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Career Center Advisory Board contributes to student success

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (May 13, 2016) – At the latest TCC Career Center Advisory Board meeting, ideas were buzzing all around the room. The topic was developing “soft skills" such as communication, problem solving and teamwork. When discussing job and internship candidates, one board member said, "I look for the technical skills to make sure they're qualified, but it's the soft skills that will probably get them hired."

This is the kind of valuable feedback that the Career Center gains from the advisory board. Since its inception in 2011, the group has included local business leaders from several different fields, including advertising, information technology and education. They meet every fall and spring semester to discuss employer needs and hiring trends, as well as ideas on how to make students more marketable to employers. Their input helps contribute to TCC student success, and the members receive many benefits too.

"I enjoy keeping a pulse on our local talent," said Roy Keister, owner of Scottsdale Academy. "Being a part of the advisory board allows me to work with a dedicated source of that talent.  Also, being a TCC alumni allows me to give back."

Pat Curtis, the Leon County management information systems director, decided to join the board for several reasons. "I want to give back to an institution that I believe is responsible for student success in the classroom and beyond," she said. "Being a board member allows me to build relationships with other leaders in different fields and contribute to young adults as they embark on their lifelong dreams."

After discussing recent trends related to soft skills, the group brainstormed ways that they could incorporate more soft skills education into the TCC curriculum. In every advisory board meeting, the goal is to come away with ideas and strategies that can immediately benefit students in their job and internship search.

“College education is a great start towards preparing oneself for a career, but it is only part of the career equation,” said Charlie Waters, president of Fluid Training Solutions LLC. “There are a litany of areas that one must address to enter and stay in the job market. Being a board member allows me to share thoughts and perspectives with my peers and to see them come to fruition with the practical application the Career Center offers through its programs and services.

"It's clear just how fully vested the Career Center staff is in improving the future for students," said Brian Ramos, chief marketing officer for The Pod Advertising. "Each meeting we have is a win-win-win in my opinion. TCC wins in getting very honest feedback and insight from the business community. I learn about new programs and initiatives being offered by TCC. Students have a brighter future by participating in what our combined efforts provide."

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