October 21, 2022
Teams from Tallahassee Community College participated in the Pitch for the Skilled Trades and the inaugural Pitch for the Foundation competitions at the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) Annual Conference in Boston.
Six teams, including TCC’s Division of Workforce Development, completed in the final round of Pitch for the Skilled Trades for a share of $150,000 in prizes. TCC earned $40,000 for their pitch entitled “Breaker-Breaker One-Nine.” This project will assist citizens returning to their communities from incarceration to gain the skills needed to become commercial vehicle drivers. Florida’s Ex-Offender Task Force, created by former Governor Jeb Bush in 2005, reports that gainful employment after release from prison is an essential component to achieving successful reentry into the community. The Florida Trucking Association reports a severe driver shortage. Commercial vehicle drivers can earn on average $19.64 per hour and many employers are offering sign-on bonuses for new hires. By providing this valuable training, we can reduce recidivism, stimulate the economy by developing a new pipeline of owner-operators within the trucking industry, and help students become financially independent.
Eight teams, including TCC’s Wakulla Environmental Institute, competed in the final round of Pitch for the Foundation. They earned $50,000 for the Oyster Seed Nursery Training project which will allow for the expansion of the current Oyster Aquaculture Program where students learn to open their own farm-raised oyster businesses. The addition of nursery training to the program is expected to create an annual economic impact in the area in excess of $20 million. As oysters filter the water around them, removing nitrogen from the environment, the project also has the potential for significant environmental impact.
NACCE’s Pitch for the Trades and Pitch for the Foundation, generously sponsored by the Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation. Pitch for the Skilled Trades supports entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial training in the skilled trades. Pitch for the Foundations is a brand-new initiative that was piloted this year. Learn more at https://www.nacce.com/pitchforthetrades and https://www.nacce.com/FoundationPitch.
NACCE is an organization of educators, administrators, presidents, and entrepreneurs focused on igniting entrepreneurship in their communities and campuses. NACCE has two main goals: to empower college leaders to approach the business of running a community college with an entrepreneurial mindset and to augment the community college's role in supporting job creation and entrepreneurs in their local ecosystems. NACCE has over 340 member colleges, representing nearly 2,000 members and approximately 3.3 million students. For more information, visit www.nacce.com.
About the Philip E. & Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation
The Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation is a charitable organization designed to encourage and reward entrepreneurship, create jobs, and expand economic opportunity. Based in Annapolis, Maryland, the foundation provides funds to institutions to encourage entrepreneurship in non-traditional business fields such as the arts, design, health care, environmental science, aquaculture, and skilled trades. The Ratcliffe Foundation strives to integrate its programs with local communities through mentorships and business involvement. Visit: https://www.ratcliffefoundation.com/