Why Education Matters

Why Education Matters


Written by: Sean Nordquist (Trades and Manufacturing Coordinator for ICCE)

In July, I wrote about education in the beer industry. I spoke in general terms about product knowledge, proper serving techniques, and so on. This kind of training is what separates the standard bartender or server from the ones that bring value to a business. Being able to have a conversation with the person who is pouring my beer about what is going to make my experience better can make the difference between whether or not I have a second drink, or if I decide that I am not coming back.

Anyone who has tended bar know that much of the job is simply about attitude and demeanor. There is no set formula, but patrons respond to personality nearly as much as they do the quality of service. You may be able to pour a great drink, but if you are dull or offensive, the chances of a good tip diminish greatly. The same is true in reverse. The greatest personality in the world can’t make up for a badly poured drink, or a lack of knowledge and understanding about what is being served.

Bartender is pouring beer into glass

So what is a friendly, competent, but un-knowledgeable beer pourer to do? On-the-job training is probably the most common way people learn about their job. Veteran bartenders train the new ones, servers train their new hires, and so on. Every establishment has their own quirks and ways of doing things, but the lack of a uniform understanding of the proper way to serve, store, and talk about beer is obvious.

In the wine world, the word “sommelier” designates those with proven expertise in selecting, acquiring and serving fine wine. At one time, some beer servers adopted the title “beer sommelier” to tie into the credibility of the wine world. With the beer industry in the middle of a Renaissance, a designation has emerged as the industry standard for identifying those with significant knowledge and professional skills in beer sales and service.

“The word Cicerone (sis-uh-rohn) designates hospitality professionals with proven experience in selecting, acquiring, and serving today’s wide range of beers. To claim the title of Cicerone, one must earn the trademarked title of Certified Cicerone® or hold higher certification as Advanced Cicerone™ or Master Cicerone®. Those with a basic level of expertise gain recognition by earning the first-level title Certified Beer Server.” – from the Cicerone.org website

The Cicerone Certification Program provides industry professionals, business owners, and consumers an assurance that prospective beer servers are well trained and knowledgeable in the subject of beer.

The different levels of expertise offered by the CCP range from the Certified Beer Server to the Master Cicerone®. These certifications all require a passing grade on an exam. The exams are challenging, and are increasingly more in-depth and intensive at the higher levels. In most cases, prospective Cicerone candidates study extensively and attend some kind of training course to prepare for the exams.

I am thrilled to be able to bring this type of training to my work at Hillsborough Community College and the Institute for Corporate and Continuing Education.


ICCE Instructor invited to The Whitehouse

White House to recognize “Champions of Change” for Extracurricular Enrichment for Marginalized Girls and Girls of Color


WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Friday September 30, the White House will recognize ten individuals from across the country as White House “Champions of Change” for extracurricular enrichment, afterschool, and summer programming for marginalized girls, including girls of color.


These individuals were selected by the White House for their leadership in developing and supporting high-quality afterschool and extracurricular programs that create o pportunities for girls from marginalized communities so that all young people can reach their full potential.


Through the initiative on “Advancing Equity for Women and Girls of Color,” The White House Council on Women and Girls has worked across the federal government to identify key obstacles facing marginalized girls, including girls of color, and highlight innovative solutions to those obstacles. One key issue that girls from marginalized communities often face is access to extracurricular programs and summer enrichment activities that allow them to become stronger students, leaders, and citizens.  For girls to reach their full potential, they need safe and nurturing community and school env ironments where they can learn, grow and thrive within the school day hours and beyond.  Extracurricular programs enrich their understanding of the arts and the sciences, reinforce the skills learned in school, promote health and wellness, and foster their confidence and leadership.


The event will feature remarks by White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett and CEO and Founder of Black Girls Rock! Beverly Bond.


White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarret tsaid, “Learning shouldn’t end when the school bell rings, so neither should our work to ensure every child has the opportunity to thrive. That’s why all young people, including marginalized girls and girls of color, deserve to have access to great after-school and summer experiences that engage their curiosity and help them grow. Our Champions of Change are doing just that in their communities, and they’re creating a brighter future for the next generation in the process. We’re proud to lift their work at the White House, and hope other local leaders emulate the extraordinary examples they’ve set.”


The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities


Clemmie C. Perry – Tampa, Florida (ICCE Instructor)

Clemmie C. Perry serves as the Executive Director and Founder for the not-for-profit organization Women of Color Golf (WOCG) and Girls on the Green Tee (GOTGT) programs in Tampa, Florida. The mission of WOCG and GOTGT are to promote and facilitate the inclusion of minorities, girls and women of color into the game of golf.  These programs were founded in 2014 and have already trained over 280 women and girls in the Tampa Bay & St. Petersburg Florida communities on the basic fundamentals of golf. Through golf, girls learn many basic life skills, including respect, teamwork, courtesy, patience and responsibility.

