Better education necessary to diversify Bay County economy

JuliannBy: Juliann Talkington

Juliann Talkington is the administrator of the Panama City Renaissance School. Reach her on 850-215-8712 or jtalkington@pcrschool.org.

With the state of the economy in Bay County, we are all searching for ways to improve conditions. People talk wistfully about the new airport and what it will do for the area. The champions speak about more tourists, more permanent residents and high-quality employment opportunities.

With rising gas prices and a nationwide recession, many people are starting to wonder how realistic these projections might be. Even though it would be nice to think Bay County is insulated from tough economic conditions elsewhere, it is probably unrealistic. Like other tourist-based economies, Bay County suffers when outsiders don’t have extra money to take vacations.

Continue reading “Better education necessary to diversify Bay County economy”

Math + Science = Jobs

JuliannBy: Juliann Talkington

Juliann Talkington is the administrator of the Panama City Renaissance School. Reach her on 850-215-8712 or jtalkington@pcrschool.org.

We have beautiful beaches, few traffic problems and warm friendly people, but we still struggle to diversify our economy. How is this possible?

A discussion with a Coastal Systems Station science official highlighted one of challenges. According to this person, it is very difficult to find and attract technical people who are US citizens to work at the base. The salaries are good and the working conditions are pleasant. So why aren’t people in Bay County lined up to take these jobs?

Continue reading “Math + Science = Jobs”

Jobs linked to education

JuliannBy: Juliann Talkington

Juliann Talkington is the administrator of the Panama City Renaissance School. Reach her on 850-215-8712 or jtalkington@pcrschool.org.

For years small resort communities like Panama City have taken a casual approach to education. Many are significant distances from large cities, so there was little competition and consistent opportunities for those who chose to stay.

Technology is changing everything. Communities like ours are far from isolated. People hold phone conversations half way around the world for free, create their our own music lists with their ipods and can work almost anywhere as long as they have a computer and access to the Internet.

Continue reading “Jobs linked to education”

Economic development in Northwest Florida depends on education

JuliannBy: Juliann Talkington

Juliann Talkington is the administrator of the Panama City Renaissance School. Reach her on 850-215-8712 or jtalkington@pcrschool.org.

On Friday, Florida’s Great Northwest, the economic development organization for our region, presented details on a target industry study. The event was attended by government officials and business and community leaders from Bay County and the surrounding areas. The study suggested our region has a competitive advantage in four target industries: 1) aerospace and defense, 2) health sciences and human performance-enhancement, 3) renewal energy and environment and 4) transportation and logistics.

Continue reading “Economic development in Northwest Florida depends on education”

Free Municipal Wifi in Panama City – Is Wired Mag Wrong?

Over the weekend I was reading a fascinating article in Wired Magazine that explained that although many may think the idea of free municipal-sponsored wifi networks was dead, it was actually becoming a reality any many large and small cities alike.

The idea came a couple of years ago, from google, to set up free city-wide wireless networks all across the country.  The idea, of course, came with much criticism and concern from the big tel-com companies out of fear they would eventually lose the market or become obsolete.  The cost would be offset by advertising.

I actually hadn’t heard much about it is a while, but apparently San Francisco (the pioneer city), Chicago, and Atlanta just to name a few are in the process of getting this.  In addition, Cupertino, CA, Athens, GA, and Ft. Lauderdale are up and running.  Can any of our readers in these area verify this and give us feedback as to how this works?

I was surprised to see that among the “little” cities that was functioning was Panama City with a mark on the map to verify its location.  I like to consider myself somewhat on the up-and-up, but I stay busy so maybe I missed something.  I called around to the City of Panama City, the City of Panama City Beach, Callway and Lynn Haven, and all of them answered the question with a pause and a belittling “no, I mean, we have a router in city hall, but I don’t think it will go across the whole city.”

After doing a little research, I found cnet.com had a map that supposedly shows all the municipalities that offer free wifi city-wide.  Panama City is on that map too.

Interesting.  I wonder where they are getting their information.

Wired pdf map.