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Archive for the ‘career services’ Category

The SPC Workforce Institute has partnered with CareerSource Pinellas to assist individuals with their re-employment and training needs by opening a new CareerSource Center at the SPC EpiCenter.

The grand opening will be at 8 a.m. Monday, Jan. 13 at the SPC EpiCenter, room 1-401, 13805 58 St. N., Clearwater. Throughout the day, community members can attend several free workshops including:

  • Resume Development at 10:15 a.m.
  • SPC Workforce Institute Information Session from noon at 1 p.m.
  • Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) Information Session at 1 p.m.

“The Workforce Hub will serve as a one-stop shop for people in the community seeking to either enter the workforce or obtain additional skills in order to advance within their current career field,” said SPC Dean of Workforce Michael Ramsey. “Our partnership with CareerSource will help to ensure that individuals in our community receive the resources needed to overcome some of the barriers impeding them from completing education, and training programs leading to greater economic mobility.”

“Workers and business are at the heart of CareerSource Pinellas,” said CareerSource Pinellas CEO Jennifer Brackney. “We are excited about the opportunity to enhance and expand workforce services that help to create a better-skilled workforce. This gives workers a clearer pathway to higher-paying jobs and businesses a more direct connection to a talent pipeline of qualified candidates.”

The new center will provide career planning services for professional and entry-level candidates. Some of the resources offered at the center will include career orientation, job search assistance, interview techniques, professional networking opportunities and more.

Hours of operation will be 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday.

To learn more about the SPC Workforce Institute’s short-term training and CareerSource resources, contact Sondra Seiter at seiter.sondra@spcollege.edu.

Flier for CareerSource Pinellas Center Grand Opening

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Usually, St. Petersburg College grad Colin Treneff didn’t pay attention to job fairs, but something led him to attend one of the hiring events hosted at the Seminole Campus. There, he was pleased to meet with representatives from a local law firm, who offered the recent Digital Arts graduate an internship making videos for their marketing team. Treneff said he is gaining new experience, and the hands-on experience he earned at SPC more than prepared him to do the job.

“The Digital Arts facilities at Seminole rivals that of local news stations,” he said. “And the support from faculty and staff was incredible.”

Treneff’s was only one of the stories shared by a student panel made up of current students and graduates of SPC’s Career and Technical Education programs at the annual Workforce Connections event. Workforce Connections is a joint-advisory committee gathering where all members are invited to attend, and local business leaders learn about the ways SPC students can fill their job openings – as well as how they can inform SPC’s programs and curriculum. Career Connections Director Jason Krupp said Workforce Connections provides an opportunity to unify collegewide efforts for a common goal.

“The call to action is for advisory committee members to define and commit how they will engage with the college community,” Krupp said. “In turn, the college stands ready to connect them with SPC teams who will facilitate their participation.”

In his welcome, Krupp thanked the group for making sure our students get experiences and opportunities they need to complete their educations and become employed. SPC President Dr. Tonjua Williams served as keynote speaker, noting in her address rising unemployment and poverty rates and a decrease in the number of citizens who can afford housing in Pinellas County. Williams said that Workforce Connections is the key to ensuring that SPC reduces the number of under-educated and under-employed people in Pinellas County and implored guests to communicate their needs to the college.

“Thanks for coming today and investing in our students,” Williams said. “Advisory committees lead us and let us know what programs we should or should not be offering. We cannot do what we do without you. No suggestion you could make would be wrong. What would be wrong would be what you don’t say. Our students need you.”

Chris Paul, Manager of Information Systems at Melita and Chair of SPC’s College of Computer Information Systems Advisory Committee, encouraged everyone to continue their support by serving on advisory committees.

“It is an obligation and professional responsibility to ensure that this school teaches relevant skillsets,” Paul said. “It’s also an opportunity to give back, and the network I’ve gained is tremendous.”

Michelle Hentz-Prange, Human Resources Manager at TSE Industries serves on the Engineering Technology Advisory Committee. She addressed the crowd, noting the many SPC students who turned their internships at TSE into careers, as well as the value of serving on an SPC advisory committee.

