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Dr. Linda Miedema Honored for Economic Development Work

October 22, 2015 - Dr. Linda Miedema, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Learning Officer at Eastern Florida State College, has been honored for her work in helping create new jobs in Brevard County.

Dr. Linda MiedemaMiedema received the Thomas E. Gamble Excellence in Education for Economic Development Award from the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast.

The award is named after former Eastern Florida president Dr. Thomas Gamble, and honors educators for their dedication and innovation in serving students and promoting economic growth.

EDC officials praised Miedema, saying she has been instrumental in the college launching Bachelor Degree programs that are currently allowing more than 900 students to advance their education and careers.

She has also been central in the college starting a new Aviation Center at Melbourne International Airport to train technicians and mechanics for the airport’s rapidly expanding commercial aviation sector.

As a result, “local aviation companies have a pool of skilled workers to help meet their employment needs. Her ability to connect the dots between industry and education has made her an outstanding advocate for economic development,” said EDC officials.

Dr. Jim Richey, president of Eastern Florida, called Miedema’s leadership “superb and a model for other educators to follow as we strive to give students new career opportunities that can improve their lives and our community.”

At its annual meeting, the EDC also named Jason Steele, Director of Government Affairs for Smith & Associates, as its Volunteer of the Year. Steele was cited for three decades of advocating economic growth along the Space Coast working with state, regional and local officials.

“To be most successful, our approach to economic development has to be widespread,” said Lynda Weatherman, the EDC’s president and chief executive officer.

“With an education advocate reaching out to make the business – academia connection stronger and a volunteer that continues to promote Brevard County’s business story across various public and private networks, our economic development efforts have been enhanced across many industries.

“Our economic landscape thrives on the time and talent these community partners provide to this EDC and we greatly appreciate their contributions,” she said.