A strong education system is directly linked to community prosperity. In fact, for the past two years, the Downtown Partnership has identified support for higher education as one of our key priorities. Well-trained workers are critical for economic growth. Students add vitality to city streets, support a nighttime economy and become the entrepreneurs and employees who fuel economic expansion. And the University of South Florida's St. Petersburg campus community members are all consumers who support downtown businesses and contribute to our economy.
It’s been nearly 107 years since pilot Tony Jannus flew a wood and canvas “airboat” across the bay from St. Petersburg to Tampa in 23 minutes. January 1, 1914 was historically significant not just for our area but for the world as we know it: Because Jannus’ floating biplane carried a paying passenger, who’d paid in advance, the 21-minute flight marked the beginning of commercial aviation.