Hillsborough County Public Schools will create two new high schools and a technical college dedicated to a specific area of workforce development, Superintendent Addison Davis announced Wednesday.
"Our district will launch a new initiative with laser-like focus on workforce development, one that is really to address the high demand careers in the Tampa region," said Davis.
Davis announced three phases to the initiative:
Phase 1: Hillsborough Building & Construction Academy at Bowers/Whitley, Grades 9-12, opening fall 2023
“We will offer programs, certifications that allow our students to be actively engaged in building and design, building instruction, HVAC, refrigeration, heating technology, also electrical vehicles, augmented realities and visualization related to architecture, also water infrastructure and treatment, framing, dry wall, surveying, graphic design, and also imaging," said Davis. "These are some of the few that we’ve identified that will lead our students to be successful.”
Phase 2: Hillsborough Medical Academy at D.W. Waters, Grades 9-12, opening fall 2023
"The Hillsborough Medical Academy is currently partnering with major hospitals and medical care centers to be able to identify equipment, resources, curriculum, and jobs that they need in order to be successful," said Davis.
Phase 3: Hillsborough Medical Technical College at Brewster
The district explains Brewster Technical College (BTC) currently serves adult students in a variety of post-secondary programs. It says by transitioning these programs to other HCPS sites, BTC can be transitioned into a Medical Technical College.
Davis said as of right now, they do have a Phase 4 in mind on the I-4 corridor. He underscored the value in making students career-ready and not just college-ready.
"There’s money to be made in the workforce now. We see our community agencies, our organizations, our construction fields, our medical fields, they’re screaming for employees," said Davis. "We’re here to make certain that we have multiple pathways in every one of our schools for our students.”
Students also recognized the benefit in creating both opportunity and access, whether it's for college or straight into the workforce.
“It’s teaching kids who don’t really know where they’re going to go in life to hopefully have a career for them set up in the future," said freshman Hunter Short.