Archive for the ‘Campuses’ Category

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The Duke Energy Foundation has announced a $50,000 grant to the Electrical Lineworker Program at St. Petersburg College (SPC) to help meet the energy industry’s future workforce needs.

Since the program’s debut in March 2021, Duke Energy and the Duke Energy Foundation have contributed more than $350,000 to develop this workforce pipeline as well as to offer access to lineworker training and job skills opportunities. These workers, honored this week on National Lineworker Appreciation Day, help power the lives of millions across the country.

“It takes a diverse team of dedicated and talented people to power the lives of millions across our communities, often in the most difficult circumstances,” said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president. “Lineworkers consider it a privilege to serve their communities and they love what they do.”

“We are fortunate to have these passionate members on the Florida team, and we look forward to adding more,” said Seixas. “Graduates of lineworker programs at our local colleges are ideal candidates for lineworker roles at Duke Energy, and we are proud to continue to support the Electrical Lineworker Program at St. Petersburg College.”

Since partnering with SPC, more than 100 students have successfully completed the Electrical Lineworker Program. SPC President Dr. Tonjua Williams said the continued partnership will build the next generation of the workforce.

“Strengthening the talent pipeline exemplifies the college’s vision of economic mobility,” Williams said. “Without the generous contributions and continued partnership with Duke Energy, the Electrical Lineworker Program’s success would not be possible.”

As Duke Energy continues to launch new grid and infrastructure improvement projects to modernize, harden and technologically advance the power grid, the need for skilled workers – especially entry-level lineworkers – is also on the upswing. Lineworkers play an integral role in a more efficient, more reliable digital grid. 

The company’s lineworker hiring strategy is transforming to fast-track and hire more aggressively. They also collaborate with local community colleges to identify lineworker talent, shorten the new hire onboarding process and deploy new hires more rapidly.  

The 14-week program at SPC’s Allstate Center in St. Petersburg provides students with practical lineworker skills so they are job ready. The class includes certifications in Restricted Class A CDL (in partnership with Pinellas Technical College), OSHA 10 Safety Training, Bucket Truck Rescue, Pole Top Rescue, and CPR/AED & First Aid.

The Electrical Lineworker Program is made possible through valuable relationships with Duke Energy, the Pinellas County Urban League, PowerTown Line Construction, Pinellas Technical College and CareerSource Pinellas.

For more information about this program, contact Christopher Cain at 727-302-6561 or cain.christopher@spcollege.edu. All interested applicants are encouraged to apply by completing a survey at stpe.co/lineworkerprogram. Once the survey is complete, applicants will be contacted about future classes that we will be conducting interviews for and filling.

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A young boy in a dinosaur shirt works intently on gluing something small, as his young friend looks on.

St. Petersburg College is offering many opportunities for students of all ages – from kindergarteners to high school seniors. Check out the lineup of summer programs SPC has to offer this year:

College for Kids

SPC’s College for Kids offers a variety of fun, safe, and enriching programs over seven weeks for area students from kindergarten through eighth grade. College for Kids offers themed weekly experiences, including visual arts, robotics, entrepreneurship and much more. The program, which is $120 per week, runs from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Before and after care is also offered for $55 per week, beginning at 7:30 a.m. Scholarships may be available, based on financial need. Please visit their webpage to register, learn more and see a listing of classes, dates, and times.

SPC Summer Musical Theater Program

Area high school and college students can join this annual summer theater experience. This summer’s show will be The Drowsy Chaperone. Auditions will be held May 22–23 and tech interviews on May 18. Rehearsals begin May 22, with performances June 23–25. For more information, contact Scott Cooper at cooper.scott@spcollege.edu.

Summer of Success

This program, which takes place June 20–July 28, is a six-week “introduction to college” program for graduating seniors from Pinellas County high schools who are either the first in their family to attend college, are disabled or low income, or plan to enroll at SPC in the fall. With their Summer of Success scholarship, participants will be able earn college credits, become familiar with their SPC campus and the resources available to them, meet new friends and enroll in Fall Term classes. Interested seniors must apply and be accepted into the program. Learn more on our website.

The Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs® Camp

The Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs Camp introduces middle and high school students to exciting career choices in manufacturing. In hands-on activities, students create take-home projects to gain exposure to manufacturing facilities and the skills needed for high-tech manufacturing careers. Campers will receive a one-year student license for SolidWorks™ CAD software and a customized camp T-shirt. The camp runs from June 5–9, and registration is $175. Register here, and learn more by emailing Dr. Andres Cardenas-Valencia at cardenas-valencia.andres@spcollege.edu.

