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Archive for the ‘SPC in the News’ Category

Acoustic guitarist Richard Gilewitz performs at the SIde Door on Aug. 9, 8 p.m.

Richard Gilewitz, Fingerstyle Guitar Wizard

The Palladium’s Side Door Cabaret was singled out as one of the top music venues in Tampa Bay in Creative Loafing: The Music Issue 2014.

Billed as a comprehensive guide to local music venues, the annual guide also highlights a handful of favorite spots including the Palladium’s Side Door Cabaret.

Likened to a New Your jazz club, the “Side Door is small, dark and intimate, with cabaret tables, a 185-person capacity, and no seats too far from the stage,” wrote David Warner.

While the Palladium’s main stage has been closed for much of the summer for expansion and upgrades, the Side Door reopens Aug. 1 with a new air conditioning system and a great summer lineup each weekend through August including:

  • The great ‘60s band Coo Coo Ca Choo
  • Bluesman Selwyn Birchwood
  • Acoustic guitar wizard Richard Gilewitz

Other recent honors

The St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce recently nominated both SPC and the Palladium as “Good ‘Burgers,” for their positive community contributions in education and arts and culture.

Related links:

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From the Tampa Tribune

The Suncoast News and the Tampa Tribune featured an information session for the Elite Educator Program that was held at the college’s Tarpon Spring Campus on July 10.

The program is a partnership between SPC and Pinellas County Schools to prepare teachers to teach grades K-6 and provides an endorsement in ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) and Reading.

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Across the Tampa Bay area, key players from St. Petersburg College, the University of South Florida and the University of Tampa are collaborating with local business and workforce groups to strengthen the area’s workforce, particularly when it comes to matching graduates with jobs. In the first of three scheduled “State of the Workforce Tampa Bay” events, local leaders identified the opportunities, challenges and solutions to improving a skilled workforce in Tampa Bay.

The in-depth panel discussion, held June 24 at the American Stage, was sponsored by the Tampa Bay Business Journal, SPC, Career Source Tampa Bay, Career Source Pinellas, Tampa Bay Partnership, Tech Data, and Modern Business Associates. Other events are planned for September and December. Staff from Collaborative Labs helped facilitate the event.

If SPC President Bill Law could “wave a magic wand,” he would like to see more high school counselors giving career guidance to students. Currently, counselors are over-burdened with other items, he said. But students need to know, at an earlier age than college, which careers have the strongest opportunities for growth.

Leaders identified several local industries that will need employees over the next five years, including:

  • advanced manufacturing
  • information technology, specifically development and cyber security
  • healthcare, particularly nursing
  • sales
  • marketing
  • data analytics
  • transportation and logistics
  • construction
  • social media

In addition, soft skills, like critical thinking and leadership, continue to dominate the list of aptitudes that employers said can make or break their interest in an applicant.

“We look for potential employees who are hungry, humble, and smart,” said Joseph H. Quaglia, President of the Americas at Tech Data.

Among the challenges facing local employers: workers are not prepared for the jobs they are hired to do. Specifically, business leaders said that students are graduating from programs without the specific skills they need to succeed in related careers. Organizations and companies then have to train graduates once they’re hired so they can keep up.

That deficit is frequently cited as one reason that businesses don’t re-locate or move jobs to the area. Area business and education leaders agreed that education programs should be more aligned with careers and that internships and apprenticeships can be critical connection points between colleges and the workforce.

Watch Jonathan Massie of Collaborative Labs discuss the white board doodle he created to capture the discussion in a video produced by the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

SPC staff Jason Krupp and Lisa Yacso contributed to this report.

 

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The future is now on St. Petersburg College’s Seminole Campus.

The recent opening of the Innovation Lab in the library at the campus drew more than 100 people, including a who’s who of college, community and tech leaders.

Creative learning environments like the lab, often called makerspaces, are growing in popularity. In SPC’s lab, instructors, students and library card holders can use the latest technology tools, including a 3D printer, Cublets KT06 modular robots and the Korg littleBits circuits in seconds kit. With the Monolith 3D printer, made locally by Free Fab 3D, users can create virtually any object through a wide variety of computer programs. In fact, much of the printer itself was created on a 3D printer.

The Cubelets modular robotics kit lets users build surprisingly complex robots out of simple parts that fit together like building blocks. The Korg littleBits kit is a do-it-yourself synthesizer used to compose original electronic music in mere seconds.

The lab also includes an iMac and a desktop running Ubuntu Linux, giving users a taste of different operating systems and the programs they offer, such as Apple’s newly released Swift programming language.

One of the computers in the lab is dedicated to podcasting and audio experiments, and has a professional grade microphone and mixer. All of this was made possible by SPC librarian Chad Mairn’s vision, a $3,500 college innovation grant and help from Seminole Campus Provost Jim Olliver.

Guests at the morning and evening grand opening parties included SPC President Bill Law, Seminole Vice Mayor Thomas Barnhorn, Seminole City Council member Patricia Plantamura, and Lance Eppley and Fri Rider, the designers of the Monolith 3D printer. Mo Eppley of the St. Pete Makers, also attended. St. Pete Makers is a non-profit group seeking to bring a high-tech makerspace to St. Petersburg.

The innovators demonstrated what the lab’s 3D printer was capable of, showing off many complex designs that were created on the Monolith such as a bearing printed as a single piece. Most importantly, members of the community – young and old – filled the lab and spilled out into the hall during the grand opening parties.

