A teacher in front of her class in Lee County. Credit: WINK News
Video courtesy of WINK News
TSA AGENTS NEEDED FOR SUMMER RUSH AT SOUTHWEST FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
The Transportation Security Administration is looking to fill more than 20 positions for agents at Southwest Florida International Airport. The need comes as the number of people using the airport has soared since 2019. If new agents aren’t hired, travelers could spend more time waiting in line at RSW, which is expected to be packed this summer. The airport, already up 28% over 2019 numbers, anticipates a 60% to 90% increase in passengers between June and August, WINK News reports. To apply for a TSA position, click here.
LEE, COLLIER COUNTIES HIRING TEACHERS FOR SUMMER PROGRAMS
School districts in Southwest Florida have sounded the alarm, saying they need teachers for summer programs. Local administrators are expecting classes to be full, especially at the kindergarten level, because many children missed out on class time because of the pandemic. To meet the need, school districts are looking to put more teachers in the classroom and more drivers on school buses. Lee County and Collier County school districts are hiring now. Lee has a recruitment event July 7 with a starting salary of more than $47,000, WINK News reports.
Video courtesy of WINK News
PROGRESS BEING MADE ON PUNTA GORDA AIRPORT EXPANSION
Progress is being made on the $18 million expansion of Punta Gorda Airport. Plans include new office space, a full-service restaurant, and even an event space. “In order to give the commercial air service room to grow, we’re moving the private planes, charter services and fueling services over here to the north side of the airport,” says Kaley Miller, the airport’s marketing and communications manager. Bidding is underway for a full-service restaurant in the new building. It would be the first sit-down restaurant on airport property. Delayed because of the pandemic, the airport expansion project is set to be completed next March, WINK News reports.
PUBLIX SUPER MARKETS BUSY WITH DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS IN COLLIER COUNTY
Lakeland-based Publix Super Markets Inc. has many grocery store projects pending in Collier County. Two new stores are under construction in East Naples, one is being rebooted on Marco Island and a 35-year-old store in Naples soon will be demolished and rebuilt. A 51,989-square-foot store that will anchor the new Fiddler’s Creek Plaza off U.S. 41 East nears completion at 15050 Sandpiper Lane. Publix is also busy in East Naples building out the former Lucky’s Market store space in Naples Towne Centre South, 3815 Tamiami Trail E., which has been proposed to include a new Publix prototype: Pours, a craft beer bar with cafe seating. Meanwhile, an expanded Publix at the Shops of Marco, 175 S. Barfield Drive, will reopen later this year after temporarily closing a year ago for demolition and redevelopment. In Naples, the Publix store at Neapolitan Way is slated to be demolished and redeveloped in early 2022, plans show.
AAA: FLORIDA GAS PRICES JUMP 12 CENTS; MOST EXPENSIVE SINCE 2014
Florida gas prices increased as projected in last week’s AAA Gas Price Brief. The state average jumped 12 cents last week, following significant gains in the prices of crude oil and gasoline futures, as the recovery in global fuel demand outpaces supply, AAA reports. Florida drivers are now paying the most expensive prices at the pump since November 2014. The state average of $2.97 per gallon is 12 cents more than a week ago, 7 cents more than a month ago, and 44 cents more than this time in 2019. Pump prices are now averaging 6 cents more than the previous 2021 high set in March. It is also 5 cents more than the highest price in 2018. Punta Gorda and the Fort Myers-Cape Coral area were listed among the least expensive metro markets, with gas costing $2.93 per gallon and $2.94 per gallon, respectively.
CHILD CARE OF SWFL TO HOST TEACHER WORKSHOP ON SATURDAY
Child Care of Southwest Florida is hosting a free continuing education workshop from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday at the IMAG Theater in Fort Myers to help early childhood education teachers sharpen their classroom leadership skills. “Diving Deeper into Instructional Support” will help teachers become better facilitators in the classroom and encourage children to expand their learning, Child Care of Southwest states. The class covers learning strategies such as the development of hands-on activities. The course is offered through Child Care of Southwest Florida’s Focus on Four initiative that prepares 4-year-olds for kindergarten. The Lee Chapter of Florida Association for the Education of Young Children will provide Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to attendees. The course is sponsored by The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation and supported by Florida Gulf Coast University and Child Care of Southwest Florida. Complimentary registration is available here.
GREATER FORT MYERS CHAMBER INSTALLS BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, on June 11, installed its 2021-2022 board of directors and officers. The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors includes board chair Angela Schivinski, Fort Myers Florida Weekly; first vice chair Michele Hoover, Solomon & Hoover CPAs PLLC; second vice chair Jay Johnson, Bubba’s Roadhouse & Saloon; treasurer Samantha Scott, Pushing the Envelope; and immediate past chairman Jim Larkin, Crowne Plaza Fort Myers at Bell Tower. Working to support the Chamber’s efforts to enhance education and professional development at a variety of levels within Southwest Florida, the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Board of Directors includes chair Joe Mitchell, Pool Pros Inc.; vice chair Bryan Blackwell, Southern Oak Wealth Management; and secretary Suzanne Boy, Boy Agnew Potanovic, PLLC.
CAPITAL WEALTH ADVISORS WELCOMES LATIMER
Capital Wealth Advisors (CWA), headquartered in Naples, has appointed Mikaela Latimer as client services manager. Latimer will manage the onboarding process for new clients and account maintenance for multiple advisors in her new position. Latimer graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a master’s degree in business administration. CWA is an independent financial advisory firm serving families and entrepreneurs through wealth advisory, estate planning and family office services.
