Archive for the ‘Job Training’ Category

Since launching in Fall 2012, the Tampa Bay Hi-Tech Training (HITT) program at St. Petersburg College has helped 68 previously unemployed IT professionals find jobs.

The training program, funded by a $3.8 million federal grant, offers paid tuition, books and fees for certification training in information technology and telecommunications to the long-term, under- and unemployed in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.

A total of 187 residents have enrolled in the program, and 125 have completed training. Programs are offered in computer support, programming and database administration through Corporate Training and the College of Computer and Information Technology. Applicants apply through CareerSource Pinellas.

“We’re extremely excited about helping students in their job search,” said James Connolly, director of Corporate Training at SPC.

Though the objective of the HITT Grant Program is to help the unemployed get back to work quickly, the program also “helps students get the skills they need to move up in the IT field,” said, Marie Couch, coordinator of the HITT grant program at SPC.

“The Tampa Bay Hi-Tech Training Program provides technology training to eligible individuals interested in an IT career for the skill upgrades needed to obtain the industry certifications employers require,” said Michelle Schultz, CareerSource Program Director. “The program delivers fast-track courses, certification assistance and job placement services to support students in reaching the next level of their career.”

Phil Kuligowski earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of South Florida before pursuing his Cisco Certified Network Associate certificate at SPC through HITT.

“SPC has been extremely supportive of my advancement in the IT field,” said Phil Kuligowski, who is now working at Cisco Systems as an Associate Systems Engineer. “I was able to get support through the HITT program to work towards my CCNA Certification. Having student loans, little money, and no prior work experience made it extremely difficult to accomplish much of anything. With their help, a passion for networking, and excellent career advisement, I was able to complete my certifications and get superior support as I applied for various jobs.”

Part of that support came from a newly hired Career Outreach Specialist, who helps students with interview skills, resume writing and job referrals. Once students complete their training, often in as little as eight weeks, they receive a certificate and a voucher to take industry certification exams. Students begin the program with agile development training, which is used in project management and team building, and ranks as the most needed job skill based on a recent IT Skills Gap Analysis.

Potential applicants can apply for CompTIA A+ Helpdesk, CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA Healthcare IT Technician programs through Aug. 26.

Training for a Growing Career

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the information technology industry are expected to increase 16% percent by the year 2021. The fastest growing occupations will be computer support specialists (14%), systems analysts (20%), computer engineers (32%) and database administrators (20%). Comparatively, IT occupations across Florida and the Tampa Bay Region will grow at a much higher pace over the next 10 years (22% and 20%, respectively). The median hourly wage for the industry in this region was $29.55 in 2011.

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Explore a high-tech career in manufacturingSt. Petersburg College kicks off its advanced manufacturing training programs July 16 with the first of 10 information sessions. The training is part of SPC’s new partnership with local manufacturing company LumaStream that will bring high-tech job opportunities and hands-on manufacturing training to the Midtown area of St. Petersburg.

LumaStream, which manufactures innovative Intelligent LED lighting systems, is moving a production facility to the Midtown area. SPC, as the lead institution in the Florida TRADE Consortium, will use the LumaStream facilities to offer training that can lead to an entry-level job with the company or with another advanced manufacturing institution. Read related news stories.

Prospective students will attend an information session to learn about:

  • Manufacturing careers
  • Training program overview and requirements
  • Training program start dates
  • Florida TRADE

Information Session Schedule

Register online for any of the upcoming information sessions:

  • Tuesday, July 16, 5-7 p.m., SPC Downtown, DC 124
  • Thursday, July 18, 2-4 p.m., SPC Midtown, MT 102
  • Tuesday, July 23, 5-7 p.m., St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, TE 128
  • Thursday, July 25, 2-4 p.m., SPC Downtown, DC 124
  • Tuesday, July 30, 5-7 p.m., SPC Midtown, MT 102
  • Thursday, Aug. 1, 5-7 p.m., Clearwater Campus, ES 111
  • Tuesday, Aug. 6, 10 a.m.-noon, SPC Downtown, DC 124
  • Thursday, Aug. 8, 5-7 p.m., Seminole Campus, UP 176
  • Tuesday, Aug. 13, 10 a.m.-noon, SPC Midtown, MT 102
  • Thursday, Aug. 15, 5-7 p.m., Tarpon Springs Campus, FA 132