5th Annual Women’s Interest Network (WIN)

The 5th Annual

Women’s Interest Network (WIN)

Conference & Retreat…in Key West


Live, Love & Embrace the Woman in You!

September 23 – 25, 2016

Cost: $65 per person. Mail check or money order payable to “FKCC” to

Florida Keys Community College, Office of Continuing Education

5901 College Rd., Key West, FL 33040

Marriott Key West Beachside Hotel

3841 N Roosevelt Blvd., Key West, Florida 33040

Hotel rates: $489 per three-bedroom suite ($163 per bedroom in suite), per night plus 12.5% tax.

All bedrooms have private baths. Call hotel at (866)679-5490 for reservations by 8/25/2016.

Refer to event dates, Florida Keys Community College and code “FLO” when booking your


For more information, including group travel arrangements call: (813)927-2590.

WIN Conference and Retreat Sponsors and Supporters:


Weekend Highlights (Tentative)


Friday, September 23, 2016


7:00PM to 9:00PM: WIN networking and” Exhale” reception

Marriott Key West Beachside, WIN hospitality suites


Saturday, September 24, 2016


9:00AM to 3:00PM: Conference and workshops

Florida Keys Community College campus

(Conference and retreat fee includes shuttle to and from hotel and FKCC campus, workshops, Continental Breakfast and Caribbean Lunch)

5:30PM to 6:30PM: Conch Train Key West Tour ($20)

Dinner and evening activities on your own.

(Duval St. is center of activity for dining, shopping and entertainment in Key West. Free hotel shuttle to and from Duval St.)


Sunday, September 25, 2016

9:00AM to 10:30AM: Closing Beachside Activity

Marriott Key West Beachside Hotel




Saturday, September 24, 2016

Florida Keys Community College Campus

5901 College Rd., Key West, Florida

Conference Workshop Agenda (tentative) 



8:00AM – 9:00AM

Continental Breakfast

and shuttles from Marriott Key West Beachside hotel

to FKCC campus

9:00AM – 9:15AM

Welcome & Introductions

9:15AM – 10:00AM

Workshop/ Presentation

10:00AM – 10:15AM


10:00AM – 10:45AM

Workshop/ Presentation

10:45AM – 11:30AM

Workshop/ Presentation

11:30AM – 1:00PM

Lunch & Speaker

1:00PM – 1:45PM


1:45PM – 2:15PM

Workshop/ Presentation

2:15PM – 2:30PM


2:30PM – 3:15PM

Workshop/ Presentation

3:15PM – 3:30PM

Conference & workshop wrap-up

3:30PM – 4:00PM

Shuttles from campus to Marriott Key West Hotel


University Area to Receive $3.3M Federal Grant

University Area Partnership to Receive $3.8M Federal Grant to Train Young/Underskilled Workers for Future Technology Jobs
Grant is Foundation for Enriching The Area Through a Diverse, Skilled Workforce