“It’s a win/win,” she said. “As a local employer, it’s great to be able to support an educational institution while making connections with future employees.”

Maureen Lucido, Area Human Resource Director with Hyatt Hotels, said she attended the event because she wants to hire SPC students as interns with the hotel chain.

“It’s an opportunity to give students the chance to see the great pay and benefits Hyatt has to offer them in the hospitality industry,” she said.

The student voices rounded out the session, which was followed by advisory committee meetings. The student panel was made up of DeeAnne Brooks, who is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Biology, Dane Janssen, an Information Technology student, Fatima Hedeia, a Human Services student and Colin Treneff, a recent Digital Arts graduate. The group, moderated by Public Safety, Public Policy and Legal Studies Dean Susan Demers, discussed how internships had increased their knowledge and led to employment.

“As employers engage further with the college to guide programs to meet industry needs, students gain the skills and experiences necessary to join the workforce,” Krupp said. “Employers get the talent they need and students get the jobs they want.”

Hedeia interned as an assistant to the director of the Homeless Empowerment Project, where she said she got insight into the real needs of the homeless population. Brooks scored an internship with Solar Source and was offered a job, though she turned it down so that she could complete her bachelor’s degree. Brooks implored the audience to give interns a chance.

“Believe in us,” she said. “We really want to make an effort to be great in the community.”

Interested in becoming an Advisory Committee member? Find out more here.

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As baby boomers, the largest American generation to date, begin retiring, they are leaving looming gaps in the workforce. The departures have drawn media attention to the growing number of openings in the Tampa Bay area for public servants, specifically in public safety, policy and utilities.

In the City of St. Petersburg, for instance, nearly a quarter of the police force is currently eligible to retire. And when veteran officers leave, they take institutional knowledge with them.

St. Petersburg College is working closely with cities, counties, municipalities and companies to train and expose its students to the diversity of jobs available in the public utilities, public safety and public policy sectors.

SPC Career Exploration Event

public sector jobsRecently, more than 100 people attended SPC’s Public Utilities Career Exploration event at the Seminole Campus, where they learned about current and future career openings, training requirements, salaries and scholarship opportunities.

The annual career exploration event began a few years ago with a focus on job opportunities for students in SPC’s A.S. degree program in environmental science, but has expanded to include public policy students. The college eventually plans to hold the event twice a year and include students in information technology.

“The event illustrates a strong partnership between educators and local industries to inform students and the public of career opportunities in our region,” said Jason Krupp, director of Workforce Services for SPC. “It is very rewarding to help connect students with real opportunities in a sector they may not have considered otherwise.”

Job openings in public utilities

One of the most diverse departments in any municipality, public utilities positions range from mechanics and equipment operators to lab techs, biologists and chemists to accountants, marketers and attorneys. In St. Petersburg, Water Resources is the city’s largest operation and provides potable water distribution, wastewater (sewage) collection, treatment and disposal, and reclaimed water for irrigation purposes to city residents.

“Because water is a limited natural resource with increasing demand and regulation, there is a strong future need for skilled workers in public utilities,” Krupp said.

City of Seminole to hire SPC public policy students

Seminole City Manager Frank Edmunds recognized this need and recently announced an agreement with SPC to hire one SPC public policy student or graduate each year for the next 10 years. This agreement is a testament of the high-quality instruction and career preparation provided by SPC faculty and staff.

The trainee will work their way through four departments: administration, public safety, community development and public works, to receive exposure to and specialized experience in the various areas of city government.

Public safety training

Over at SPC’s Allstate Center, students can enter a training academy to become a police or corrections officer or firefighter, move up in their career by earning an academic degree or take mandatory and specialized training available for emergency and first responders, military personnel, public safety, emergency management and judicial professionals and even the general public.

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SPC Career Service Employee Retiree Emeritus Luncheon recognized seven outstanding retired Career Service employees. From left: Jim Moorhead, Shirley Bell, Sherry Armstrong, JR Lenges, Joseph Smith, Harry Berger and Morrie Johnson.

From left: Jim Moorhead, Shirley Bell, Sherry Armstrong, JR Lenges, Joseph Smith, Harry Berger and Morrie Johnson.