Green Innovations Summer Program

This program, which runs from July 10–20 at SPC’s Downtown Center, offers current high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to study Corporate Social Responsibility and work with businesses to create solutions for the planet and its people. Students will use cutting-edge technology like VR/AR and 3D printing to create real and innovative solutions to social and environmental problems. The cost is $150, and college credit may be earned if the attendee enrolls at SPC. Sign up here or email rivera.jerrick@spcollege.edu for more information.

Food Truck Boot Camp

This boot camp, offered from ­May 30–June 23, will teach how to apply the processes of developing a food truck business plan by creating a brand, name, menu and project financials, identifying funding sources and more. The program also provides a platform to pitch your concept and sell food samples at an event at the conclusion of the camp. The $462 registration fee includes preparation for the certification exam required for legal food truck operations. Students who register for Summer or Fall term courses in the SPC Business or Hospitality programs could receive a scholarship. Pre-register by completing this survey.

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Let’s get physical! Dig deep into your closets for your headbands and leg warmers – St. Petersburg College’s annual Titan Trot is rolling it back to the ’80s! This annual 5K race helps to support student scholarships at the College. 

The Titan Trot 5K is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 11, and will begin at 8 a.m. at the SPC Clearwater Campus quad and continue down a trail to Cliff Stephens Park. The race is open to the community as well as SPC students and employees, and there will be lots of fun, music and SPC swag. If you can’t make the actual race, you can sign up as a virtual runner.

Check out our Facebook event page for updates, and register online here.  

All levels are welcome, and you can run or walk.

Prices for participants are: 

  • $15 for current SPC students 
  • $30 for SPC employees & SPC Alumni 
  • $40 for the public 
  • $45 for virtual runners

All proceeds will fund SPC student scholarships. 

We are also looking for VOLUNTEERS!  If you’d like to volunteer please fill out this survey.

The race coordinators would like to thank the current 2023 sponsors, including: 

  • Green Bench Brewing Company
  • Dr. Eric Carver
  • Prestige Health & Wellness

Hope to see you on Saturday, Feb. 11!

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St. Petersburg Collegiate High Schools will open a new academy devoted to biomedical engineering technology at the St. Petersburg College Tarpon Springs Campus in Fall 2023.  

At the academy, students can complete an Associate in Science in Biomedical Engineering Technology – completely free – while earning their high school diploma. The A.S. degree trains students to meet the growing need for biomedical equipment repairers, who maintain the sophisticated medical devices that patients’ lives depend on. 

Critical needs 

A Future Florida Critical Workforce Needs Grant funded the addition of the BMET Academy. The grant supports workforce education programs in high-demand fields across the state. 

Graduates of the academy will be prepared for a reliable career in a hot job market, where they can earn an average salary of $49,910 in the United States, $47,130 in Florida and $46,620 in the Tampa Bay area. 

“It’s called ‘critical needs’ for a reason, and these are good-paying jobs,” said Jackie Skryd, Vice President of Workforce Development & Corporate Partnerships at SPC. “Our medical device field is upward of $47,000 with just a certification, and if they get a four-year degree and some experience, it’s double that.” 

The new academy joins SPC’s Collegiate High Schools ecosystem, which opened its first charter school in 2004 at the college’s St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus. A North County option in Tarpon Springs was opened in 2019, and the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) High School at the college’s Downtown Center launched in Fall 2022. The St. Petersburg/Gibbs and Tarpon Springs campus locations were designated as “A” schools by the state of Florida for the 2021-22 school year. The St. Petersburg/Gibbs location has earned an “A” from the state every year since the school opened. 

“SPC has always been proud of our Dual Enrollment offerings, which includes our Collegiate High Schools,” said Catherine Kennedy, Associate Vice President for Accelerated, Honors, International & UPC at SPC. “It is exciting to expand access now with the BMET Academy. This will allow students to simultaneously earn high school and college credentials for a faster track to employment, at no cost to them or their families. It is another way SPC continues to serve its community.” 

Critical impact

The A.S. degree in Biomedical Technology Engineering focuses on innovative technology like cybersecurity and electronic hardware used in medical devices, such as defibrillators, ventilators, patient monitors, and imaging machines. Students take classes in electronics, computers, networking, and biology. 

