Business Analytics Roundtable Invitation

Business Analytics Roundtable Discussion, April 12th, 12:30p to 1:30p (lunch provided)

Dear Chamber Member,

Business Analytics is at the core of organizational success. What is measured can be improved, but this industry is far more reaching than improvement within the organization. Analyzing data provides decision support to build strategies and it provides the accountability needed to prove effectiveness of programs and business practices. Business Analytics fits into the “Lean” methodology of Build, Measure, and Learn to validate or invalidate ideas.

Please join the Greater Tampa Chamber’s Education Connection interactive and informal Business Analytics discussion between business and academic professionals. This is ideal if you teach or are in the business of machine learning, data visualization, business intelligence, big data, and predictive analytics.

Discussions will focus on:

  • trends, issues, news, and directions in business analytics
  • what businesses need in workforce skills and capabilities
  • student opportunities available in Tampa
  • industry job descriptions
  • resources available to businesses from the academic community

Seats are limited to 10 Chamber member business participants and 10 academic participants, so reservations are on a first come basis.

To reserve your seat, please email


Roundtable details: Wednesday, April 12th, 12:30pm to 1:30pm (lunch provided)

Location: Greater Tampa Chamber office, 201 N. Franklin Street, Suite 201

Parking: Short term parking available on the 3rd floor of the Fort Brook parking garage.

From the parking garage, take the 3rd floor crosswalk to the Tampa City Center Building. The Chamber office is the first door on the right after the crosswalk.

Building Business Success!

By Connie Gee-Abate, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce

Here are two opportunities for you to enhance our community by building business success:

Opportunity #1

Internship 201 Workshop and Reverse Career Fair on Thursday, October 26th, 8:00am to 10:00am. The first part of the workshop is about taking Internship Programs to a more rewarding level for both the student and the organization. Interns are looking for more than just busy work – they are looking for an opportunity to positively contribute to the company and, in many cases, are hoping to get a feel for the company culture and what it would like to work there. At this workshop you will learn what a full company “experience” should be so your interns have a positive experience and become a positive brand advocate for you back at their college campus.

At 9:20am, Career Services Professionals from our local schools and universities will be set up at tables to talk with businesses about their programs. This helps businesses understand the talent factor in our community.

They will also talk about the Internship Programs they can help establish at the businesses. If you are looking for top talent, start early. Top talent begins looking for internship opportunities as early as the fall semester of their Freshman and Sophomore year. You will miss out on great talent and may have trouble finding the hires you need to help you with your workflow.

Career Services Professionals that will be on-site include Hillsborough Community College, Hillsborough County Public Schools, Saint Leo University, Stetson Law, The University of Tampa, and University of South Florida.

You can attend the Career Fair even if you do not attend the workshop, but registration is required in either case.

Click here to register.

 Opportunity #2

Applications for the Startup Scholars 2017 Cohort Group are now live on the Chamber website.

If you know of any new businesses/entrepreneurs who would be ideal candidates for this seven-month mentor program, you can refer them to the link above to complete an application.

The deadline to apply is October 31st.

Arts, Education, and Sports, What’s the Connection?

By Connie Gee-Abate, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce

On Wednesday, August 24th, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce hosted the Education Connection annual signature breakfast, “Arts, Entertainment, and Sports, What’s the Connection?”, sponsored by Suncoast Credit Union. The event had a sell-out attendance of 220 chamber members from the business and academic communities who gathered to hear how the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Busch Gardens, and the Tampa Bay Lightning organizations partner with our local schools and universities to help develop Tampa’s local talent and provide opportunities that lead to jobs for many of our students.

Judy Lisi, CEO of the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts described their education programs as community builders, offering programs for ages two to eighty-two. The Straz Center has 30 partnership schools in Hillsborough County that build bridges to inspire artistic success by nurturing creativity and confidence in children. Many of the children receive scholarships to attend the programs offered by the accredited Patel Performing Arts Conservatory. The Straz Center also utilizes the talent of interns from numerous schools and are currently looking for more interns for all of their departments. Anyone interested can contact the human resources department at the Straz Center.