THE IMMOKALEE FOUNDATION ADDS TREASURER, BOARD MEMBERS
The Immokalee Foundation has added four new members to its 2021-22 board of directors. Drew Yurko of Lipman Family Farms is the newly appointed treasurer. In addition, new board members include Katherine Ahearn, Northern Trust Naples; Katherine “Kitty” Green, Florida Gulf Coast University; and Carol Joseph, formerly Magnum Products. The Immokalee Foundation 2021-22 board of directors also includes Jerry Belle, chair; Alison K. Douglas, secretary; Tarren Bragdon; John Griswold; Joyce Hagen; Karen L. Hendricks; Barbara L. Morrison; Stephen D. Pryor; Linda Salazar; John C. Tobe, and Joseph Zednik. For 30 years, The Immokalee Foundation has provided a range of education programs that focus on building pathways to professional careers.
RONALD MCDONALD FAMILY ROOM REOPENS AFTER COVID HIATUS
Ronald McDonald House Charities Southwest Florida (RMHC SWFL) announces the partial reopening of the Ronald McDonald Family Room after a 14-month hiatus due to COVID-19. Free-of-charge and located in Golisano Children’s Hospital, the family room offers patient families a place to regroup, refuel, and relax. RMHC SWFL volunteers staff the space and provide information, a listening ear and support. When fully operational, services provided for adults and children include televisions, books, puzzles, bagged lunches, snacks, beverages, and laundry facilities. Following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and hospital COVID-19 protocols, RMHC SWFL currently provides snacks, coffee and bagged lunches and expects to offer full services by fall. Since its opening in 2017, the family room has supported thousands of families. In 2019, the family room served 6,491 patient families and provided 5,881 meals.
Taste of Immokalee receives $100,000 donation to fund expansion
Tamiami Angels have made a $100,000 to Taste of Immokalee to help with its expansion. Tamiami Angel Fund investors helped forge a partnership with the Community Foundation of Collier County (CFCC) to launch the Taste of Immokalee Social Investment Fund. Donations to CFCC can be directed to be “invested” in Taste of Immokalee. Through the Taste of Immokalee Social Investment Fund, investors donate the shares in the company purchased with their charitable gift to the Community Foundation of Collier County. As a shareholder, the foundation can benefit from the sale of those shares if Taste of Immokalee takes off and the company is sold. The proceeds from a sale would be reinvested by the CFCC to further local economic development and entrepreneurship, especially those in Immokalee, Taste of Immokalee states. To date, Tamiami Angel Fund investors have raised $115,358.50, donated to CFCC for investment in Taste of Immokalee, a benefit corporation founded in 2014 by Immokalee-based One by One Leadership Foundation.
Nonprofits serving seniors to receive $25,000 in CAMEO grants
Cooperative Associates Marketing Elder Options (CAMEO) of Lee County will grant nonprofits $25,000 at the 2021 Grants Ceremony, held from 9-11:30 a.m. on Thursday at Discovery Village at The Forum. CAMEO was established in 1999 and comprises professionals and organizations that serve seniors. As a collaborative effort, the members raise funds through monthly meetings, various networking and special events. The goal is to raise awareness and improve the quality of life for seniors in the community.
YLC Class of 2020 awards $10K in grants to organizations
The Youth Leadership Collier (YLC) Class of 2020 distributed $10,000 in grants to three local charities as part of the inaugural Youth Community Leadership Project. A partnership of the Leadership Collier Foundation (LCF) of the Greater Naples Chamber and the Community Foundation of Collier County, the project provides Youth Leadership Collier participants with real-world experience identifying issues in their community and awarding grants to fund solutions. Students awarded $3,500 apiece to Grace Place for Children and Families and Pathways Early Education Center, and $3,000 was awarded to Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida. The grants are focused on issues related to career counseling for students, housing gaps and food shortages. The 2021 Youth Leadership Collier program began on June 12 and runs through June 18. Naples resident Betty Frank, who donated $10,000 to Collier’s inaugural Youth Community Leadership Project, has committed to funding the program’s first two years.
Shy Wolf Sanctuary offers pet therapy to residents in DLC recovery program
David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health (DLC) has partnered with Shy Wolf Sanctuary to bring the healing benefits of animal-assisted therapy to adult residents in the Crossroads addiction recovery program. Through the Shy Wolf Sanctuary Healing Hearts program, residents took a break from the traditional group and individual therapy provided onsite at Crossroads and visited the Shy Wolf Sanctuary Education & Experience Center in East Naples to spend time with animals, which include numerous wolves and wolfdogs. “During their time at Shy Wolf, the Crossroads clients were educated about our animals and how their past experiences may be similar to the animal’s experiences,” said Shy Wolf Sanctuary Community Education Coordinator Debbie LoVerde. “We talked about the emotions we share with animals, such as fear, joy, and/or sadness, and how those experiences shape who we are and how we perceive the world.” Participants also enjoyed an art project, light lunch and received parting gifts of a T-shirt, journal and wolf necklace.
GCG Construction Inc. sponsors Goodwill Breakthrough Awards
Fort Myers-based GCG Construction Inc. sponsored Goodwill Industries of SWFL’s Breakthrough Awards, held in May. The event recognizes people who have overcome their own barriers and thanks those involved in Goodwill’s programs and support its mission. This past year, Goodwill served 24,708 individuals in the area, GCG Construction Inc. reports.
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