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Florida Power & Light is living up to its namesake, providing an encouraging light and empowering students across college campuses throughout the state.
FPL’s recent gift to Palm Beach State College delivers nearly 450 laptops to students enrolled in Rapid Credentialing Programs. An indispensable tool for remote learning, laptops are available for the upcoming Spring semester, allowing students to continue academic courses and training programs that prepare them for the local workforce and national and global industries.
Eric Silagy, President and CEO of FPL, knows how critical workforce development is to the future of the state’s economy. “At FPL, we’re continuing to do everything we can to support our customers and communities during this unprecedented time. The rapid credentialing programs will have a significant impact on the lives of many Floridians. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to these programs because a technology gap has formed, in many cases because of a financial setback. This initiative will help break down that barrier to opportunity.”
Palm Beach State’s Rapid Credentialing Programs serve industries that are vital to the economic and cultural fabric of Palm Beach County. Information Technology, Energy and Environmental Science programs equip students with skills and training for these 21st century industries. Healthcare, Public Safety and Advanced Manufacturing are keeping communities healthy, safe and vibrant. And Palm Beach State’s Arts, Hospitality and Tourism programs contribute greatly to Palm Beach County’s workforce.
Vice President of Advancement, David Rutherford recognizes the importance of FPL’s gift to the College. “We are thankful for Florida Power & Light's generosity, which helps create viable career pathways for students, particularly those affected by current circumstances. FPL’s vision demonstrates the compassion and essential outreach that have also come to define Palm Beach State and its impact on the community.”
Palm Beach State’s partnership with Florida Power & Light is helping to reskill and reemploy workers throughout the community and further the economic development of Palm Beach County.
A young man recently joined Palm Beach State’s BEST Summer Academy, a free career exploration program for underprivileged high school students. After graduating, he enrolled in Palm Beach State College, pursuing an Electrical Power Technology AS degree. In 2019, he obtained a long-term co-op position, allowing him to work between 20 and 32 hours a week while still taking classes part-time. He lives with his mother, who is now jobless, and the student’s co-op payments are their only source of income. Now, working the maximum hours permitted, he uses that entire income to support himself and his mother, taking only one course this semester because he cannot afford the tuition.
The story of this hard-working, enterprising young man is all too common and the reason why Palm Beach State’s partnerships are vital to not only these students but also the entire community. Today’s circumstances have altered the paths of far too many students striving for a better way of life. Putting their academic and career goals on hold, they have been forced to abandon dreams and the contributions they would be making in local and national industries.
Since 2013, Lockheed Martin has partnered with Palm Beach State College, promoting a myriad of programs, initiatives and scholarships that have changed hundreds of lives. Responding to the impact of COVID-19, Lockheed Martin is now providing students enrolled in the College’s Electrical Power Technology program with tuition and tuition-related relief, access to on-campus lab equipment and take-home tools for remote learning and hands-on skills training. Vision, generosity and innovation have created a new remote learning community that keeps students on their professional path.
“Lockheed Martin is proud to partner with Palm Beach State College in response to COVID-19 and the necessary shifts in how learning takes place,” reflects Meagan Campion, Lockheed Martin Director of Social Impact. “Our partnership expands opportunities for more students to remain enrolled in school and continue their learning and skills training remotely.”
The Electrical Power Technology program demands that students spend significant time in labs to advance the hands-on skills required for their Associate in Science (AS) degree. Responding to this need, Lockheed Martin has enabled the College to maintain the same expert level of training and reimagine lab stations that accommodate safely-distanced students without no interruption to their studies. The result is a win-win for both College and community as students are able to meet their completion schedules, graduate on time and properly prepare for day one in the Palm Beach County workforce.
Thomas, a student who earned his AS degree in 2018, knows the significance of being prepared. "Working for Lockheed Martin has been a life changing opportunity with experiences that I never would have imagined for myself. With their tuition assistance program, I am now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering to advance my career. Lockheed Martin has brought me immense success and has opened the door to even further growth. I couldn’t have done it without Palm Beach State’s Electrical Power Technology program and its incredibly knowledgeable professors."
Lockheed Martin’s partnership means more than new lab equipment. Students continue to hone their skills, climb the economic ladder and give back to the community that supported them during the most challenging time of their lives. With resources and training, they not also sustain themselves and their families but also thrive in their field, contributing to the growth and prosperity of Palm Beach County.
A Partnership with the Federick A. DeLuca Foundation
Changing lives is not easy. But when you’re the largest institution of higher education in Palm Beach County, it’s your mission.
