The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce held its annual Education Connection Signature Event on Tuesday morning at the University Club of Tampa. This year’s event was presented by Suncoast Credit Union and Helios Education Foundation. More than 150 attendees learned about the current state of Hillsborough County Public Schools and our local area post-secondary institutions, where they want to be and how they will get there. The discussion was moderated by Jeff Eakins, Superintendent of Hillsborough County Public Schools and the panelists included representatives from the healthcare, construction and information technology industries as well as a variety of academic institutions.
- Kimberly Archuleta, online education industry expert and the CEO and founder of Avance Learning Solutions
- Kenneth Atwater, president of Hillsborough Community College.
- Randy Avent, founding president of Florida Polytechnic University
- Allan Gladstone, senior project manager for The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
- Chris Karlo, partner at Mercury New Media
- Charles Lambert, medical director of Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute and Dr Kiran C. Patel Research Institute as well as professor of medicine at the University of Florida
Superintendent Eakins started the programming portion of the event by sharing current Hillsborough County statistics, which ranged from workforce and jobs to early learning through postsecondary education. He also shared the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s strategic blueprint, Florida 2030. The vision is that Florida will create an integrated talent ecosystem to provide a sustainable, skilled workforce that ensures the current and future prosperity of Florida employers, employees, and residents.
The panelists stressed the importance of partnerships between our area’s educational institutions and the business community. They discussed how industries such as healthcare and construction are always hiring and in desperate need of skilled workers. Without many qualified candidates from which to choose, hiring standards have suffered, and employers are experiencing a high volume of turnover. Driven by necessity, companies are forced to adapt their hiring practices based on workforce issues.
Education Connection is a partnership that represents multiple business interests and educational institutions in Hillsborough County. The mission is to develop workforce talent, advocate for innovative educational initiatives and inspire meaningful academic and business partnerships. Join us on October 17th for our next Education Connection event, Bridging the Workforce of Today with the Workforce of Tomorrow.