The new Palm Beach State College campus in Loxahatchee Groves is closer to becoming a reality.
Faculty and staff will start moving into the Southern Boulevard building in early 2017, and some classes will be offered later in the spring semester, President Ava Parker said at a Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce luncheon Thursday.
The first building will have a medical technology focus, which Parker said is an industry that is looking for new graduates. But the campus will eventually have 11 to 13 buildings and have several programs that will complement the offerings from the other sites.
“We see this as a great benefit to our campus that we have in the Glades, as well as the campuses that we have in other parts of the county,” she said.
Students in the Glades sometimes have to travel to Lake Worth to complete courses, and Parker is hoping a closer campus will help..
Parker also announced the college will be partnering with local medical technology company Modernizing Medicine.
The Boca Raton software company seeks to make doctors’ lives easier by analyzing data through smart phone apps, CEO and co-founder Daniel Cane said at the luncheon. The goal is for doctors to be able to spend more time on the patients, rather than examining the charts. Cane sees a need to keep talented, homegrown people in Florida.
Modernizing Medicine is a good example of a Florida business attracting people to the state and creating jobs, said Carlos Lopez-Cantera, the state’s lieutenant governor.
Governor Rick Scott was supposed to speak at the luncheon, but he is in the panhandle, helping to clean up the mess left by Hurricane Hermine.
Lopez-Cantera boasted about Florida’s rebound in job growth since the recession. He said the state has its lowest unemployment rate since 2007.
He attributed part of the job growth to a strong higher education system. When the schools are churning out good people, it gives CEO options to hire more local people. He added that a strong, educated workforce will draw more businesses to the state.
“If you look at the record of Florida over the last 6-7 years, we have been doing head and shoulders above many other states,” he said.