USF Polytechnic Targeting High Tech
Polk County wants an identity change. Its economy has traditionally been based on agriculture, phosphate and industries like warehousing and distribution. But in recent years, there has been a push to attract high-tech, higher wage jobs. Now - in a coup for economic development officials - a new, autonomous USF campus will be built in Polk and the name has been changed from USF-Lakeland to USF Polytechnic. The name signals a shift toward technology, research and development - both for the campus, and community leaders hope, for the area in general.

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Joe Russo was born in Brooklyn, New York. He was 18 at the time of his military induction during World War II, headed for the South Pacific in the U.S. Navy. His chance acquaintances with a variety of people during that time helped shape his future plans. From Australia to the Philippines and finally Tampa, Joe became an area celebrity and a part of Tampa history. He recently spoke with his daughter Tina about some of those experiences, and one in particular that he recalls fondly more than fifty years later.

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