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Superintendent Grego touts Pinellas Technical College’s $48 million annual economic impact

Megan Holmes

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Local leaders in business, politics and education gathered Thursday afternoon at Pinellas Technical College for a roundtable with Superintendent Dr. Michael Grego. The sizable audience included Mayor Rick Kriseman, CEO of the St. Pete Economic Development Corporation JP Dubuque, St. Pete Chamber CEO Chris Steinocher and a number of Pinellas County School Board members.

The topic on everyone’s minds? Technical education. Specifically, how technical college fits in with the K-12 school system. Even further, how the technical colleges in Pinellas County can drive the economic engine of the area and solve major problems that our individuals citizens and businesses are facing.

Our education system should be top of mind for everyone, argued Dubuque. “When I work with companies to recruit employees from outside markets, many of those employees have families,” he said. “When those potential recruits google Pinellas County schools, I don’t need to tell you what comes up.” Instead of buying into the negative narrative, Dubuque challenged the room to act as ambassadors, to share the “real story.”

Superintendent Grego shared that story – that 48 million dollar story.

Forty-eight million dollars is the estimated annual economic impact of Pinellas Technical College’s two Pinellas campuses, based on the annual starting salary of employed students graduating from the college. The economic impact of Pinellas Technical College’s educational offerings are unparalleled, said Grego, and “there’s no other economic engine like it.”

To prove the point, Dr. Grego cited statistics from three Pinellas Tech programs: Computer programming, HVAC and electricity. With an investment of 8-12 months and an average of $5,000 in program costs, the average annual starting wage of these positions range from $79,600 (computer programming) to $40,750 (HVAC). Not only that, but 93 percent of graduates obtain employment after graduation.

Pinellas Technical College isn’t stopping there. They’re working directly with the City and with businesses to solve the growing skills gap. In fact, they have CEOs and business owners sitting on advisory panels for each and every one of their programs, offering advice on curricula and which specific skills are needed in their industries. To meet increasing demand, Pinellas Technical College will be starting an advanced manufacturing program in the next year, a target sector identified in the Grow Smarter strategy.

If your industry is facing a skills gap, struggling to find the talent needed to fill your business needs, contact Carl Lavender, Managing Officer – Workforce Innovation & Community Strategy, at lavenderc@pcsb.org.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Carl Lavender

    April 28, 2018at1:10 pm

    Dr Grego shared an outstanding presentation on the economic value and impact of the Technical College. St Petersburg has a workforce development jewel in Technical Education. #advancingpinellas

  2. Avatar

    Boe Norwood

    April 28, 2018at1:43 pm

    Great information for the Technical Colleges, communities.industry, students and parents
    Thanks Dr.Grego

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