Investor Spotlight: Hillsborough Community College

July 22, 2015

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Dr. Ken Atwater President, Hillsborough Community College

Hillsborough Community College (HCC) serves over 46,000 students at five campuses and three centers in the county, as well as through online offerings. Approximately 85 percent of HCC graduates remain in the area, and their contributions in increased business productivity, combined with college operations, contribute to an annual economic impact of over $1.1 billion in Hillsborough County.
As HCC’s president, Dr. Ken Atwater is responsible for leading the institution, as well as the educational future of its student body. Dr. Atwater is invested in the future of our community, serving as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Tampa Hillsborough EDC. He also serves on the boards of other local organizations such as the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, the United Way of Tampa Bay, St. Joseph’s Hospital, the MOSI National Board, and the CEO Council. Between his commitment to education and regional leadership and service, Dr. Atwater’s passion for taking Tampa and Hillsborough County to new heights is evident.
In your view, what was the most significant win for Tampa and Hillsborough County recently?
Like our government and community leaders, our educational leaders are working together like never before. HCC, University of Tampa, University of South Florida, Saint Leo University, the technical schools, and Hillsborough County Public Schools – we’re all working seamlessly to create a successful education system and show the rest of the world how skilled and talented our workforce is. It is important to companies who are looking at Tampa and Hillsborough County to know that we have a powerful workforce and steady pipeline in place. That kind of collaboration is unprecedented, and a major win indeed.
What motivated you to become an Investor of the Tampa Hillsborough EDC?
Hillsborough Community College’s mission makes us a natural fit with the EDC. We are dedicated to opening pathways for the middle class, and having major corporations like USAA, Amazon, Citi, and James Hardie here is essential for those opportunities to occur. By helping the EDC in their work to recruit companies here, we are helping to create a better future our students.
What makes Tampa and Hillsborough County such a great place to do business?
Florida offers a favorable tax climate to do business. Additionally, government, civic, and education leaders are collaborating to make our community a top business environment, which is something you don’t find everywhere. The quality of life is also just better here. People are happier, the weather is great, and there are plenty of activities to do.
What makes Tampa and Hillsborough County an ideal place for corporate headquarters?
Location, location, location! Everything corporations and small businesses could want is right here. We have the largest seaport in the state, a top-rated airport, and the weather is favorable. A corporate headquarters will find that everything it could ever want and need is easily accessible within Tampa and Hillsborough County.