Verizon partners with SPC to close achievement gap

PINELLAS COUNTY — Verizon and St. Petersburg College (SPC) announce grant funding for SPC’s African American Male Initiative to help close the achievement gap for black males. SPC is committed to providing equity and access to education as a means of economic mobility for its community members and their families.  

This partnership will help equip individuals with the skills to effectively and responsibly navigate through today’s digital world, which is critical for success.

The African American Male Initiative will help to build strategic programming focused on tutoring, mentoring, digital literacy, and technology workforce development to prepare students for meaningful careers in our digitized workforce. 

“Collaboration is critical for improving student success and preparation,” said Dr. Joseph Smiley, SPC Dean of Social and Behavioral Science. “We are pleased to have Verizon partner with SPC in working to close the achievement gap and in preparing our students for meeting the workforce needs of the area and beyond.”

“Verizon remains steadfast in our commitment to bridging the digital divide in underserved communities in order to improve social mobility,” said Michelle Robinson, vice president-Government Affairs, Verizon.  “Our mission is to broaden opportunities that prepare individuals for meaningful careers in our digitized workforce, now and for generations to come, and to help increase students’ abilities to make informed decisions about global and personal issues that arise in their unique lives.  We are proud to partner with SPC’s leadership toward this goal in the community.”

 For more information, contact Jody Craig at

 About St Petersburg College

St. Petersburg College alumni rank first in the state of Florida for possessing the most valuable job skills among two-year colleges. Founded in 1927, SPC is Florida’s first two-year college and the first to offer bachelor’s degrees. 

SPC offers more than 110 degree and certificate programs, including many high-demand, high-skill industry-recognized workforce certifications. Their 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.

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