One guest, a 12-year-old Android app developer, volunteered to teach a workshop on mobile development. Mairn was quick to accept and noted that the lab will host a wide variety of workshops and guest speakers. Among them will be the creator of a makerspace in Taiwan who will connect with guests via teleconference on the lab’s smart TV and webcam.

The lab will host its first workshop on June 12, 10 a.m. – noon, on how to create a LibraryBox, a palm-sized computer designed to serve files in areas with no Internet access. The workshop is free and open to the public.

The Innovation Lab is currently seeking volunteers to help run the lab. You can apply online or by contacting Chad Mairn at 394-6917.

Check out our Facebook gallery of the Innovation Lab opening. Read coverage of the Innovation Lab in, the Tampa TribuneTMCnet.com and 83degreesmedia.com.

SPC student Chris Demmons, who writes for SPC’s student newspaper, Sandbox News, provided this report. Read his story in Sandbox News.

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The Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions will host a forum entitled “Our Families’ Four Generations: Ready or Not, Here We Are!” from 7 to 9 p.m., Tuesday, June 17, 2014, at the SPC Seminole Campus Digitorium. The forum is jointly hosted by the 4Generations Institute of Tallahassee and the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at SPC. The Tampa Bay Times is Presenting Sponsor.

4 Gen Flyer Graphic LgThe public is invited and advance registration is required at http://solutions.spcollege.edu.

Advances in medicine, workplace safety, risk management and healthy nutrition practices in the last 50 years have vastly increased life expectancy in the United States. As a result, Americans are experiencing an unprecedented demographic shift: four full generations in relatively good health living side by side.

Florida is a model of the demographic reality the nation will face in 40 years. There are currently 3.3 million Floridians, age 65-plus, living in the Sunshine State – 18 percent of the population. More than 500,000 of them are over 85. Pinellas County’s age demographics are even more tilted toward an older population: 21.5 percent of its population are 65 or older, and 4 percent are 85-plus.

How our four generations – children, parents, grandparents and super-elders – can live in harmony and mutual support is the subject of this community conversation.

A panel of experts representing programs serving each stage of life will explore how, by creative action and effective advocacy, the four generations can leverage the assets of each age group for the betterment of all.

“The needs for health care, education, family services, employment, public safety and environmental protection are best addressed through the lens of our four major age groups,” said Jack Levine, founder of 4Generations Institute. “How we address the needs of the four generations is among the most critical economic and public policy challenges for the next decade.”

The Community Conversation, moderated by Levine, will include six Pinellas County leaders whose organizations serve one or more of the four life stages:

  • Dr. Marcie Biddleman, Executive Director, Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County
  • Eileen Boyle, Executive Director, Allegany Franciscan Ministries
  • Hon. Rene Flowers, Member of the Pinellas County School Board
  • Judge Raymond Gross of the Sixth Judicial Circuit Family Court
  • Jeff Johnson, Director, AARP of Florida
  • Shannon Reid, Vice President of Education and Practice Management, Raymond James Financial

The 4Generations Institute is a non-profit organization based in Tallahassee that promotes community volunteerism for the mutual benefit of the four generations: children/youth, parents, grandparents and elders. Its goal is to identify model intergenerational programs and projects, to expand the impact of quality mentoring and volunteer initiatives and to cultivate an environment to nurture communications across the generations.

The Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College is a resource for academic enrichment, a non-partisan venue for civil, objective debate of topical public issues, a center to promote better government and a resource for sustainable economic development. Its mission is to support a broad array of research, training, educational and policy analysis and support activities at the local, state, regional and national levels.

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St. Petersburg College has joined Pinellas County Schools to create a new Elite Educator Program to change the way teachers learn to teach. The program hopes to ensure future teachers are better prepared for the classroom and begins this August.

“The Elite Educator Program is a win-win,” Law said. “Our program helps to ensure students have the content knowledge, qualifications and confidence necessary to lead an elementary classroom, laying the foundation for their career in education and possible employment with Pinellas County Schools.”

From day one, students in the program take courses designed specifically for educators, including child and adolescent development, teaching students with exceptionalities and curriculum integration. They also will make more classroom visits to obtain practical knowledge, work with a mentor and attend monthly seminars.

Graduates of the four-year program earn a bachelor of science in Elementary Education (K-6) with an endorsement in ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) and Reading. Graduates also receive an internship and a guaranteed job with Pinellas County Schools.

Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Mike Grego hopes the program meets his broader goal of attracting and retaining the best teachers for Pinellas County’s public schools.

“I believe we as practitioners need to provide greater support and input into teacher preparation programs,” Grego said. “We need to better equip student teachers with the tools they need to be successful including more relevant and substantive coursework, especially in mathematics, science, reading and writing as well as strong communication skills.”

Read recent Tampa Bay Times and Clearwater Gazette coverage of the program or download the program flier.

 

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The Tampa Bay Innovation Center, an innovation and entrepreneurship center for technology businesses, plans to open the TEC Garage, its new incubator, on the ground floor of SPC Downtown, ITBusinessNet.com reported. The tentative opening date is August. TEC Garage, which stands for Technology and Entrepreneurship Center, will house 15 to 30 startups and occupy 6,200 square feet of SPC Downtown.

“This area is a growing hub for entrepreneurship and St. Petersburg College’s Downtown Center is a great location for a business incubator,” said Tonya Elmore, president of Tampa Bay Innovation Center, in the report. “We want to give our local entrepreneurs every resource and tool they need to thrive, and believe this program will help create and keep jobs right here in our community.”

News about the incubator also was posted in Yahoo! Finance and the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

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