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HomeBusiness & CommunityRecord Numbers Turn Out for Chamber of Commerce Breakfast

Record Numbers Turn Out for Chamber of Commerce Breakfast

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The Greater Hernando County Chamber had a unique challenge at its monthly breakfast meeting on July 27th–they had to scramble to find seating for the overflowing crowd. Delicious food was in plentiful supply, however. Although reservations are strongly recommended for both members and non-members, many people showed up at the door without booking in advance. This fact is a testament to our booming economy and the importance that business owners place on chamber membership. Events coordinator Jennifer Monaco asked that for future events like this that people reserve their spots in advance so that the chamber can make sure there are enough tables and chairs…and food.

Guest speakers at the meeting were representatives from Pasco Hernando State College (PHSC)−Amy Anderson, Provost of the Spring Hill campus; Dr. Alysen Heil, Dean of Workforce Development/Career & Technical Education (CTE); Dr. Joseph Heinzman, Jr., Director of Apprenticeship Workforce Development and CTE; Sonia Thorn, Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs, Marketing and Communications; and Reggie Wilson, Provost of the North Campus.

Each speaker extolled the qualities of PHSC, especially in the area of Career, Technical and Workforce Education. An especially noteworthy addition to the college, which has five campuses, is the Wilton Simpson Technical College−a joint venture of PHSC and the Hernando County public school system. It will be located in the center of a complex that will house college academic classrooms on one end and Hernando government offices on the other end.

“We want to support each other and meet the needs of all the people in the community so they don’t have to go outside this area to get their education,” stated Sonia Thorn.

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Not only does the public school system and PHSC cooperate, but the local businesses do as well. For example, in the Apartment Maintenance Technician apprenticeship program begun in October of last year, six students enrolled in the program, all six completed the class and all are now employed. Its newest program is Construction and Design with twenty apprentices participating in the program. PHSC staff are working hard to find employees to take on these apprentices. Other career and technical courses include Cybersecurity and Welding.

With the high costs of college tuition, it’s good to know that people can obtain scholarships to attend PHSC. They can enroll in fairly short programs and attain a marketable skill instead of spending two years in a community college or four years at a university, spend tens of thousands of dollars and still not have a guarantee of a job when they graduate. Pasco Hernando State College’s apprenticeship program is one year–much shorter than most.

PHSC obtains state and federal funds for many of its programs. Last year the college brought in more than $7 million dollars in grants and awarded many of its students up to $3,000 each.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Pasco Hernando State College, which began as a two-year community college. The school will be celebrating this milestone with a number of events.

After the presentation by the representatives from PHSC, new chamber members were introduced to the gathering. These are: Elite Care Health Centers, Power Surge Services, Nautilus Financial Group, Pam Everett for School Board, Vacation Connection Travel, Terlep Chiropractic, Gardner Audiology and Angel Touch Healing Center.

Scott Herring, chairperson of Leadership Hernando announced that applications are open for the 2022/2023 Leadership Hernando class. The chamber is also looking for facilitators for the program. Deadline to apply is September 30. This year the chamber will resume its Teen Leadership class and will choose six students from four different high schools to participate.
There are two main events coming up this year. One is the Health & Wellness Expo scheduled for Saturday, August 27th from 10 am to 2 pm at the WellCome Om Center. Admission is free and there are still a few vendor spaces available.

The other event is the Chamber Red Carpet Gala, taking place Friday, December 2nd at Glen Lakes Country Club. Half of the 170 available tickets have already been sold.

The Hernando County Chamber of Commerce offers an almost unlimited number of opportunities for members to network and promote their businesses and organizations. The following is a list of events to finish out this month.

Business to Business Networking: Tuesday 8/23 & 8/30 – noon at Silverthorn Country Club
Monthly membership meeting/breakfast: Wednesday 8/24 – 7:15 a.m. at Silverthorn
Ribbon Cuttings: Wednesday 8/24 – noon at People Helping People; Thursday 8/25 – noon for Padula’s Pizza (at the Chamber building); Thursday 8/25 – 5:30 p.m. at Lucas, Macyszyn & Dyer Law Firm; Wednesday 8/31 – noon at Gardner Audiology.

Some of these events are free, while others have an admission charge. Again, reservations are strongly recommended for some of these events because seating is limited.

To find out more about the Greater Hernando Chamber of Commerce, email [email protected] or call 352-796-0697. You can also log onto www.hernandochamber.com for a complete list of chamber members, information about membership and events, and other details about Hernando County, in general.
For more information on Pasco Hernando State College, go to www.phsc.edu.

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