“Many of us have sat and watched hospital monitors display the status of ourselves or our loved ones at some point. Or we have seen these monitors on television depicting their use in saving lives.” said Sidney Martin, SPC’s Program Director of Engineering Technology. “Each monitor, life support equipment, and other crucial devices must work whenever needed. Our students in biomedical engineering technology are those individuals who keep equipment operational. Each biomedical engineering technology graduate participates in providing health care to patients and participates as a member of the caregiving team, even though they do not often work directly with patients.” 

The BMET Academy will help build a pipeline of personnel who will work within diverse settings that include health care, industry, research and educational institutions. 

“Employment opportunities for technicians are expected to expand greatly in the next decade,” said Natavia Middleton, Dean of Natural Sciences and Engineering at SPC. “This program uses a combination of cutting-edge technical tools and experienced staff to help students learn. It will not only support students by providing resources to excel, but will also create practices that will expand access to the health care field in the future.” 

Brian Bell, lead faculty for SPC’s biomedical engineering technology programs, noted the strong career preparation the program provides. 

“You get to explore health care technology with hands-on learning experiences, and take part in an internship, industry tours, professional association meetings, and technical workshops by industry leaders in the manufacturing of medical technology,” he said. “With the credentials you earn at SPC, you will be able to work in hospitals and at medical device companies, often in the information technology or electronics support technician groups in medical environments.” 

The A.S. degree includes three optional stand-alone certificates, which depend on the student’s area of focus, and transfers to SPC’s bachelor’s degree in Technology Development and Management or the Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Engineering Technology Management at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis. 

“We are really excited about creating another accelerated option for students at St. Petersburg Collegiate High School North Pinellas,” said Ryan Halstead, Principal of Collegiate High Schools North Pinellas. “The BMET program will provide students another option to pursue career opportunities through education or advance their education opportunities through a career pathway.” 

This material was fully funded by the $9 million federally funded CRRSA ESSER II – Future Florida Critical Workforce Needs Grant. 

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At St. Petersburg College’s recent Electric Vehicle and Energy Event, expert presenters and exhibits were on hand to educate attendees on many topics related to energy.

The day started off with a big welcome from Dr. Sid Martin, SPC’s Engineering, Manufacturing and Building Arts Program Director. Martin gave a talk about the history and origins of energy to throngs of Pinellas County Middle Schoolers. Afterward, presenters were stationed in rooms where anyone interested could learn about topics such as solar energy, electric vehicles and electronics. After a break in the day, events resumed at 5 p.m. for folks who wanted to stop by after work.

Outside on the shady quad lawn, electric vehicles – from bikes to Teslas to a BMW i8 – were lined up with people stationed nearby to answer questions from visitors. At another booth, visiting students, like Tyler Maebi, lined up to take a turn to experience virtual reality.

Maebi came to the event with his fellow seventh graders from Clearwater Fundamental. He said he didn’t know what to expect from the field trip, but he was pleasantly surprised.

“It’s a cool way to learn how energy works and how it benefits us,” Maebi said.

Martin said that the event, which was planned to expose current and future SPC students to new engineering arenas, was funded by a grant from Duke Energy via the SPC Foundation, which allowed funds to raise awareness of careers in energy.

“SPC wants to be in the E-vehicles arena, so this event brings focus to electric vehicles and ties in some of the programs we offer,” Martin said. “Anyone working on these e-vehicles in the future will need to know how to work with a lot of voltage, which is something we teach in our engineering technology courses.”

Martin said SPC hopes to add some new offerings in the energy field, like power engineering, certification courses, electric vehicle technology and solar programs. SPC President Dr. Tonjua Williams was on site during the morning session, checking in with the visiting middle-schoolers, as well as checking out the flashy e-vehicles on display. She said the event was a great way to teach the ways of the future.

“We are hoping to help people understand the future and the opportunities e-vehicles present,” Williams said. It’s a sign of the times – alternative forms of energy are where we’re going, and SPC is happy to be a part of it.”

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St. Petersburg College is once again offering College for Kids, a seven-week summer experience for kids in Grades K-8.

The program will offer weekly camps that explore science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM). Each week hosts a different theme. The first, beginning the week of June 6, will focus on robotics and animation, and others to follow include visual arts, music, acting and dance, foreign languages health and wellness, writing and storytelling, and career exploration. Classes will be taught by certified K-8 instructors, with specialists coming in as guest speakers to help facilitate learning in the different STEAM topics.

Program Director Dr. Yvonne Williams said the STEAM focus addresses all areas of learning and will offer maximum levels of enrichment.

