Tallahassee Community College Asks Community: Any 'Great Ideas' For Future?

Sep 18, 2012

Tallahassee Community College is seeking input from the public on how it can better serve and partner with private businesses, government and nonprofits. The college held the first of three town halls on Tuesday night.

TCC administrators are trying to craft a strategic long-term plan for how to stay relevant in the Florida Panhandle community.  Among those who shared their ideas at Tuesday’s town hall in Tallahassee were business owners, directors of nonprofits and government employees.

Beth Kirkland, executive director of the Tallahassee/Leon Economic Development Council, said economic growth takes cooperation from all sectors.

“We have a saying: ‘Industry, education and government working together to create jobs.' And nothing could be more true than to live that out by seeing all three of those elements here in this room tonight," she said.

About 20 people shared suggestions. City of Tallahassee human resources manager Cassandra Jackson said she’s always looking for people who have science, engineering, technology and math backgrounds.

“Almost every job with the city now has a technological component, so we want to see students now who have those types of skills," she said. 

Someone who works in the construction industry said she’s disappointed by the high number of out-of-state workers her company hires, and TCC should offer training for carpenters and builders. Another, who works at a museum, suggested the school should offer certificate programs in museum studies. And several people talked about promoting entrepreneurship through some sort of incubator program.

TCC President Jim Murdaugh said he’s grateful to hear from such a broad cross section of the community.

“Our commitment in this process is to make sure that when we’re done that all of us, to the extent possible, are all moving in the same direction, whether it’s the city, whether it’s the private sector, whether it’s Innovation Park, whether it’s the EDC, we’ve all got to be pulling in the same direction," he said.

TCC will hold two more town halls, in Havana on Sept. 24 and in Crawfordville on Oct. 10. And the college is also taking input via e-mail at GreatIdeas@TCC.fl.edu.