Jim Dean, President of Busch Gardens and Adventure Island had numerous success stories about the education programs offered at Busch Gardens. The organization partners with the Hillsborough Community College and the Hillsborough County Schools to provide mentorship and internship programs. Many leaders in the company today started out as interns “right out of high school” who worked hard and were recognized for all of their efforts through promotions. Mr. Dean even made a connection at the event with Dr. Jody Tompson from The University of Tampa, who runs the student Strategic Management Consulting Program for undergraduate and graduate students. Because of the connection made at the breakfast, students attending The University of Tampa will have an opportunity to conduct a study at Busch Gardens. Any student who may be looking for an internship in the entertainment industry can contact Busch Gardens human resources department.

Jeff Vinik, owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Tampa Bay Storm, proudly spoke of three major educational programs offered through his organization. Partnering with the University of South Florida, students are given experiential learning opportunities through a residency program that was started by a student. USF students who study Sports Management work directly with the sports teams. There is also an internal training program for employees, where USF guides ten Lightning Leader Employees” through a series of on-site speaker presentations. The third program is the “Community Hockey Team”, a partnership with Hillsborough County Schools that intends to teach 100,000 students over the next 5 years by combining the fun of hockey with science and math skills.

At the conclusion everyone could agree that the connection between education and the arts, entertainment, and sports industries have a major impact upon our community. Creativity, innovation, and jobs are developed through the support of organizations such as the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Busch Gardens, and the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Tampa Bay Storm. Our community thanks Judy Lisi, Jim Dean, and Jeff Vinik for supporting education and leading the way to a better tomorrow for our local students who are the workforce of tomorrow.

Talent Management Best Practices Takeaways

By Connie Gee-Abate, Strategic Initiatives, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber’s Education Connection program, “Talent Management Best Practices” was a huge success with over 60 people in attendance. Chamber members participated in conversations with academic career services professionals and business recruiters to share what has worked best with preparing students and businesses for the hiring and on-boarding process. Some of the valuable takeaway information included:

  1. Create a consistent campus presence by attending campus events and inviting academic career professionals to your company to get to know the organizational workforce needs
  2. Use alumni associations and student organizations and clubs as a communication channel for reaching future candidates
  3. Communicate the organizational culture and potential career path to new hire prospects early on in the hiring process; the new workforce wants to know potential professional growth up front. An employer’s involvement in the community is also important to the new workforce
  4. Create internal “Ambassador Programs” to help with the on-boarding process; mentors and coaches are extremely successful with acclimating interns and new hires to the organizational expectations and culture

A Reverse Career Fair followed the panel discussions, giving Chamber members an opportunity to personally meet with career professionals from Hillsborough Community College, Hillsborough County Public Schools, Saint Leo University, Stetson University College of Law, The University of Tampa, and the University of South Florida.

The Talent Management Best Practices event will be repeated in 2017, with a focus on training and career development as employer retention tools. If you would like to be added to the distribution list to be personally alerted about this next event, please email

You can also let us know your interests by completing the Education Connection Inquiry form at

Education Connection is a commitment among the Chamber, its academic partners, and the business community to develop and keep our local talent. More information is available on the Chamber website.

Education Connection Announcement: CERI Survey on College Hiring

In partnership with The University of Tampa and Michigan State University’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute (CERI), we invite you to take a survey on recruiting trends for students transitioning into the labor market. A part of the Chamber’s Education Connection program is linking businesses with the academic community to better equip students with the skills that are necessary for entering the workforce.

By completing this survey, you will provide graduating students, recent graduates, academic advisors, and talent managers with an accurate picture of this year’s employment prospects for college students. Thank you for your participation. If you have any concerns or questions about this research study please contact Dr. Phil Gardner at 517-355-2211 or