“Since STEAM addresses math, science and the arts, it’s a great opportunity for kids to get a leg up on their next year of school, but in a fun learning environment,” Williams said. “Since we’re located in Downtown St. Pete, we’ll be surrounded by art galleries, architecture and lots of building sites for kids to see in real life what they’re being taught in theory.”

Located at SPC’s Downtown Center in St. Petersburg, the programs will run from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. each day. The weekly fee of $120 covers free extended care from 7:30-9 a.m. and 3-5 p.m. each day, as well as all field trips and a camp T-shirt. Campers should bring their own sack lunch, and water and healthy snacks will be provided.

“Since the program is partially funded, we were able to offer it at a very competitive price,” Williams said. “And it’s even better when you consider the free extended care. We just didn’t want price to be a huge barrier.”

Williams said enrollment will be limited to 20 children per grade level, with each age group being self-contained.

“Limiting enrollment allows us to have low student to teacher ratios,” Williams said. “Not only will this help kids learn, but we’re also still trying to be safe and make sure kids stay healthy. COVID restrictions may be lifted, but we still want parents to feel comfortable.”

College for Kids offers fun, enrichment, and much more, according to Williams.

“It exposes our young people – and their families – to life on a college campus,” she said. “We hope this will plant a seed in their minds that college is attainable for everyone.”

Anyone interested can register here, or contact Williams for questions at Williams.Yvonne@spcollege.edu.

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.” These sentiments align perfectly with St. Petersburg College’s mission, vision and values, so it’s no surprise that SPC celebrated King’s birthday with the community. SPC began the festivities with a food giveaway on Friday, January 14 and took part in St. Petersburg’s MLK Day Parade on Monday, January 18.

SPC partnered with Farmshare to host the food giveaway on the college’s St. Petersburg/Gibbs campus. More than 100 SPC students, faculty and staff members volunteered shoulder to shoulder, serving up boxes of food that included beef, chicken and fish, as well as produce, grains and bread to more than 500 local families in need.

“Often, it’s canned foods and produce, but there was a really great bag of goodies this time,” said Tara Newsom, Director of SPC’s Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement.

Newsom said that community service has become a part of the college’s culture, and the effects of that could be seen in the volunteers on site that day.

“We took time to do the Day of Service, but these are the things we do every day,” she said. “I saw SPC faculty, staff and students offering their time, along with our community partners and our alumni, who are everywhere from the free clinic to the mayor’s office to local business owners and more. It’s a powerful testament to what we’re trying to teach our students: to give back to the community.”

At the food drive, it wasn’t just the givers and the takers – Newsom said many people in need of a food donation also volunteered.

“It was so powerful to see people who needed support serving others,” Newsom said. That was probably one of our best MLK Days of Service, ever.”

On Monday, dozens of Titans showed up early on a chilly, windy morning to help decorate the float with garland and load it up with beads to pass to the crowds. SPC Recruiter Joven Jocelyn volunteered to DJ on the float.

“Joven not only played great music, but he also encouraged parade-goers to get their education and challenged them to register,” said Jason Nicholson, SPC Student Life and Leadership Coordinator. “It was a real highlight for everyone.”

SPC senior Charlotte Finnical took part in both the Day of Service as well as the parade. She believes SPC’s MLK Day activities were a worthy tribute.

“The college did a really good job celebrating Dr. King’s birthday,” she said. “The Day of Service really celebrated his emphasis on community connections, and on Monday, we just celebrated his life and impact along with the rest of the community. SPC is all about those connections.”

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Rayonne Berry, a senior at Disston Academy, has always dreamed of being a Florida A&M University Rattler. She recently visited St. Petersburg College’s Gibbs Campus for a morning of FAMU swag, music and information, where she learned about the Ignite program, which allows students to start at SPC and transfer to FAMU after earning an Associate Degree.

“I’ve always wanted to go to FAMU since I was 10, she said. “And I like the Ignite program because I can stay close to home until I’m ready to transfer.”

The Ignite program offers degrees in Accounting, Biology, Criminal Justice, Journalism, Mechanical Engineering and Pre-Physical Therapy.

While at SPC, Ignite students are supported by dedicated advisors at both SPC and FAMU, getting support in a smaller setting at SPC that will ensure their success at university. The degree pathways are prescribed, so no time or money is wasted on any classes that won’t transfer. Students also save money, because tuition at SPC is about half that of a state university. Lakewood High School junior Makeiha Smith, who wants to be a journalist, said the savings were attractive, as well as the support offered at SPC.

“It’s about the funds,” Smith said. “I can save money those first two years, and be prepared to pay for FAMU, but at SPC, I’ll also be learning what I’ll need to be successful at FAMU.”

