PLANT CITY, Fla. — Home is where the heart is, and for Chuck Santaloaya, that place is Plant City. 

  • Career placement program helping Plant City High students get jobs
  • City, community and business came together to create program
  • Plant City Career Academy

"That was really the only thing I really really wanted to be local here in Plant City," said Santaloaya, who landed his dream job through a program at Plant City High School. 

Santaloaya is working as a parts representative at Stingray Chevrolet. And for a self-admitted car nut, Santaloaya said he has the best of both worlds. 

He landed the job through the Plant City Career Academy program

Several Plant City community members had a vision after realizing many Plant City High students weren't going to college. 

"Our job is to prepare them for whatever that path may be," said Plant City High Principal Susan Sullivan. "So when our students do well and are successful and find those good jobs that just helps our community." 

Educators developed a curriculum - taught once a month - where students lean workforce related skills. The students are then connected to Plant City companies who hire them. 

"A lot of times kids only see what is available as they drive down the road," Sullivan said. "So they saw fast food, your larger markets but they didn’t really know about the industries."

Plant City Mayor Rick Lott said the community has companies that are providing those great incomes with full benefits so that someone can have a good quality of life here 

"I think it's great (be)cause the way that we did it is basically you’re not just thrown into it," said Santaloaya. "They actually guide you and tell you the specific skills you need for that job."