PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. - Starting in August, Pinellas County high schoolers will have a first of its kind high school to attend. The Pinellas Technical High School will be the first all day tech high school in Pinellas County, helping link students with high-wage in demand careers.
Kids can get hands-on experience in building trades and construction design technology, commercial and digital arts, electricity, veterinary sciences, video game designing and programming ,and new this year: nursing. If a student starts in 9th grade, by the time they graduate they will have their LPN.
Monday, teachers and school leaders held a ceremonial groundbreaking, even though construction has already begun on the $13.2 million project to add a new building with 16 classrooms and renovate the existing Career Academy of Seminole.
The school hopes to take on 150 freshman and 150 sophomores from across Pinellas County for its first year and eventually cap the school at 600 students.
The new school comes at a good time. Tampa Bay and cities across Florida struggle to keep students here after they graduate high school and college because of a lack of technical jobs.
However, new numbers show promise for Tampa Bay. The Tampa Bay region added 28,000 new private-sector jobs in 2017, unemployment is now at 3.4 percent (that’s a drop of 1.1% from 2017.) In December, there were 40,143 openings across the Tampa Bay area. We’re also the best region in the state for high-wage STEM jobs (13,179 openings in December).
Local leaders hope between the new Pinellas tech High School and encouraging job creation, Pinellas County and the Tampa Bay area will be able to retain young professionals.
Pinellas Technical High school will allow students to earn industry certifications, participate in internships, and take advantage of college dual enrollment.
Students will spend at least 90 minutes every day in their selected program. School bus transportation will be available for students who live mid-county, including students who are zoned to attend school at Clearwater, Dixie Hollins, Largo, Pinellas Park and Seminole high schools.