St. Petersburg College awarded a $250,000 grant

SPC Board Member Deveron M. Gibbons, JPMorgan Chase VP State Government Relations Rick Mahler, SPC President Tonjua Williams, JPMorgan Chase Executive Director of Banking Technology Clayton Schnelker, JPMorgan Chase VP Commercial Banking Kyle Thomas, SPC Board Vice Chair Katherine E. Cole and SPC Board Member Bill Foster)


ST. PETERSBURG – St. Petersburg College (SPC) has received a $250,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase to develop a new program that will help local residents land jobs in Tampa Bay’s growing technology industry while meeting the industry’s demand for skilled workers in this space.

In partnership with the Tampa Bay Technology Forum (TBTF), SPC will provide classroom and online training for students looking for careers in technology, create a database of support tools and develop a website that links students and educators directly to local employers looking to fill open positions.

SPC Grant, featuredThe grant will also support the expansion of an intensive, technology skills training boot camp developed by local companies to give students real-world, hands-on experience. The program is expected to serve 125 students and 100 employers in the first year.

“This project is a true example of how education, industry and workforce can come together as a workforce ecosystem to address the critical challenge most industries face – finding and retaining top talent,” states Dr. Tonjua Williams, President of St. Petersburg College. “We are grateful to JPMorgan Chase for their investment in expanding strategies that are showing promise in overcoming this challenge.”

“As the nation’s second-fastest growing technology hub, life-changing careers are being created in Tampa Bay daily,” said Daniel James Scott, CEO of the Tampa Bay Technology Forum. “This partnership will allow our region to match employees with both training and employers that will allow them to take full advantage of these careers.”

This grant is a part of JPMorgan Chase’s $325 million global initiative, New Skills at Work, to help people develop skills to compete for high-wage jobs and strengthen the economy.   The firm recently funded research by TBTF to understand the region’s demand for skilled tech workers since Tampa Bay is Florida’s largest and most densely-talented tech hub.

The study reports that Tampa Bay is home to one out of every 89 tech workers, a bigger claim than half the states in the nation. Tampa Bay is home to the most female tech talent in the state, with females representing a greater portion of the tech workforce than San Francisco, Seattle, Austin and numerous other tech hubs.

The Bay area is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the one million plus students in higher education within a half-day drive radius. Tampa Bay is architecting, building, securing and maintaining tech that powers over half a trillion in annual revenues and over a trillion in market capitalization.

“We want more people to share in the benefits of a growing economy by creating sustainable paths to careers that lead to prosperity and wealth for more individuals,” said Clay Schnelker, executive director of Banking Technology at JPMorgan Chase. “Tampa Bay is clearly becoming the state’s largest technology hub and our partnership with St. Petersburg College will help local residents have long, successful careers right here at home.”

To learn more about the program, contact Karen Bogues, Tampa Bay News Skills at Work Project Manager at or 727-302-6535.

About St Petersburg College

The St. Petersburg College alumni are ranked first in the state of Florida for possessing the most valuable job skills. Founded in 1927, SPC is Florida’s first two-year college and the first to offer bachelor’s degrees. We offer more than 100 degree and certificate programs, including many high-demand, high-skill industry-recognized workforce certifications. Our career-focused curriculum is created with input from industry experts to give students the skills they need to meet the needs of today’s employers. Our new Pathways Program gives students a clear roadmap to success to ensure they are taking the right courses – in the right sequence – to meet their goals.

About Tampa Bay Technology Forum

The Tampa Bay Technology Forum empowers Florida’s largest and fastest-growing tech hub. Further information on the Tampa Bay Technology Forum’s initiatives can be found at

About JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands.

Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at

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