Lorisha Biddines, now a Senior Accountant at SPC, graduated from FAMU in 2001. She says the strong pride Rattlers feel is because they believe in their alma mater.

“We’re proud of our school, and we brag because it really is something magical,” Biddines said. “There are so many different types of people there, and everybody brings their culture to make one big family.”

SPC Mathematics Chair Joy Moore, FAMU class of ’94, agreed.

“We say FAMUly, and it truly is,” Moore said. “You feel it the moment you step foot on campus. Everybody comes from different places but share the same goal.”

The event began with a welcome from SPC President Dr. Tonjua Williams, the students heard from several FAMU dignitaries, including College President Dr. Larry Robinson. Then, students were treated to an incredible performance by the FAMU Connection, a group of students and staff who sing and dance, offering an energizing performance to outline FAMU’s virtues. Before being served lunch, students got information about FAMU, as well as about the Ignite program.

FAMU Connection

Robinson touted FAMU’s offerings, as well as the opportunities offered by the Ignite program.

“We take our motto, ‘Excellence with character,’ seriously,” he said. “We care about you – the world cannot afford for you not to be successful.”

Learn more about the Ignite program at St. Petersburg College here.

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St. Petersburg College will be hosting a series of fun Open House events over the next few weeks that are open invitations to one and all to visit campuses for fun, free events and, at the same time, learn more about college life at SPC.

Fun is definitely the headliner for the series of events, which include game nights, a men’s basketball game, movies on the lawn and a Greek festival. During each Open House, visitors can take a campus tour to see landmarks and available resources.

“Visitors can see classrooms, labs and different programs specific to each of the campuses,” Director of Recruitment Services Jacob Wortock said. “Every campus is different, and the programs look a little different.”

Attendees can also find out what clubs and organizations the campuses offer, and there will be just about any type of resource on hand to answer questions.

“We’ll have some academic program leaders their, as well as people from Admissions, Advising, Financial Aid and Recruitment,” Wortock said. “And everyone who comes will have an opportunity to fill out an application, with staff on hand to help them.”

Wortok said the events will hold relevance for current students as well as future Titans.

“We designed the Open Houses to make sure there’s something for everybody,” Wortok said. “It’ll be a fun, low pressure way to come out and see all we offer at SPC and have some fun in the process.”

Check out the lineup:

SPC Game Night at the Downtown Center
November 9, 5:30 p.m.

SPC Game Night at the Midtown Center
November 16, 5:30 p.m.

SPC Men’s Basketball Game at St. Pete/Gibbs Campus gymnasium
November 17 at 4:30 p.m. (Game starts at 7 p.m.)

Greek Festival at the Clearwater Campus
November 18 12-2 p.m.

Movie on the Lawn at the Seminole Campus
November 18 at 5:30 p.m.

Winter Wonderland and Movie at Tarpon Springs Campus
December 9 at 5:30 p.m.

Learn more and save your spot here.

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A new Duke Energy grant will strengthen St. Petersburg College’s mission to fill local jobs by training the future workforce.

Duke Energy is currently investing in workforce programs in the energy sector to help build the next generation workforce, as well as create access to training and job skills programs that meet community needs. Duke Energy’s recent $50,000 donation to the college’s Foundation for the Electrical Lineworker program is the latest contribution to the partnership between Duke and St. Petersburg College.

SPC’s Lineworker Program, a 14-week program at SPC’s Allstate Center in St. Petersburg, partially funded by an initial $100,000 grant from Duke Energy, debuted in March 2021 and graduated its first cohort in May 2021. Florida has the fourth highest number of lineworker jobs in the nation, with a median salary around $53,000 a year.  

The Lineworker program is just one of SPC’s programs that offer fast training in dozens of different programs, where students can be ready to work in high-demand jobs with great pay in just a few weeks. Almost 1000 students have taken advantage of Rapid Credentialing opportunities since June 2020, with well over a half a million dollars in scholarships offered to almost half of those students.  

“These programs have already made a tangible impact on the community and several different industries in the region,” Jason Boys, SPC’s Director of Workforce Education, said.

Boys said the Duke Energy grant will further strengthen an impactive program.

“The original 100k was great for building the training yard and purchasing equipment and setting up dedicated classrooms,” Boys said. “We can use the $50,000 to continue construction and grow the training yard. A large portion will go to direct student support, like climbing boots, protective gear and more. This new grant speaks to Duke’s dedication to the sustainability of the program.”

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