Belle Glade campus awarded grant to expand access to textbooks

The Palm Beach State College Belle Glade campus was recently awarded a $3,000 grant from the American Library Association to give students free access to the most popular or costly textbooks through the local public libraries.

The funding is part of the association’s Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries initiative offered in partnership with the Association of Rural and Small Libraries to address issues experienced by rural and small communities. The campus library already allows students to check out some textbooks for free, but more options were needed.

“Students typically check out our reserve textbooks at a high demand from the Belle Glade campus library,” said librarian and professor Iris Fiallos-Finstad. “Since COVID we have been allowing students to check them out for the semester, but we do not have enough and access to them has become an escalating problem. This was a solution. They can now access these textbooks at their local library and have access to additional study spaces.”

With the grant, the Belle Glade Library, Clarence E. Anthony Branch Library in South Bay, and the Loula V. York Branch Library in Pahokee each received seven of the most popular PBSC student textbooks and one handheld ultraviolet light for sanitizing the textbooks after use. When PBSC students visit the libraries, they can now check out the books for onsite use for up to four hours.

According to Fiallos-Finstad, the initiative also helps the campus build a stronger relationship with the community and increases the College’s visibility as a partner who listens to students and faculty. For more information, contact her at 561-993-1151.

South Florida market-bullish Finfrock outlines $36 million plant

Design-build and precast, prestressed specialist Finfrock expects to upward of $40 million in production facilities and administrative offices at Glades Gateway Commerce Park in Belle Glade, Fla. An advanced satellite to the producer’s flagship located just north of Orlando, the 140,000-sq.-ft. operation will better serve commercial developers in Palm Beach, Dade and Broward counties as well as in Southwest Florida, while also bringing jobs and economic stimulus to the region.

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School District Teacher of the Year and School-Related Employee of the Year Announced

Toshimi Abi-Janiga, teacher at Riviera Beach Preparatory Academy and Hernan Avila, Instructional Technical Support Assistant (ITSA) at Wellington Community High School have been named the School District of Palm Beach County’s Teacher of the Year and School-Related Employee of the Year respectively. The announcement was made during a live ceremony on Tuesday, March 30.
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NFL Player Inspires Students to Dream Big

Te’von Coney, an NFL linebacker for the Las Vegas Raiders, visited John F. Kennedy Middle School to inspire students to dream big. His message was that anyone has the potential to succeed, if they set their mind to it.

Coney graduated from Palm Beach Gardens Community High School and went on to attend Notre Dame University. He graduated in May 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a minor in business economics. He signed with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent in 2019.

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Palm Beach Post: Belle Glade celebrates company’s expansion that will bring 200 jobs to city

BELLE GLADE — On a bright, breezy day, under a pavilion near Lake Okeechobee where Belle Glade announces important news and welcomes high-profile guests, the region’s movers and shakers gathered Thursday to celebrate a corporate expansion that will mean 200 new jobs in an area hungry for them.

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New manufacturing facility will bring hundreds of jobs to Belle Glade

BELLE GLADE, Fla. — One of the largest manufacturing companies in Florida is expanding its operation to Belle Glade.

Next week, Finfrock will break ground on a 140 thousand sq. ft. facility at Glades Gateway Commerce Park.

“Road to economic recovery for the Glades community,” Melissa McKinlay, Palm Beach County Commissioner said.

Leaders from around the county gathered for the announcement at Lomax Harrelle Pavillion at the Belle Glade Marina, Thursday. Finfrock a design-builder and manufacturer, is transforming 100 acres of the park into a concrete manufacturing facility.

“That is for the Glades community, jobs, jobs, jobs,” Mayor Steve Wilson said.

The deal will bring more than 200 jobs to the area.

“Whether it be in administration or manufacturing this is going to be a great community partner,” Kelly Smallridge, President of the Palm Beach County Business Development Board said.

Belle Glade has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country at 48 percent. Finfrock said they plan to partner with Palm Beach State College and the Palm Beach County School District to fill some of the openings.

“We have a lot of jobs with a lot of different skill sets and so, that’s what really attracted me to the education systems here, that they can train and that’s really what we need,” Allen Frinfrock said.

The Business Development Board estimates this deal will have a 242 million economic impact on the region. The company plans to be operational by the second half of 2022.

Commissioner Melissa McKinlay believes this is opening the door to other opportunities for the Glades.

“It’s such a logistically key location, I think a lot of people are going to start turning their heads now and realize what’s been here all along,” she said.