Program Qualifications

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or trust territories (If not a citizen, documentation that shows you have the legal right to work in the U.S.)
  • Pass the Florida Ready to Work Assessment


For more information, contact Marta Przyborowski at 727-341-7973 or Dr. Gary Graham at 727-791-2478 or visit the Florida TRADE website at www.fltrade.org.

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Several media organizations, including TBNweekly.com, have reported on the partnership between St. Petersburg College and local manufacturing company LumaStream.

LumaStream, which manufactures innovative intelligent LED lighting systems, is moving a production facility to St. Petersburg’s midtown area. SPC, as the lead institution in the Florida Trade Consortium, will use these facilities to offer training that can lead to an entry-level job with the company or with another advanced manufacturing institution.

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No fooling. It’s no joke. This is serious training.

St. Petersburg College’s Learn to Earn program will offer free classes to the public on April 1. Tell your friends and register now.

The hour-long classes provide education in programs and skills used routinely in today’s workforce, including design and business writing.

Classes include:

  • Adobe Acrobat Tips and Tricks
  • Adobe Illustrator Tips and Tricks
  • Adobe InDesign Tips and Tricks
  • Adobe Photoshop Tips and Tricks
  • Business Communication Skills
  • Business Writing Tips
  • Career Readiness
  • Excel Overview
  • MAC OS Overview
  • Overview of a Career in Assisted Living Facilities
  • PowerPoint Overview
  • Professionalism in the Workplace Overview
  • Resume Writing
  • Word Overview

The classes will be held at the EpiCenter and filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit the college’s website to get information on class times and registration.

Get more information on SPC’s Learn to Earn program and the wide variety of training and courses available on the college’s website.

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SPC was recently chosen to join the Plus 50 Encore Completion Program, a national effort to train 10,000 baby boomers for new jobs in health care, education and social services. The program is sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

“SPC will offer older adults the opportunity to obtain a college level certificate in several health care professions,” said Dr. Sheila Newberry, Program Director for the Health Information Management programs.

SPC looks forward to the association with this nationwide initiative to assist age 50+ adults with the opportunity to attend college and train for a new or better career.

The college is located in a community where almost a quarter of the population is currently over 50 years of age. It is well situated to provide learning opportunities and continuing education for older adults. Joining the Plus 50 Encore Completion program will greatly assist SPC in providing efficient and effective educational experiences to age 50+ learners with various training options in the field of healthcare.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of adults over age 55 in the workforce will grow to 25 percent in 2020, up from 13 percent in 2000.

Through the grant, SPC will receive $15,000 over three years to assist adults age 50 and older in completing an advanced certificate in health care. The program targets professionals already working in health who want to enhance their current credentials.

The grant program prepares older adults for careers as certified health data analysts, a job that will continue to grow as the health care industry becomes more data-driven. The certification gives practitioners the knowledge to acquire, manage, analyze, interpret and transform data into accurate, consistent and timely information.

SPC is one of 36 new colleges recently selected for the project. Since 2008, AACC and its network of Plus 50 Initiative colleges have worked with baby boomers and helped them prepare for new careers.

“Many adults age 50 and over want to train for new jobs that help others and are hiring, but they need to update their skills. Community colleges offer a supportive environment where baby boomers can train for new jobs quickly and affordably, while completing a marketable degree or certificate,” said Mary Sue Vickers, director for the Plus 50 Initiative at AACC.

In addition to receiving grant funds to augment training programs, participating colleges gain access to toolkits and extensive marketing resources tailored to reach baby boomers. They’ll also benefit from the advice and support of staff at other community colleges that have successfully implemented programs for older learners and understand the unique needs of the plus 50 student population.

