June 21st  |  College Students Focus Group

Key Takeaways

  • Food security is important for the City of Panama City. There were food deserts before Hurricane Michael, which have been exacerbated since the storm. The City should invest in community gardens, replanting trees (ReTreePC), and other agricultural initiatives. Gardening initiatives would be low-cost solutions for the rehabilitation of vacant lots.
  • Participants noted that it is hard to draw college graduates back to the City or have them remain in the City after graduation because there are not a lot of professional positions/jobs in the City.
  • Due to the large number of low wage jobs in the City, much of the community struggles to provide a high quality of life for themselves and families. The City needs to bring in higher paying jobs.
  • Both colleges located in the City of Panama City are commuter campus with students living remote or farther away from campus. This makes it difficult to engage the student body.
  • Other colleges have requirements or opportunities for service learning. In these programs, students participate in a service or volunteer program in their community as a part of a graduation requirement. Students who participate in this type of service can grow a stronger attachment to the community The City should engage the local colleges to see if there is support of programs like this one.