St. Petersburg College celebrated the third annual Career Service Employee Retiree Emeritus Luncheon on Wednesday, Feb. 25. The event, which highlights retired Career Service staff, is one of the college’s efforts to recognize the valued contributions of employees through the years and was organized by members of the Career Service Employee Council.

The seven honorees were nominated by current SPC Career Service employees. Honorees had to have worked for the college for a minimum of 10 years and made significant contributions to the college during the time of their employment. Together, they worked at SPC for more than 165 years.

This year’s honorees include:

  • Sherry Armstrong
  • Shirley Bell
  • Harry Berger
  • Morrie Johnson
  • JR Lenges
  • Jim Moorhead
  • Joseph Smith

JR Lenges, who helped get the event off the ground when it began three years ago, said he was excited and touched to have been nominated.

“It’s a great feeling. Words can’t describe it,” said Lenges, who retired in June 2014 after 40 years of service at SPC. “It was really extra special to know that the ceremony carried on after I retired and hopefully it will for years to come.”

Known for often speaking out on behalf of students in need, Lenges used his moment in the spotlight to speak in order to encourage other employees and retirees to give back to the college through scholarships for its students. With his sister, Jeanne Coffin, Lenges presented Frances Neu, Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the SPC Foundation, with a check to create the new John and Mayzetta Lenges Memorial Scholarship.

Lenges and his two sisters, Coffin and Pam Overton, donated the money in order to create a new annual scholarship. The fund will alternate each year to provide support to students in the fire science and nursing programs. The scholarship honors his father, who served as a fireman, and his mother, who worked as a nurse.

Another annual recognition ceremony by the college for retired employees includes the annual Professors Emeriti, which honors exceptional faculty members who are nominated by current faculty and staff.

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SPC graduate Bryan Calhoun works at LumaStream, an LED manufacturing company in St. Petersburg.

SPC graduate Bryan Calhoun works at LumaStream, an LED manufacturing company in St. Petersburg.

St. Petersburg College joins the Florida Department of Education in celebrating Florida Career and Technical Education Month. In honor of the observance, Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued a proclamation that highlights career and technical education opportunities throughout the state.

SPC’s workforce associate degrees and certificate programs prepare workers for jobs that are among the fastest growing in a number of industries. It is one of 12 state and community colleges in the state that are part of the Florida TRADE Consortium, delivering accelerated training that leads to internships and jobs in manufacturing.

According to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Employment Projections Data, by the year 2022 Pinellas County employment in the following careers is expected to grow by the following estimated percentage:

The college also offers training programs for nearly half of the jobs listed in The 100 Best Jobs of 2015 report by US News & World Report.

According to the Florida Department of Education, more than 500,000 Florida students are enrolled in secondary and postsecondary career and technical education programs and job preparation programs.

“It’s critical that we provide Florida students a high-quality education that will prepare them for the jobs of the 21st century,” Scott said. “Career and technical education programs across the state are helping our students gain the skills and training they need to be successful now and in the future. Increased funding will help our schools better respond to the workforce needs in their communities.”

In January, Scott announced the 2015-16 “Keep Florida Working” budget proposal, which includes a $30 million for a new STEM-focused occupation workforce training initiative and $5 million to incentivize $10,000 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degrees at state colleges.

It has been a focus of SPC to make higher education more affordable and results-oriented. In November 2012, the college became the first state college to accept the “Governor’s $10,000 Degree Challenge” and created a $10,000 tech management degree program.

The governor’s proposed budget also includes a $41 million tax cut for college textbooks and an expansion to the Bright Futures Scholarship program. The January 2015 Florida College System newsletter says the price of college textbooks has continued to increase over the years, often exceeding $100 per book, and estimates that a student taking five courses per term will save, at minimum, $60 per year.

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When employees and guests enter the spacious lobby of Tech Data’s home office in Clearwater, motivational posters tower overhead.

Those messages – EXTRAORDINARY begins today and Go after it! – greeted St. Petersburg College students earlier this month.

The students got a first-hand look at what it would be like to be one of the more than 9,000 employees working worldwide for Tech Data and 26 other local companies during SPC’s National Job Shadowing Week, Feb. 2-6.

