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Hive Technologies: Shaping a New Workforce


PANAMA CITY, FL – A limitless passion for sharing knowledge and strengthening the technical skills base in the Bay County area has local company Hive Technologies and the CareerSource Gulf Coast Board working together, keenly focused on the mission.

Hive Technologies' Rick Hurst, Contributing Executive Officer, compares the local technology climate to the old "chicken or the egg" story. "As a community, we can’t attract technology companies because we don’t have the tech resource pool to support their needs," Hurst said. "On the other hand, tech resources and new tech grads don’t stay in Panama City because we lack those jobs."

CareerSource Executive Director Kim Bodine agrees. "We are heavy in tourism-related jobs," Bodine said. "Some other sectors are stable or growing, but we are certainly lagging in terms of technology-based employment opportunities."

One answer? Grow the technology skills in the area - and that's something both Hive Technologies and CareerSource Gulf Coast most certainly agree upon. So CareerSource opened its doors to Hive, providing free space for technology classes. Hive offers the classes at no cost.

"Hive Technologies is working to address both the chicken and the egg, if you will," Hurst said. "We chose Panama City as the home for our tech company, and we're focused on organically growing a tech resource pool through Hive School. We're a software engineering company, that's true. But we're more importantly a company that believes in growing with the community by providing education, mentorship and opportunities. Supporting this area - that's first and foremost."

Hive Technologies, as Hurst explains, is built on the premise of its name: The ability to come together as a community and create something great. That's what's happening, by any measure. Within two days of posting information about the free technology classes at the CareerSource Gulf Coast Job Center, the seats were full, and a waiting list had formed.

"Our goal is always to make our communities stronger every day," Bodine said. "The Hive Technologies program clearly addresses that goal. We are fortunate to have this company in our region, and grateful for the passion Rick brings to his students."

With 10 years of experience as a software engineer, and eight years as a professor at Florida State University, Hurst brings a wealth of talent to the table. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in software engineering, a Master of Science degree in software engineering, and is working toward a PhD in cybersecurity and privacy.

The classes taught at CareerSource Gulf Coast, however, are delivered in a way meant not to intimidate. Beginners are enrolled, and are excelling. Currently, courses offered are Introduction to Programming and Introduction to Java. The future will bring more community opportunities.

"I love to teach," Hurst said. "Some people love to fish, some love to hunt. I love to teach. I can think of nothing more gratifying than seeing the light-bulb moment of a student, and being a part of the equation."

CareerSource Gulf Coast offices are operated in Bay, Gulf and Franklin Counties, with the primary Job Center located in Panama City at 625 Highway 231. CareerSource Gulf Coast earned the 2013-14 top ranking in job placements as part of Governor Rick Scott's goal to put more people to work. Visit to learn more about professional workforce development and job placement services, all offered at no charge.

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