Palm Beach State College has been sending its medical students to area hospitals for required clinical training for years. However, our local healthcare facilities are not immune to current circumstances. Restrictions now prevent the College from placing students in community hospitals to complete their clinical hours. But a new partnership has brought solutions, enhancing Palm Beach State’s Health Sciences program and impacting healthcare throughout Palm Beach County.
Palm Beach State has partnered with the Federick A. DeLuca Foundation to expand its Center of Excellence in Medical Simulation. Created in 1997 by the late Frederick DeLuca, co-founder of the global SUBWAY® restaurant chain, the DeLuca Foundation supports health awareness, workforce development and artistic experiences through educational programs. A generous gift from the DeLuca Foundation is launching a 21st century facility with cutting-edge simulators, technology and equipment used in today’s medical industry. Located on the Lake Worth campus, the renovated Center replicates actual patient care environments, including emergency and intensive care units. During the current planning stage, the DeLuca Foundation recently connected Palm Beach State with the University of Florida and the Yale New Haven Health System, leading institutions in medical simulation to ensure best practice.
Essential medical procedures are recreated with human simulators, such as the SimMan 3G, a durable patient-manikin created for realistic scenarios and hands-on experience. An ambulance simulator allows students to engage in transfer of care while state-of-the-art innovation provides for real-world medical training. Expansion of the existing Center enables students to become licensed practitioners and increases the pipeline of highly-qualified medical professionals to serve the community’s healthcare needs.
David Rutherford, Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the Palm Beach State Foundation, has been instrumental in collaborating with the DeLuca Foundation. “By embracing this innovative movement in healthcare education, especially during this crucial time, we are diminishing barriers to job preparation, training and placement. We are incredibly thankful to partner with the DeLuca Foundation for this extraordinary initiative.”
Just as aviation and aerospace industries have been using simulation as an effective teaching and training tool for decades, simulators are doing the same for the medical industry. The College’s partnership with the Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation envisions Palm Beach State as a national leader in medical simulation and means better healthcare for those who call Palm Beach County home. Hopefully, we’ll never need these services. But if we do, the care we receive likely started with Palm Beach State College.
Palm Beach State College’s mission to transform lives does not happen without the incredible partnership of individuals like Frank DiMino, a local resident, longtime entrepreneur and friend of the College. A recent seven-figure gift from the Frank DiMino Family Foundation is thought to be the largest in Palm Beach State’s 87-year history, an unprecedented investment in the future of the College, its students and Palm Beach County.
Mr. DiMino’s gift allows the College to expand its newest campus in Loxahatchee Groves by establishing the Frank DiMino Center for Medical Innovation, a state-of-the-art health sciences initiative. Advanced programs and 21st century technology empower students with real-world learning experiences for healthcare education and careers, benefiting not only a student’s academics but also an entire community’s well-being. Also, the Frank DiMino Dental and Medical Technology Center, a proposed 88,000 square foot, four-story structure, will house current and future programs in medical, dental and surgical technology and training. In addition, the existing multipurpose facility will be named the Frank DiMino Administration Building, a decision that the Palm Beach State District Board of Trustees unanimously approved at their February 2020 board meeting.
The signage marking the Frank DiMino Center for Medical Innovation can now be seen at the entrance of the three-story, multipurpose building at the Loxahatchee Groves campus, where a small ceremony was held on Monday, June 15, to honor Mr. DiMino’s remarkable philanthropy. Mr. DiMino was joined by David Rutherford, Vice President of Institutional Advancement; Dr. Stephen Joyner, Executive Dean of the Loxahatchee Groves campus; Edward Willey, Dean of Health Sciences; and Rochelle Nolan, Foundation Gift Officer.
“We are honored to receive this extraordinary gift from Mr. DiMino, enhancing the legacy we have established in Loxahatchee Groves and throughout Palm Beach County,” said Palm Beach State College President Ava Parker. “It is absolutely gratifying to have an individual like Mr. DiMino not only believe in our mission but also invest in it to ensure the valuable work of this College and help our students reach their goals.”
A portion of the funds will also be used to establish an endowed scholarship that will bear Frank’s name. The remainder will be used for significant projects designated by the College as vital to the academic and future well-being of its students and the development of healthcare education. David Rutherford, who is also executive director of the Palm Beach State Foundation, will lead the stewardship of this substantial contribution to the College. "Mr. DiMino's generous gift is truly a transformational investment in Palm Beach State, reflecting a shared vision with the College and a commitment to caring for others and impacting lives throughout our community.”
Born Francesco DiMino in 1926 in Grotte, Sicily, Frank and his family immigrated to the United States in 1934 where they settled in Rochester, New York. In 1947, he married his wife Helen, raising six children together, and would soon begin investing in real estate, growing his small construction company into one of the largest in Upstate New York.