Ryan McNulty, Talent Acquisition Partner, for Tech Data’s Campus Relations department, works behind the scenes to make events like this happen for students from colleges and universities throughout Florida.

“The best part of working at Tech Data is that I get to be in a real corporate environment with access to a lot of executives and important decision makers that you don’t get in other companies,” he said.

Events like these often help students confirm a career path or area of study.

“After this experience, I am convinced that Human Resources is where I belong,” said Carol Hill, after job shadowing at Tech Data. “I am glad I was provided with an insight in Talent Acquisition Partner/Campus Relations.  I was also grateful to have learned the Human Resource Generalist role and to have had a chance to take the tour of Tech Data.”

Tech Data is one of the world’s largest distributors of IT products and services, ranking No. 111 in the 2014 list of Fortune 500 companies. In addition to their massive corporate home office in Clearwater, Tech Data has six district offices in the U.S. with international operations in Europe and Latin America.

Claudia Iacobescu

Claudia Iacobescu, an ESL student at SPC

Claudia Iacobescu, an ESL student at SPC who earned a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting in Romania, was excited to shadow at Tech Data due to their international reach. She spent about three hours shadowing Karen Robinson, a supervisor in the accounting department.

“I was curious how their accounting department was working,” said Iacobescu. “She explained all the duties in every day. They work together like a team. I was very impressed.”

Prior to the job shadowing experience, Iacobescu explained that she had only seen the inside view of large companies like Tech Data in the movies.

“It was the first time I saw something like this,” she said. “Now I can see my dream with my own eyes.”

Other students had similar experiences at other leading local firms.

Tarpon Springs Campus student, Kane Magnuson, shadowed the Vice President of BB&T.

“He was very professional and extremely informative,” she said.  “He gave me valuable tips; it was an eye-opening experience. It gave me a totally different view of the banking system.”

SPC student Alyssa Renee  job shadowing at Nielsen Media Research

SPC student Alyssa Renee job shadowing at Nielsen Media Research

Alyssa Renee shadowed in various departments at Nielsen Media Research.

“I was excited to take advantage of the opportunity to shadow at Nielsen, said Renee. “Two of the most important lessons I gained from this experience were networking and saying ‘yes’ to everything. Virginia Lee, a software engineer, advised us to ‘start in the trenches’ by taking an entry level job as a chance to learn your weaknesses and to ‘fill the gaps’ by working on your weaknesses to define who you want to be as a leader.”

Some students, like Ronnell Montgomery job shadowed at St. Petersburg College. She tweeted about her experience shadowing at the St. Petersburg College Foundation with Jane Parker and Frances Neu.

Ronnell posted her thoughts on Twitter:

“Overall, our first National Job Shadow Week was extremely successful,” said Rosaria Pepitone, one of the Career Outreach Specialists that helped organize the event that gave 32 students a memorable experience. “We were ecstatic to hear all the positive feedback from the students and employers who took part in this opportunity.”

The following companies opened their doors and shared their time and knowledge during this year’s event:

  1. A+ Tax & Accounting Services, Inc.
  2. AIG Financial Network
  3. American Strategic Insurance (ASI)
  4. Bank of America
  5. BB&T Bank
  6. Bouchard Insurance
  7. City of Largo
  8. Clearwater Chamber of Commerce
  9. CPA Partners LLC
  10. Doug Mayer Insurance Agency, Inc.
  11. Goodwill Industries
  12. Hertz Corporation
  13. Hilton Worldwide Call Center
  14. ING Financial Partners
  15. Nielsen Media Research
  16. P3Agency
  17. Paychex
  18. Pinellas County Sherriff’s Office
  19. Prudential Insurance
  20. Raymond James Financial Services, Inc.
  21. RumFish Grill
  22. Seminole Chamber of Commerce
  23. Suncoast Credit Union
  24. Tarpon Springs Police Department
  25. Tech Data
  26. Transamerica
  27. WestCMR

If you are interested in having an SPC student job shadow or intern for your business, please contact an SPC Career Specialist.

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