The Plus 50 Encore Completion Program is funded with a $3.2 million grant to AACC provided by Deerbrook Charitable Trust. The Plus 50 Encore Completion program supports AACC’s work to increase the number of students who finish degrees, certificates, and other credentials.  In April 2010, AACC committed alongside other higher education organizations to promote the development and implementation of policies, practices and institutional cultures that will produce 50 percent more students with high quality degrees and certificates by 2020.

Get more information about the Plus 50 Initiative at AACC.

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Watch a video of the presentation at SPC’s Clearwater Campus.

See photos from the presentation on the college’s Facebook page.

For more information, view a fact sheet about the plan.

See the list of 2012 TAACCCT grants by state.

Media coverage:
Bay News 9
ABC Action News
Tampa Bay Times

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis announced $500 million worth of grants impacting almost 300 community colleges nationwide Wednesday from the Clearwater Campus, including a grant of $15 million to a consortium headed by St. Petersburg College.

The Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grants allow community colleges and employers to work together to build a skilled workforce in fields such as advanced manufacturing, transportation and health care, as well as science, technology, engineering and math occupations.

The grant proposed by SPC and its partners will build a statewide training system for advanced manufacturing jobs in high demand, such as specialized welders, machinists and technicians.

The training will focus on Florida workers who lost their jobs or are at risk of losing their jobs as a result of foreign trade, as well as veterans returning from service and workers in need of skills upgrades to remain in the workforce.

“This grant will put all the key players on the same team, working for a common goal,” Solis said. “People will go back to school if they know it is affordable and they know they can get a job when they graduate.”

President Bill Law and Broward College President David Armstrong began forming the coalition a year ago. Both serve on Workforce Florida. “We are well aware of the importance of manufacturing in our state,” Law said.

The grant, he said, helps the state combine its resources for a cohesive statewide effort to train critical workers for the manufacturing sector.

The grant is one of the largest ever awarded to SPC. It is the result of a collaboration among 12 Florida community colleges, businesses, workforce and economic development and community organizations, through the leadership of Law and Broward College President David Armstrong.

“We determined what resources existed that we could build from – since we know that once this money goes away, we want to be able to sustain our efforts,” said Jackie Skryd, director of grant development at SPC. “How do we build capacity?  The funds will cover development of the infrastructure needed to share these resources, train faculty and expand business relationships for jobs and internships – not just cover unsustainable costs like tuition and fees.”

Over the four years of the grant, 2,600 newly skilled workers are expected to be trained, employed and advanced up the career ladder.

The training, Solis said, “is a ticket to employment.”

The plan, formally called Florida TRADE (Transforming Resources for Accelerated Degrees and Employment) in Advanced Manufacturing, targets training of individuals with a range of skills. Participants can enter and exit the non-credit, industry-recognized certification training at different stages. They can continue to build on one skill and eventually earn a traditional degree or they can add different skills at the same level.

Each participant’s current skills will be evaluated so that prior knowledge can be recognized, allowing them to earn certification or a degree more quickly.

Participants across the state will have access to universal online courses, paired with hands-on training and internships specific to their areas of study.

About 40 industry leaders, including Conmed Linvatec, Jabil, Coca Cola and Mosaic, already are part of the partnership and have identified areas of worker shortage.

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Changes to rules for a Department of Veterans Affairs job-training program for unemployed veterans will allow St. Petersburg College and other community colleges to take part, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Wording in rules for the program, set to launch July 1, would have left most of the state’s community colleges, including SPC, ineligible to participate, according to the article published Friday. However, after a complaint by Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor, vice chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, the VA changed the rules of the program, the newspaper reported. That change will allow community colleges offering a limited number of bachelor’s degrees to take part in the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program or VRAP.

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Danielle Zupansic with son Bradley Zupansic

Danielle Zupansic with son Bradley Zupansic

When Public Policy and Administration senior Danielle Zupansic spoke before the Belleair Town Commission Jan. 17, she wasn’t expecting to be offered an internship. The 24-year-old single mother addressed the commission and 175 attendees regarding the future of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel in a three-minute speech that was met by applause from pro- and anti-Belleview Biltmore participants.

