LIFELONG LEARNING [LL]

The success of a community is highly influenced by its ability to educate its residents and workforce. Education levels have a direct correlation to income levels, and together, can have major impacts on health and well-being. People with higher levels of education are more likely to have access to homes in neighborhoods with easy access to public transportation, parks and recreation, quality schools, good jobs, healthy food, and medical care.

A strong education creates opportunities for employment and increased earnings and sets up the ability for a community to bring in new business and high-wage jobs. The availability of high-wage jobs creates demand for support and enhances employment opportunities at multiple wage levels. As such, the community must prepare its workforce to support jobs that require varying skill-sets. A well-trained workforce is essential for the local economy to thrive.

The goals, objectives and policies in the Lifelong Learning chapter address the County’s coordination with the School District and other partners to address education and training.


Everyday Actions

Did you know that there are several opportunities for you to hear about and share your opinion regarding land use and zoning decisions in the County? There are many boards and committees that hold public meetings/hearings. Here are just a few:

  • Local Planning Agency (LPA) – recommends changes to the Comprehensive Plan, Future Land Use, the Land Development Code, etc.

Check out the County’s website for meeting schedules and agendas.

Goals, Objectives, Policies & Strategies 

LL GOAL 1 (Sustainable Communities):  

COORDINATE WITH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS AND OTHER PARTNERS ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES THAT ENCOURAGE SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES, COHESIVE NEIGHBORHOODS, AND COMMUNITY BUILDING.

LL OBJECTIVE 1.1:  

Implement the Public Schools Interlocal Agreement with the School District.

LL POLICY 1.1.1:  

Consider population and school enrollment projections in land use and capital investment decisions.

LL STRATEGY 1.1.1.1:  

Utilize population projections provided by the County for student enrollment projections.

LL STRATEGY 1.1.1.2:  

Utilize student generation rates provided by the School District to evaluate land use plan amendments, rezonings, residential site plans and subdivision approvals.

LL POLICY 1.1.2:  

The School District must notify the County of proposed school facility changes including new construction, remodeling, renovations, closures or changes in the type of school.

LL STRATEGY 1.1.2.1:  

The School District will annually notify the County of the five-year facilities work program and provide opportunity for comments and recommendations, including how it relates to the County’s emergency management.

LL POLICY 1.1.3:  

Partner with the School District, local government, other public and private schools and partners to coordinate the (re)development of educational facilities and land use plans, development approvals and other capital facilities.

LL STRATEGY 1.1.3.1:  

Collaborate on:

  • Land use amendments and rezonings that increase or decrease residential densities;
  • Infrastructure projects that will restrict or change access to schools; and
  • Improvements needed to support new, expanded or redeveloped schools.
LL OBJECTIVE 1.2:  

Collaborate with the School District and other public and private partners to encourage cohesive and sustainable neighborhoods that maximize location efficiency.

LL POLICY 1.2.1:  

Collaborate with partners in the planning, location and development of educational facilities, and in the evaluation of potential school closures, significant school renovations, and school site selections before land acquisition or disposal.

LL STRATEGY 1.2.1.1:  

Encourage the location of public and private schools in proximity to urban residential areas, or those areas that accommodate factors deemed appropriate for site selections:

  • Safe and direct pedestrian and bicycle access;
  • Convenient access to public transit;
  • Sufficient area to accommodate needed utilities, support facilities, parking and on-site queuing for vehicles;
  • Adequate buffering of surrounding land uses;
  • Location outside of the Coastal Storm Area;
  • Does not conflict with the Pinellas County Stormwater Management Plan;
  • Soil suitability; and
  • Significant environmental constraints that would preclude development for education uses.
LL STRATEGY 1.2.1.2:  

For (re)development within a two-mile radius of any existing or planned school facility, require the property owner to include sidewalks or multiuse paths along the corridor continuous to the property being developed.

LL POLICY 1.2.2:  

Educational facilities must be comparable with the present and projected use of surrounding properties and community infrastructure, resources and assets.

LL STRATEGY 1.2.2.1:  

Stadiums, outdoor recreational and similar support facilities will be located and buffered to minimize impact on adjacent properties.

LL STRATEGY 1.2.2.2:  

Industrial education facilities will be located and buffered to minimize impact on adjacent properties.

LL STRATEGY 1.2.2.3:  

Educational facilities must not adversely impact archaeological or locally or nationally designated historic sites.

LL POLICY 1.2.3:  

Explore opportunities to collocate school facilities with mutually supportive public facilities and activities.

LL STRATEGY 1.2.3.1:  

Seek to collocate school facilities with parks, libraries, community centers, recreational centers, performing arts centers, museums, auditoriums, stadiums, healthcare and social services and other similar uses to maximize public benefits and opportunities for intergenerational community building.

