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St. Petersburg College Offers Training For Pandemic Unemployed

Exterior of St. Petersburg College Gibbs campus
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Some people who have lost their jobs during the pandemic are training for a new career at St. Petersburg College. Workers in the hard-hit restaurant and hotel industry are among those signing up.

In the past year, about 600 people have earned certificates in fields such as supply chain management, information technology and electrical line work.

Michael Ramsey, dean of workforce development at SPC, says people with hospitality experience have skills that are useful in any job.

“Problem solving skills and communication skills. We try to leverage that to ensure that they’re more marketable,” he said.

St. Petersburg College set up the program with about $3 million from the federal CARES Act. The training — which is free for people earning $25,500 or less — can last up to 12 weeks.

Ramsey says the college wants to expand it and find ways of combining the new job credentials with a traditional degree.

“The biggest determinant of success is employment on the back end and making sure these individuals achieve a level of economic stability as a result of going through our training programs,” he said.

Bradley George was a Morning Edition host and reporter at WUSF until March 2022.