lack of direct animal contact in veterinary education in Colorado was a shock to Becker, who spent nearly every day working hands-on with the animals as an SPC veterinary technology student.

“Out here in Colorado, animal rights organizations are a huge thing,” she said. “The students out here don’t seem to get to practice on real animals. I get CVTs (certified veterinary technicians) who come in who are certified but have never placed an IV catheter in a real animal.”

“From an office manager’s point of view, where I am now trying to hire people, I think that is the biggest factor that stands out for me,” she said.

Becker said that at SPC, she learned how to not only understand what she was reading and learning through hands-on instruction, but how it also applies to her work as a veterinary technician.

“I see it too with my new hires,” she said. “They want to understand it – and they think they do. But when they try to work through a problem, you realize that their knowledge is completely based on what they memorized from their books.”

Becker said she wants to continue her education online to receive a Bachelor of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology from SPC, where she knows the faculty are dedicated to her education and success.

Flora said it is no accident that Becker and many other SPC graduates are successful in their profession.

“The dedication and concern shown by our faculty and staff toward our students is reflected by their success after they leave St. Petersburg College,” he said. “We look forward to having her back in our BAS program.”

The SPC School of Veterinary Technology recently received full accreditation from the American Animal Hospital Association, signifying the highest level of medical care within the veterinary medical profession. Only three of the 221 veterinary technology programs accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association also are AAHA accredited.

The Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College will host a forum featuring local candidates seeking public office and information about key issues that will be on the Nov. 4 ballot. The free event is open to the public and will be held:

5:30-9 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 2
Digitorium UP 160
Seminole Campus
9200 113th Street N
Seminole, FL 33772

The debates are presented in an effort to dispel voter apathy and to honor the importance of an informed electorate. Facing off will be candidates for Pinellas County Commission from Districts 2 and 4, and candidates for the eight most highly contested seats in the state legislature. Also up for debate will be three proposed amendments to the State Constitution.

Admission is free but advance registration is requested.

A distinguished panel of experts will question the candidates and provide background on the issues. They are:

  • Frank Alcock, associate professor of political science, New College of Florida, Sarasota
  • Adam Smith, political editor, Tampa Bay Times
  • Roy Slater, social science professor, St. Petersburg College
  • Noah Pransky, investigative reporter, WTSP 10 News, St. Petersburg
  • Moderator: Joni James, deputy editor of editorials, Tampa Bay Times

The debates will be split into three one-hour sessions, with the first two combining state legislative races whose district borders are relatively contiguous, for the convenience of voters interested in their home district candidates. A brief discussion of the three constitutional amendments will precede the candidate debates. The schedule is:

  • 5:30-6 p.m. – Constitutional Amendments 1 2, and 3
  • 6-7 p.m. – House Districts 65, 66 and 67
  • 7-8 p.m. – Senate District 22, House Districts 68 and 69
  • 8-9 p.m. – County Commission Districts 2 and 4

The event is co-sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times.

It’s back to school time, and festival season is just around the corner in Florida. To kick off the festivities, the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art at the St. Petersburg College Tarpon Springs Campus will host its annual Artists’ Market on:

Saturday, Sept. 27
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 28
noon to 5 p.m.

Visitors can browse and buy original works by more than 30 local artists inside the comfort and ambiance of the museum and get a head start on their holiday shopping. Original artwork on display will include wearable art, paintings, jewelry, prints and more. Also available is an Art Book Nook offering gently used books and magazines for sale.

Admission to the museum, market and parking are free both days. Food and beverages will be available from the Bayou Cafe of Tarpon Springs.

All proceeds from the event support participating artists, Isabelle’s Museum Store and LRMA’s educational mission.


The Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College will present the final forum in a three-part series on Pinellas County’s transit sales tax referendum, this time in the North County area. The forum, titled “Dealing with Gridlock: Is there a Light Rail in Pinellas County’s Future,” will be held:

6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30
SPC Clearwater Campus ES 104
2465 Drew St.

As have the two previous programs on this issue, held at SPC’s Midtown Center and Seminole Campus, this forum will examine the pros and cons of a referendum on the November ballot that would raise the sales tax rate by one cent per dollar of spending, from 7 to 8 cents, to finance improvements to the Pinellas County public transportation system.