LL POLICY 1.2.4:  

Design schools to serve emergency management purposes.

L LSTRATEGY 1.2.4.1:  

Coordinate with the School District for emergency preparedness.

LL STRATEGY 1.2.4.2:  

Future public school facilities not located in Category A, B, or C evacuation zones will be designed as public emergency shelters in accordance with the Florida Building Code and consistent with §1013.372 F.S., Education facilities as emergency shelters.

LL POLICY 1.2.5:  

Support the School District’s commitment to sustainable design and operations.

LL STRATEGY 1.2.5.1:  

Promote sustainable schools as community models of environmental efficiency through on-site demonstration projects and technologies.

LL GOAL 2 (Equitable Access):  

COLLABORATE WITH THE PINELLAS SCHOOL DISTRICT, LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, AND OTHER PUBLIC AND PRIVATE PARTNERS TO ENSURE EQUITABLE ACCESS TO EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL.

LL OBJECTIVE 2.1:  

Collaborate with partners to address socioeconomic barriers to education and workforce opportunities.

LL POLICY 2.1.1:  

Make strategic investments to connect people with education and training opportunities for at-risk communities, including:

  • Low-income workers;
  • Persons with disabilities;
  • Older citizens;
  • Veterans;
  • Parents with young children; and
  • Formerly incarcerated persons.
LL OBJECTIVE 2.2:  

Collaborate with partners to provide safe and efficient physical access to education facilities and workforce development opportunities.

LL POLICY 2.2.1:  

Participate with local and regional committees and task forces to coordinate safe, equitable access to education and training opportunities.

LL STRATEGY 2.2.1.1:  

Participate on the Forward Pinellas Technical Coordinating Committee (TCC) to plan and implement multimodal transportation improvements that provide equitable access.

LL STRATEGY 2.2.1.2:  

Participate on the Forward Pinellas School Transportation Safety Committee (STSC) and the School Transportation and Enhanced Safety Committee (STEPS) to:

  • Identify locations where safe access to schools is a concern; and
  • Develop and implement improvements in response to identified safety issues.
LL STRATEGY 2.2.1.3:  

Evaluate and prioritize:

  • Implementation of recommendations from STSC;
  • Construction of sidewalks, crosswalks, multiuse paths and other improvements to provide continuous safe access to schools for pedestrians and cyclists; and
  • Strategic public transit investments to provide efficient access to educational facilities and workforce development opportunities.
LL GOAL 3 (Well-Educated Workforce):  

MAINTAIN A HIGHLY-TRAINED AND WELL-EDUCATED LOCAL WORKFORCE THAT EFFECTIVELY COMPETES FOR EMPLOYMENT, MEETS THE NEEDS OF BUSINESSES AND INCREASES OPPORTUNITIES FOR SOCIAL MOBILITY.

LL OBJECTIVE 3.1:  

Collaborate with public and private partners to develop a diversely-skilled workforce that meets existing and anticipated business needs.

LL POLICY 3.1.1:  

Work with schools, libraries, other educational institutions, community-based organizations, businesses, labor unions, and other governments and partners to:

  • Provide training in ‘soft-skills’ and vocational skills, daycare, and other services that enable people to enter the workforce and earn a living wage;
  • Develop strong educational and training programs that provide pathways to successful employment (e.g.: foundation education, workforce training, post-graduate education, professional development, and research programs, etc.); and
  • Develop and expand education and training programs targeted to the needs of business, especially for high-demand science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills.
LL OBJECTIVE 3.2:  

Improve equitable access to quality education and lifelong learning opportunities.

LL POLICY 3.2.1:  

Work with schools, libraries, other educational institutions, community-based organizations, and other partners to:

  • Promote and encourage use of the Public Library System, community centers, schools and other resources that provide opportunities for lifelong learning;
  • Facilitate digital literacy and access to technological tools and skills needed to participate in the economy and find jobs;
  • Increase availability of quality, affordable early childhood care, education and child development services; and
  • Explore opportunities to coordinate community-development activities with place-based workforce-development opportunities in communities with high unemployment.
LL OBJECTIVE 3.3:  

Enable Pinellas County’s youth to access quality education and compete in the global economy.

LL POLICY 3.3.1:  

Strengthen the relationship with Pinellas County Public Schools to provide safe locations for children and youth to learn, explore, and connect with other educational, workforce, and personal development opportunities.

LL POLICY 3.3.2:  

Support youth-based job-training opportunities that provide classes, coaching, and the development of skills leading to jobs with livable wages.

LL POLICY 3.3.3:  

Foster collaborations that connect youth and young adults to internships and other education and training opportunities.

LL POLICY 3.3.4:  

Support programs that help people who have dropped out or are at risk of dropping out of high school to achieve education, personal, and employment goals.