After her presentation, Zupansic was approached by J.P. Murphy, Assistant Town Manager for the Town of Belleair.

“We talked a bit about it and he asked if I would be interested in an internship,” Zupansic said.

On Friday, Feb. 16, she will fill out paperwork for the internship and begin working for the Town of Belleair in an ongoing assignment.

“They’ve mentioned some projects I’ll be helping work on, such as the water system and disaster plans for the Town of Belleair,” she said. “If I do a good enough job, it might be kind of a career. It’s all happening so fast. I just spoke at the meeting about a month ago, and now it’s turned into something much bigger.”

Zupansic was only two weeks into her Policy Leadership class when Instructor Jeffery Kronschnabl mentioned the commission meeting, which was geared to provide opposing sides an opportunity to speak about the future of the ailing historic hotel.

Kronschnabl was looking for a student to speak about the topic at one of the council’s future meetings, giving the student ample time to prepare and present during class sessions. An ordinarily shy Zupansic surprised herself and her instructor by volunteering to speak that night.

“It was a topic that I was interested in,” she said. “It was sooner than I expected to get up and speak, but I figured you have to take your opportunities when they come up.”

The rest of the class was spent working together to help Zupansic brainstorm questions and an approach that would be appropriate for the meeting.

“It’s kind of a collaborative thing, which is part of what the class is about,” Zupansic said. “The class addresses collaborative leadership, trying to teach us about what is important about being a leader of public policy. It was still intimidating, but I felt more prepared.”

Kronschnabl partly attributes the success of her speech to her approach and understanding of collaborative partnerships.

“The government wants it, citizens want it; we just need to nudge them a little and take them there, and she took them there in her speech,” he said. “I expected her to get a good response, but I did not expect her to get a job offer on the spot. It truly is outstanding.”

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St. Petersburg College will receive $1.25 million in federal grant funding from the U.S. Department of Labor through the Tampa Bay H-1B Technical Skills Training program.

The program, the result of a partnership with WorkNet Pinellas, BayCare Health System and Tampa Bay WorkForce Alliance, received a grant totaling $4.8 million to prepare the local workforce for careers in health care through education, technical skills training and credentialing.

“What it’s going to do is give individuals the opportunity to gain specific skills and certificates and degrees in nursing and some other health care areas so that they can have the opportunity to go into highly-skilled jobs,” said Phil Nicotera, Provost, Caruth Health Education Center.

The two types of career pathways in this initiative include:

  • The Pre-College Bridge Program: To provide lower-skilled adults with credit for occupational training through academic advising.
  • The Post-Secondary Education and Training Program: To upgrade skills and attain industry recognized credentials. Included in the post-secondary career pathway will be community college education for nursing students to complete an Associate Degree in nursing (ADN) and/or a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN) at St. Petersburg College.

“The job market out there will vary at any time of the year in health care, so this program will have a positive impact,” Nicotera said.

“We’ll be hiring people to coordinate the training, develop curriculum and provide a lot of support services for these students along the way to make sure that they succeed,” said Stan Vittetoe, Provost of the Clearwater Campus who also serves as Vice President for WorkForce. “There’s a portion of the funding that will go to create these cohorts of incumbent workers to support them while they’re doing the training.

“What we’ll be doing is moving them along the career ladder in health care,” Vittetoe said. “The long term effect is that if you move a person up to a higher position, it creates a slot below them, which ends up creating another entry-level job somewhere along the pipeline.”

As a part of the grant, BayCare Health System, the leading not-for-profit health care system in the Tampa Bay area, is anticipated to hire 475 previously unemployed or under-employed graduate nurses in the next three years that will participate in the Primary Preceptor Program (paid work experience) for their orientation. Through this model, BayCare will be able to increase the number of graduate nurses employed by at least 10 percent.

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