Archive for the ‘employment’ Category

St. Petersburg College (SPC) joins Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) and Broward College in receiving a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor that will increase apprenticeships and help close the workforce skills gaps in the information technology, manufacturing, healthcare, and construction and trades industries in Florida.

Information Technology Manufacturing

FSCJ is leading the Florida Apprenticeship consortium, the only group in Florida to be awarded the federal grant, and one of only five in the South region, which spans from Texas to North Carolina.

Under the American Apprenticeship Grant program, the Department of Labor chose 46 public/private partnerships to receive $175 million to train and hire more than 34,000 new apprentices in high-growth and high-tech industries. The partnerships will combine the efforts of employers, colleges, industry organizations, state and regional Registered Apprenticeship systems, state and regional workforce investment systems, school districts, community nonprofits and state agencies to expand high-quality apprenticeships.

“We are honored to partner with Florida State College at Jacksonville and Broward College to expand apprenticeships that will prepare our students for sustainable employment in high demand fields,” said St. Petersburg College President Bill Law. “This collaborative, grassroots initiative also will benefit employers and the economy, by ensuring a deeper pool of highly skilled workers in growing industries.”

A total of 1,000 apprentices will be served in the targeted fields in Florida. SPC will receive $1.15 million and train 333 apprentices through the grant.

Pratt, Brown & Associates, LLC is one of SPC’s corporate partners in the new program. Pratt CEO Cindy Brown said apprenticeships are vital as companies find themselves having open positions without skilled candidates to fill them.

“This new approach gives employers the ability to provide on-the-job training for candidates using their own in-house methodologies, while addressing their company’s specific technology needs. As part of the program, the candidates learn industry best practices utilizing tools that measure their progress throughout the program,” Brown said. “This will be one of the first integrated academic programs in the US that incorporates the needs and guidelines of both the private and academic sectors in the IT industry.”

According to a needs analysis, the biggest skills gaps identified by employers were technical skills, followed by a lack of soft skills, such as work ethic, communication and leadership. Five distinct audience groups will be targeted for the apprenticeships, including current students, incumbent workers, unemployed workers, veterans and pre-apprentices.

“We commend these partners on this initiative,” said Mike Meidel, Director of Pinellas County Economic Development. “We can attest that they truly have developed an inclusive program that will help workers attain the critical on-the-job training needed to bolster the American workforce in the growing global economy.”

SPC has long been a leader in workforce-centered programs, as they are a key strategic priority for the college. Currently the college is part of six federal Department of Labor grant programs geared at helping students and community members succeed in acquiring the skills, degrees and credentials needed for high-wage, high-skill employment, many targeting the same industries as this grant.

The project will also explore articulating apprenticeships as a bridge from associate to bachelor’s degrees into related degrees. Some of SPC’s partners in the grant include:

  • IBM
  • AT&T
  • Northrop Grumman Corporation
  • Pratt Brown & Associates, LLC
  • SMC Software
  • Bovie Medical Corp.
  • Guardedata
  • Alumi-Guard
  • Accuform Signs
  • Southern Manufacturing Technologies
  • PharmaWorks
  • Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC)
  • Tampa Bay Technology Forum
  • Tampa Bay Technology Leadership Association
  • Bay Area Manufacturers Association
  • AMSkills (American Manufacturing Skills Initiative)
  • CareerSource Pinellas
  • Pinellas County Economic Development
  • Pinellas Technical College

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Frank Edmunds, Seminole City Manager; Leslie Waters, Seminole Mayor; James Olliver, SPC Seminole Campus Provost.

Frank Edmunds, Seminole City Manager; Leslie Waters, Seminole Mayor; James Olliver, SPC Seminole Campus Provost.

The City of Seminole and St. Petersburg College signed an agreement today that will place one SPC public policy student or graduate in a one-year paid position with the city each year starting Aug. 1. Each year for 10 years a new student/graduate will be selected for a position with the city.

Recently passed by the Seminole City Council, the new Frank Edmunds Public Service Associate in Training program is named after 20-year Seminole City Manager Frank Edmunds who is retiring in August.


“This is the continuation of a long history of partnership between the City and the College,” said James Olliver, SPC Seminole Campus Provost. “I think it shows that the two of us, together with the Chamber of Commerce and the various civic and social organizations in Seminole, are so much greater than the sum of the parts in service to our community. We challenge other municipalities throughout Pinellas County (and beyond!) to follow this model and help themselves and the college by providing a robust work experience to one of our outstanding graduates.”

The trainee will be assigned by the city manager and will rotate through four departments: administration, public safety, community development and public works, to receive exposure to and specialized expertise in the various areas of city government.

To qualify, the student must be either in their final term in the Public Policy and Administration bachelor’s degree program or a recent graduate (within one year of selection). They must also have been recognized for having achieved public service distinction during their tenure as a student.

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supplyCareerEdge Funders Collaborative and St. Petersburg College (SPC) have partnered to provide training to strengthen the region’s growing transportation, distribution and logistics (TDL) workforce. The partnership, TDL Tampa Bay, is funded through a grant CareerEdge received from Jobs for the Future.