Press Release

June 29, 2016 – Tampa, FL – The Federal Government has awarded Tampa one of 39 TechHire Partnership Grants across the nation. The $3.8 million grant is a major boost to the innovation district in the University area allowing for programming and training specifically for technology jobs.  The grant was a result of a partnership between CareerSource Tampa Bay, University Area Community Development Corporation, Hillsborough County, Tampa Bay Technology Forum and the Tampa Innovation Alliance. U.S. Congresswoman Cathy Castor championed the effort.
“There is no limit to what we can accomplish when we work together,” said Mark Sharpe, President and CEO, Tampa Innovation Alliance. “We applaud Congresswoman Castor’s leadership in winning the TechHire grant and are committed to making sure that all our citizens can participate in the tech economy.”
Vice President Joe Biden and Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez announced the release of the competitive grants as part of the White House’s TechHire Initiative. As the North Tampa area continues to evolve with a focus on becoming an innovation district, this grant will serve as a roadmap to higher-wage, middle-class jobs for current residents. 
“Our hard-fought federal investment in jobs aims to recruit more than 1,000 young adults and low-wage workers in Tampa and the surrounding area, with a goal of preparing them for well-paying jobs in information technology and health care,” said Congresswoman Castor. “The Tampa Bay area would not have been competitive without so many of our partners like the University of South Florida and a number of local employers and employer coalitions such as the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, Cognizant, and Celestar Holdings Corporation.”
Partners will work to develop programming and training. Education and training providers, including the University of South Florida, will allow participants to earn various credentials including certificates and associate degrees in customized programs. 
“The Tampa Bay TechHire program will expand local technology related job training programs by focusing on accelerated training for youth and young adults with barriers to accessing employment,” said Ed Peachey, President and CEO of CareerSource Tampa Bay. “The program will also train incumbent workers for advancement in critical high-growth IT and Healthcare occupations. The partnership with Tampa Innovation Alliance, IBM, BayCare, and other local companies provides the foundation for long-term sustainable employment.”
Recognizing that many tech jobs do not require a four-year-degree and that tech talent is often cited as an issue for companies, the Federal Government launched TechHire in March of 2015. The initiative is designed to build economic development through growth of technology jobs.
“This grant is a huge win for the residents of the University area community and will be the answer to many families struggling with unemployment and underemployment,” said Sarah Combs, Executive Director & CEO of University Area Community Development Corporation. “The University Area CDC is thrilled to be a part of this collaborative to focus on bringing job training opportunities to provide residents the fastest paths to good-paying jobs.”
More than 150 businesses supported the grant application through their membership in the Tampa Innovation Alliance and the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, with several large corporations such as IBM, BayCare Health System and Celestar Holdings submitting letters of support, putting their companies on record for interest and excitement to hire the graduates of these programs.
About the Tampa Innovation Alliance
The Tampa Innovation Alliance is a multi-jurisdictional district anchored by globally-recognized institutions such as USF, Busch Gardens, Moffitt Cancer Center, Florida Hospital, and RD Management. These institutions drive economic activity, engaging tens of thousands of students, educators, health care workers, patients, and four million tourists annually. The Alliance is set to build an engaged community recognized as an innovation destination.
About CareerSource Tampa Bay
CareerSource Tampa Bay is a member of the CareerSource Florida workforce system.  CareerSource Tampa Bay is an equal opportunity employer/program.  Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities by calling TTY/TDD 711.

15 Important Reasons Why Community Colleges Should Be Your Business Training Resource

1. Experience – Serves hundreds of businesses and government agencies in the counties they serve.

2. Recommendation – 95% of businesses and organizations that employ Community College graduates recommend community college workforce education and training programs.

3. Responsive – Immediate and attentive response to business – employee educational training needs.

4. Accessibility – Access to real-world, high quality subject-matter-instructors (SMI).

5. Diversity – A wide range of SMIs and course programs to fulfill your requirements.

6. Customization – Offer customized training, from selecting the best trainer to co-developing targeted curriculum/content and establishing the best training environment for business employees.

7. Flexibility – Efficient and effective ground-based, online, hybrid and/or blended learning environments.

8. Results – Performance Tracking and 360 degree improvement practices.

9. Partnerships – Works within a Community College network of over 1200 Community Colleges across the US.

10. Economy – Community College instruction can add millions in annual earnings to their local economy.

11. Loyalty – Over 90% of Community College workforce graduates stay in the region and contribute to the local economy.

12. Stability – A proven track record of having successfully worked with small, medium, enterprise businesses and federal, state and local government agencies.

13. Local Investment – On average, over 75% of Community College’s Operating Budgets are reinvested in the counties they serve.

14. State Investment – Every tax dollar invested in Community Colleges yield the highest return in the state they reside in.

15. Recognition – Regional and local recognition associated with a highly respected community college.

10 Benefits of IT Certification for You (and Your Employer)

Why should you earn an IT certification (or certifications)? What is the value of an IT certification to you and to your employer? An IT certification is a quick and readily recognized benchmark mapped to a specific skill set based on standardized testing. A certification demonstrates your dedication, motivation and technical knowledge on a specific platform. Once you earn an IT certification, you join a select group of individuals – a peer group with demonstrated skills. Having a certification shows that you not only possess comprehensive knowledge of that technology but you also care enough about your own career to spend the time and money to get certified. Remember: You are your own best career manager!

1. Getting Hired

Having an IT certification will certainly give you an advantage when hiring managers look at your resume. Competition for IT jobs can be stiff, and having a certification is a significant advantage compared to those who do not have one. In fact, a certification can be a qualifier for a position. Keep in mind that when two otherwise equal candidates are vying for the same job, the one who has a certification will have the edge over the candidate that does not. A certification may do nothing more than get your resume a second look – which may be more than your competition gets.

2. Job Retention

In a volatile economic environment, businesses are always looking for ways to cut costs. That may mean jobs are on the line. This is when having an IT certification (or more) can mean the difference between keeping your job and having a chance to seek a new one. Earning a certification demonstrates that you are determined to enhance your skill set and knowledge – which benefits you and your employer. The bottom line is you must invest in yourself.

3. Promotions

Want to move up the corporate ladder or into a better, higher-paying job in your company, then you will need to learn new technologies or enhance the skills you currently possess. There is no better way to show this than to earn a new certification or progress further up the certification chain in a current area of expertise.