Over his 80-year career, Frank has led countless small business ventures and has employed thousands of workers. In 1960, he founded Frank DiMino Co. (later renamed Sealand Construction) with a focus on large-scale highway construction projects in New York State. At the peak of his entrepreneurial activity, Frank owned and operated a wide variety of businesses, including a boarding and training facility for thoroughbred horses, an 18-hole semi-private golf course, several multi-unit apartment complexes, a construction company and the largest active landfill in New York State.
In 2015, Frank left New York and settled in Wellington. While he claims to be retired, Frank shows no signs of slowing down at the age of 93. Today, Frank spends most of his time juggling philanthropy, charitable giving and entrepreneurship and visiting with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Over the years, Frank has invested heavily in numerous educational and healthcare services. His desire to improve the lives of others can be seen and felt throughout the area with contributions to the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation in Wellington and The King’s Academy, a college preparatory, Kindergarten – 12 parochial school in West Palm Beach.
Frank recently shared his thoughts and intentions behind his philanthropy. “Investing in our future begins with helping young adults reach their potential today. It is my pleasure to give this gift to Palm Beach State College. This will allow students to work toward improving our future for many generations.”
Frank DiMino’s meaningful generosity, thoughtful heart and selfless actions speak as loud as his tremendous vision, which not only elevates the College’s capacity to deliver progressive, essential educational programs but also enhances Palm Beach State’s role as the heart of Palm Beach County.
(From L to R, Dr. Charles Colbert, Chris Colbert and Linda Colbert)
“Teaching music appreciation kept his mind active and engaged, providing a life-extending sense of purpose,” recalls Chris about his father’s thirteen years with the College. “My father has enjoyed a lifelong career in music and has always loved both performing and teaching. He was fortunate to be able to make a living through music and took great pleasure in inspiring others through music. We are thrilled that the scholarship that now bears his name has found a home at Palm Beach State.”
Two years ago, his father’s health issue prompted Chris to reflect on the man’s life, career and passion for music. Inspired by a local and longtime music associate of his father’s, Chris had seen Paul Chaffin, a Lake Worth music store owner and member of the musical community, recognized with a scholarship in his name at Palm Beach State.
“This was an important choice while he’s with us,” recalls Chris, referring to the timing as almost selfish in nature. “We wanted family and friends to be with him to experience this gift. And the endowment is something for the future, something that exists of him and will exist beyond him.” While his mother’s own interest in music and his partner’s nursing degree from the College also helped Chris to settle on Palm Beach State, another significant factor fostered his decision. “If Palm Beach State students have a need, even a small scholarship can make a huge difference between going and not going to school. We thought that we could make the most impact here and build a legacy that would provide for students.”
In June 2019, celebrating Charles’s 90th birthday at a family gathering in Ohio, Chris presented his father with a custom-framed letter from Palm Beach State President Ava Parker, announcing the scholarship in his name. An emotional moment for all, heartfelt tears flowed from the man who has known a lifetime’s harmony of music and family and is now healthier than ever.
Today, Chris’s gift is bringing opportunity to the students of Palm Beach State by establishing the music scholarship, an expression as meaningful as the music itself. According to Chris, this is a way to give back, especially with parents who always emphasized the importance of education. “My father is a woodwind specialist; he plays saxophone, clarinet, bassoon, oboe and flute. As a kid, I was exposed to great music, which was a tremendous gift really. This is a salute to someone who has been sharing music with so many for so long.”
A universal language that unites people, transcends culture and celebrates diversity, music and its many facets can move us personally, emotionally, spiritually – as powerful as it is comforting in moments of joy or times of strife. If it’s true that music can change the world because it can change people, it certainly changed Charles Colbert’s life. Now, the scholarship that honors him is changing the lives of Palm Beach State students through the gift of music.
(From L to R, PBSC VP, Institutional Advancement & Foundation Executive Director, David Rutherford; PBSC President Ava L. Parker; PBSC Foundation Chair Emeritus, George Gentile and PBSC Foundation Board of Directors Chair, Ricky Wade)
English author John Bunyan proclaimed in the seventeenth century that "you have not lived until you do something for someone who can never repay you." While our students may repay us simply by virtue of their achievements, they often do not know who to thank for their ability to pursue higher education and their dreams for tomorrow.
On May 7, the Palm Beach State College Foundation invited those who have contributed to a student's future during the 2018-2019 school year to the Fountains Country Club for an evening of celebration. The event acknowledged donors and the significance of what it means to grant someone an opportunity that may not otherwise be possible. With live music, an interactive presentation from several outstanding engineering students and a chance to socialize with old and new friends, the evening brought a sense of fellowship and Panther pride.