By Ashley Jeffery

The Hillsborough Community College (HCC) paramedic program has been named a winner of the Siemens-Aspen Community College STEM Award by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program (CEP) and the Siemens Foundation. The HCC paramedic program provides future first responders with the advanced skills needed to serve Bay area families when they need it the most. HCC paramedic students are trained to leave the classroom and directly enter the workforce ready to serve our community.

HCC will receive $50,000 and is among eight exceptional community colleges in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) recognized for providing outstanding preparation for high-demand jobs in advanced manufacturing, energy, healthcare and information technology. Half of the $50,000 award will be allocated for further program development, and half will be allocated as scholarships to HCC paramedic students.

“HCC is honored to have been selected for the Siemens Award,” said HCC Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Ginger Clark. “This award recognizes our faculty’s longstanding commitment to working with employers to build high quality academic pathways to employment and to providing comprehensive support services that promote student success.”

Overall, STEM occupations are projected to grow at almost double the rate of non-STEM occupations. Community colleges like HCC are playing a huge role in working to meet this demand. More than half of all STEM jobs across the United States require no more than an associate degree and pay wages that average more than $50,000 annually.

“Community college STEM programs are a strong pathway to job security and financial success for many students —  whether that means heading right into a great paying job or getting a more advanced degree,” said David Etzwiler, CEO of the Siemens Foundation. “This award recognizes the colleges that provide an excellent STEM education and develop talent from every community.”

HCC serves over 45,000 students annually at its five campuses located throughout Tampa Bay. The college is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. For more information, visit hccfl.edu.