CareerEdge, an innovative partnership of business, government, and philanthropic organizations that leverages public and private dollars to provide opportunities for better jobs and wages in Manatee, Sarasota, and Charlotte counties, has been awarded $220,000 to train 300 individuals over the next two years and provide them support and job placement services in the Tampa Bay, Sarasota and Manatee region. The projects will connect underrepresented populations to the industry, with each site committing to serve at least 25 percent female participants.

This is the first time SPC and CareerEdge, which is housed at State College of Florida in Manatee County, have partnered to provide workforce training. TDL Tampa Bay, will serve employers and workers throughout Florida’s eight-county Tampa Bay region, with priority emphasis on Manatee, Sarasota, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, which forecasts a 13.8 percent growth in TDL jobs by 2021.

The 10 workforce partnerships include strong participation from TDL businesses in both design and implementation, to ensure that individuals complete programs with skills and certifications that are in-demand in their regional labor market. Workers will earn industry-recognized credentials such as a Commercial Driver’s License and Global Logistics Associate certificate, and many will also earn college credits that lead toward Associate’s degrees in TDL.

TDL Tampa Bay will capitalize on both organization’s strengths, pairing CareerEdge’s expertise in helping area employers meet the challenges of a fast-changing economy and SPC’s LINCS Supply Chain Management academic program.

“This partnership will be a true asset as we strive to train our students to meet the burgeoning demand for a skilled supply chain workforce,” said St. Petersburg College President Bill Law. “This strikes at the very heart of our efforts at the college – to help students enter or re-enter the workforce with the skills they need to build careers in high-demand industries.”

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From U.S. News & World Report

St. Petersburg College offers training programs for nearly half of The 100 Best Jobs of 2015 report released by US News & World Report.

Among the Top 100 Best Jobs, SPC offers certificates and two- and four-year degrees in the following areas listed in the report:

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network_ciscoApplications are being accepted for the Tampa Bay Hi-Tech Training Program. Award recipients can complete courses at St. Petersburg College beginning in February 2015.

HITT was created by the U.S. Department of Labor in 2012 to train IT professionals who have been long-term unemployed and help upgrade their technical skills. The program, which was awarded a $3.8 million grant to fund training through April 1, 2016, provides tuition, books and fees for industry certification exams in the information technology field.

Award recipients can complete classes at SPC in the following areas:

  • Cisco Certified Network Associate
  • CompTIA A+ Helpdesk Program
  • SharePoint Administrator
  • Java Web Programming
  • CompTIA Network+ Program
  • CompTIA Security+ Program
  • CompTIA Healthcare IT Technician Program
  • CompTIA A+ Helpdesk Program

For more information about SPC’s academic and non-credit certification programs, contact Mary Schock, Grant Administrative Specialist in Corporate Training at 727-341-4440.

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Students and employers participate in the first Working Wednesday at the SPC Seminole Campus on Sept. 3.

Students and employers participate in the first Working Wednesday at the SPC Seminole Campus on Sept. 3.

On Wednesday, Sept. 3, the St. Petersburg College Seminole Campus hosted its first Working Wednesday, a weekly event that aims to bring together students and potential employers. This week’s event in the University Partnership building featured Wendy’s, Achievement Via Individual Determination (AVID) tutoring and Anona United Methodist 360° partnership.

“There are lots of opportunities for students at Wendy’s,” said Jack Dederrico, a member of the Wendy’s human resources team who attended the event. Wendy’s is working with SPC to help business students put the skills they learn in the classroom to use in the real world while earning money and valuable experience. The partnership with the college puts students on a fast track to store and general manager positions at Wendy’s.

Sean Michael Dauria, a business administration student who is in the management training program at Wendy’s, said he appreciates that his employer works with his school hours and that he can work in his field of study.

Through AVID, SPC students have the opportunity to earn money as tutors in 42 Pinellas County schools. The program focuses on students who fall in the middle level achievement range and often are the first members of their families to attend college. Brian Morrison, a director at AVID, said an ideal tutor has strong communication skills, patience and is able to build relationships with students.

“St. Petersburg College students are good candidates for AVID tutor positions,” Morrison said. “Many were part of the program in Pinellas County schools and have an easier time relating to students.”

SPC student Robert Murzynski II, who spent time at both the Wendy’s and AVID tables and had trouble deciding on just one company, said he was looking forward to seeing the employers that come to campus for next week’s event.

Since April, Anona United Methodist Church’s 360° ministry has partnered with SPC, working closely with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship on the Seminole Campus. The partnership brings together the church, schools, businesses and nonprofits to support children from the cradle to a career with an emphasis on character and education.

The partnership’s programs include providing tutoring to students at Ridgecrest Elementary School, running a summer reading program and refurbishing donated laptops for use by students.

SPC alumnus Hugh Adcock, former President of InterVarsity, connects college students with volunteer opportunities through the partnership. According to Rev. Landon of Anona United Methodist, the 360° program hopes to award college credit to SPC students who volunteer with the program in the future.

Members of the Wendy’s Human Resources team said they had eight very strong candidates for management positions within the first hour of the event. Students said they enjoyed having more time to talk to employers and speak with college students already working within the organizations.

Working Wednesdays will continue each week until Nov. 19. Events are held from noon until 2 p.m. in the University Partnership building lobby on the Seminole Campus.

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

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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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