Lee Lowry, Hillsborough Community College Foundation
As the pandemic started to ease in early 2021, we at the HCC Foundation became very aware of how hard it has been for employers to find the right person for their many open positions. As businesses reopened and the economy started to heat back up, skilled, reliable workers at all levels of employment and in all our county’s key sectors were difficult to recruit. We also know that it can be tough, both for those new to the workforce and those looking to reinvent their lives, to find their perfect career. We particularly wanted to support and assist our own alumni in all career fields during this tough time. And finally, we realized that we had a great opportunity to form relationships with employers who may not yet be aware of all the many degrees and certificates we offer at HCC.
So we created a partnership with the City of Tampa, Port Tampa Bay, the Tampa Bay Chamber, Associated Builders and Contractors, and Reno Building to plan and execute the event, and on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, we presented The Suncoast Credit Union Signing Day. Signing Day was a fun, exciting event that provided more than 150 Tampa Bay area jobseekers with the chance to find a great job that could lead to a career, and gave employers a unique opportunity to showcase their organization and promote their career opportunities.
Generous sponsors came out of the woodwork to support the effort, most especially our longtime friends at Suncoast Credit Union, who stepped up to be Presenting Sponsor. Suncoast’s philanthropy is always thoughtful, but also timely, which makes them a great partner since they are able to be nimble and quickly support worthwhile initiatives for our community. We were also grateful to Tampa General Hospital and Skanska for being major sponsors.
Attendees enjoyed complimentary food from food trucks, prizes, interactive displays, a visit from Mayor Jane Castor, and the chance to network with companies in five key sectors of the Tampa Bay economy. In 11 cases, the event even led to a job offer for a seeker on the spot! Attending companies were in the exciting fields of construction, manufacturing, business and professional services, healthcare, and hospitality. Companies as diverse as Bern’s Steakhouse, Baycare Health System, Hendry Marine Industries, Skanska, and Starbucks were all on hand. Hillsborough Community College and other post-secondary schools were also there to discuss educational opportunities. And in a win-win-win, a portion of the proceeds will benefit the student scholarships at the HCC Foundation.