4. Networking Opportunities

Once you earn a certification with a specific vendor or manufacturer, then you join a unique group of certified and skilled professionals. This can prove to be an invaluable peer resource group when seeking answers to problems or sharing the solutions to your own challenging scenario. This peer group of certified professionals can also pass along guidance on how to further enhance your career or where to seek specific technical knowledge.

5. Professional Credibility

Earning a certification, especially a series of certifications from the same vendor, will provide immediate professional credibility. Who is going to question a Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE), a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) or a Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA)? Having earned one (or more) of these certifications demonstrates your dedication and motivation to professional development. Many companies will actively support their employees in earning these certifications that may even lead to promotions and raises as well.

6. Partner Programs

In some cases, companies may require that there be a certain number of certified individuals associated with their organization to maintain a current partner level (and more if they want to pursue a higher partner level). Most major manufacturers and many other vendors have this requirement. Earning a vendor’s certification benefits you and your organization since it enables the company to meet the required number of certified associates on staff.

7. Certification Renewal and Retention

IT professionals may have a requirement by their respective certification bodies to recertify every two to three years. For example, Cisco requires that you either take and pass a recertification exam or take the next higher certification exam every three years. Red Hat requires you to recertify every three years. Microsoft requires you to recertify every three years for an MCSE or two years for an MCSD. In this instance, a certification or recertification exam can benefit both you and your employer. In some circumstances, customers may only want to work with companies that have certified individuals.

8. New and Current Technologies

Earning a certification on a recently released operating system, platform or application will demonstrate that you have achieved what few have done up to that point: become certified on a new product. Passing an exam for a recently released certification is challenging due to the lack of study material and advice available from other certified individuals. Earning an IT certification on a new product can make you the subject matter expert in your organization – putting you in a positive light for your early efforts.

9. Personal Goal

You may have set a personal goal for yourself to earn a new certification, whether for professional recognition or personal achievement. Certifications you earn this way may be the most satisfying, as you are rewarding yourself for your own efforts. If it happens to lead to a raise, promotion and recognition – so much the better. In many instances, these are also the hardest to earn because of the self-motivation and discipline required where there aren’t any tangible rewards.

10. Professional or Corporate Requirement

One way to ensure that IT staff have the necessary skills and experience on existing and new technologies is through certifications and training. IT staff who have passed a certification exam or series of exams can be presumed to have the specific knowledge to be more productive members of the IT department and respond better to any incidents outside the normal environment. Companies that invest in their staff through training and certification will have a more technically advanced work force able to respond to new challenges quicker.

Instructor-led IT training, especially training that leads to certification, usually includes some type of hands-on work (whether through a virtual environment or with physical equipment and software). The benefit of this is that you get to learn, play and experiment with new technologies in a non-production (read: safe) environment. This will enable you to gain new knowledge more quickly that you can bring back to your work environment. Certification exams usually become more complex and difficult the longer they have been out, so there is no time like the present to get started.

4 Characteristics Every Professional Should Have

You’re at a party and someone walks up to you. “Hi, I’m Dan and I work in marketing.” Immediately you have a pre-judgment about what this person should. What skills they should possess, how they should act and even what they should look like.

For better or worse, our jobs help define who we are. They show our role in society, what ulitilty we have to the world and where we rank on the socio-economic hierarchy level. That said, each one of us possess, or strive to possess, a specific set of skills to make us the top of our profession. Read more ›

5 Webinars You Should Be Taking

In today’s go-go society of new, now, next, it is vital for employees to stay up-to-date on things we often take for granted. For example, we all use email as if it were an extra limb. But are you using it effectively? Are you taking advantage of changes to programs like Outlook to best manage your time? There are so many changes that it becomes impossible for the average person to keep it all on point.
Enter the Webinar. Read more ›

Avoid These Five Unproductive Work Behaviors

Burping out loud in public. Illegally parking in the handicap spot. Cutting line at the post office. There are certain things you just don’t do in life. Besides being inappropriate, they can make your life much more difficult and create misunderstandings that lead to well… bad things.

So why do we allow poor behaviors to persist at work? In today’s busy busy, do-it-all style organizations, having effective leadership and management skills is vital to creating an environment that fosters growth, effectiveness and personal productivity . Taking a few leadership courses and periodically completing some project management training can only help you to hone these skills! Read more ›

3 Accounting Tips for the Non-Accountant

For non-accountants, finances can be a scary and confusing subject. Ledgers and dividends and spreadsheets… oh my!

However, just because you weren’t an accounting major doesn’t mean you don’t dabble in the subject. In today’s do-everything work environment, accounting for non-accountants is just a part of the job.

But don’t fret. Help is here! Check out these basic accounting tips for the non-accountant: Read more ›