According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the number of Tampa Bay residents with a college degree increased by 1 percent from 32 percent in 2009 to 33 percent in 2010. This may not seem like a lot, but when viewed from an economic development perspective, it means a $4.6 billion increase in overall income, or close to $800 per person.
The increase shows positive efforts compared with data from the previous two years, both of which showed a less than 1 percent decrease in overall attainment.
This data provides motivation for Graduate Tampa Bay
(GTB), an initiative launched in early 2012 that aims to see an even larger increase. GTB is a collaborative effort involving business leaders, government, university and nonprofit organizations who value talent development in the region.
“If we want to be competitive, we must collaborate as one,” says Ken Atwater, president of Hillsborough Community College and chair of the Graduate Tampa Bay Advisory Council.
Tampa Bay is also competing with more than 50 other metropolitan areas for a $1 million prize that will be awarded to the region that increases the number of college degrees the most over a three-year period. The competition ends in 2013, but GTB plans to continue its efforts in future years.
Graduate Tampa Bay is gathering information about employers in the Tampa Bay region, and specifically the programs available for their employees to attend school.
Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: U.S. Census Bureau