Building Philanthropy for a Better Florida

Tampa Bay Organizations Partner to Boost Local Workforce Through Education

July 15, 2020

By Lauren Coffey – A network of more than 50 Tampa Bay organizations is working to help former college students finish their degrees in an effort to ultimately fill the local workforce. LEAP Tampa Bay College Access Network, a program under the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, intends to re-engage working-age adults who have completed some college, university or credential programs.

"Our North Star goal is a college degree or relevant workforce credential," Chuck Tiernan, director of LEAP Tampa Bay College Access Network, said. "We know there are terrific jobs in the construction industry, or [information technology], or health care, which need professional certification just as much as you need a college degree. It creates a propensity for all of us when the workforce has what it needs."

The program was created from a one-year, $125,000 grant from the Lumina Foundation. The Indianapolis-based foundation designated Tampa as one of the two talent hubs in the state earlier this year.

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