New Designation Means Tampa is a player on International Innovation District stage
TAMPA, October 17 – President Barack Obama has chosen Tampa as one of the country’s designated TechHire Communities. The designation is a big step for Tampa Innovation Alliance in collaboration with Career Source Tampa Bay and Tampa Bay Technology Forum.
The designation means that Tampa’s Innovation District in the university area has met White House standards for an innovation district and puts the community in a position to achieve its job training goals.
“This stamp of approval from the White House is exactly what this community needs to show the world we are a player among Innovation Districts,” said Mark Sharpe, CEO of Tampa Innovation Alliance.
More than 200 employers are involved in the TechHire Initiative through their partnerships with Tampa Innovation Alliance and Tampa Bay Technology Forum. Their commitment means critical information technology training and employment opportunities for at least 1,000 youth and young adults in Tampa Bay.
“This recognition of our unwavering commitment to workforce training further reinforces that we are ready to be a real player in the international tech and innovation arena,” said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “This innovative technology corridor serves as a brain trust, not only for the community but tech players across the globe.”
In June, the federal government released $150 million in grants for 39 TechHire Community partners. In addition to federal funding, grantees are leveraging nearly $50 million in philanthropic, private and other funding to contribute to their own local partnerships.
The announcement from the White House follows this summer’s announcement of a $3.8 million TechHire jobs training grant.
“Knowing what this grant has done to help us train the people in the university area for STEM jobs, I am very excited that we have been designated as a TechHire Community,” said CareerSource Tampa Bay President and CEO Ed Peachey.
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor was a force in helping the Innovation District get this federal attention. “This summer’s $3.8 million grant combined with this TechHire Community designation truly validates the hard work that has gone into making this area a vibrant Innovation District,” she said.
The innovation district’s credibility boost will help as the Tampa Innovation Alliance and CareerSource Tampa Bay apply for other grants from foundations or even state-level grants.
Hillsborough County Commission Chairman Les Miller said, “We are indeed a player. This designation means that the Innovation District is already successful.”
Having a pipeline of tech talent can be an important factor in bringing new jobs to the Tampa Bay economy, according to the White House. These new jobs facilitate business growth, and lift more local residents into the middle class. These grants will enable Tampa Bay to expand its own tech sectors.
About the Tampa Innovation Alliance
Tampa Innovation Alliance is a multi-jurisdictional district anchored by globally-recognized institutions such as USF, Busch Gardens, Moffitt Cancer Center, Florida Hospital, and RD Management. These institutions drive economic activity, engaging tens of thousands of students, educators, health care workers, patients, and four million tourists annually. The Alliance is set to build an engaged community recognized as an innovation destination.