The transit tax proposal, if approved by more than 50 percent of voters, would affect every Pinellas County taxpayer whenever they purchase goods subject to the sales tax. It has become one of the most hotly debated local issues of the 2014 election season, perhaps second only to a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize use of marijuana for medical purposes.

The forum will open with pro-con presentations on the proposal by advocates for and against passage. Speaking for the amendment will be Pinellas County Commissioner Susan Latvala. Speaking against will be Barbara Haselden, campaign manager and spokesperson for No Tax for Tracks, a citizens group which opposes the proposal.

The final portion of the program will be devoted to answering questions from the audience. Moderating the debate will Dr. Nicholas Manias, Professor of Applied Ethics at SPC.

The proposed tax increase would authorize a one-cent sales tax increase for 30 years, which would raise a projected $130 million per year. The tax hike would be partially offset by eliminating the current .75-mill property tax for transit that brings in $32 million. For that revenue stream, PSTA promises a 65 percent increase in bus service, a Bus Rapid Transit line, that is, dedicated bus lanes, on major corridors; and, eventually, a 24-mile light rail line that would roughly follow the I-275 corridor north to the Gateway area, then head west along Ulmerton/Roosevelt Road/East and West Bay Blvd. to downtown Clearwater.

Advance registration is requested.

The 40-acre park Natural Habitat Park at SPC’s Seminole Campus will serve as one of two public landscape locations for the Florida Native Plant Society Pinellas Chapter’s eighth annual Tour of Native Landscapes on Saturday, Sept. 27.

The self-guided tour, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., will involve a total of six sites throughout Pinellas County. Participants are given maps and information about each site and they can visit them on their own based on their schedule during the day.

Candace “Candy” Arnold, President of the Pinellas Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, said that restorative efforts were part of the reason why the organization selected SPC’s Natural Habitat Park as one of the locations for the tour.

“One of the reasons is that our mission is the restoration of native plants and native plant communities,” Arnold said. “The habitat is just absolutely gorgeous.”

In 2010, the Natural Habitat Park opened after undergoing a restoration, removing exotic and non-native vegetation to better highlight the natural plant life.

“We thought this would be a great opportunity for our members to see what great restoration can look like,” she said. “If you see some of the pictures from before when they were removing some of the exotic plants, it was thick with exotics. Now it’s filled with beautiful native vegetation.”

Maura Scanlon, Assistant Professor of Biology in Environmental Science Technology at the Seminole Campus, said the habitat also serves as green space for relaxing and as an outdoor classroom for field studies.

“It is ideal as it highlights not only the beauty of native plants and animals, but also how impacted urban land can become ecologically functional again through wetland restoration,” Scanlon said.

While the habitat has not been featured on the landscape tour in prior years, members of the Florida Native Plant Society have served as speakers for students in the Associate in Science Environmental Technology program and Seminole Environmental Club at the Seminole Campus.

The Natural Habitat Park is teeming with life – including more than 250 species of birds, dragonflies, reptiles and native plants. The park features a 200-yard-long boardwalk with 12 viewing stations, a 50-seat teaching pavilion, a floating dock and a butterfly and sculpture garden.

Students from the SPC Seminole Environmental Club will provide assistance to visitors and answer questions during the tour.

“Having the park be a stop on the tour provides an opportunity for the public to learn more about SPC, our programs, and this great resource,” Scanlon said.

SPC students will host two question and answer sessions with Adrian Wyllie, the Libertarian candidate for Florida Governor on Sept. 23. The sessions will be:

12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
5 to 7 p.m.
ES104, Ethics and Social Sciences Building
Clearawater Campus
2465 Drew Street
Clearwater, FL 33765

Two student clubs – the Legal Studies Society and the Civics Club – have organized the events, to which all students and the public are invited. Wyllie plans to discuss his ideas and plans for higher education for the State of Florida. This is a great opportunity for all SPC students to help define this candidate’s views and plans for higher education and job opportunities for graduating students.

The college welcomes all elected officials and candidates running for office, so students can become engaged in the political process. Civics education and engagement have been the focus of ongoing efforts by the college and its Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions.

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