It’s not uncommon for Sarasota natives to move back to the region and settle down. Upon seeing what other cities across the United States have to offer, the many benefits of Sarasota County continue to attract not just people from other states, but also those who originate from the area.
This is the case with Paula Wiggins. Born in Sarasota but raised between Tampa and Miami, Paula frequented Sarasota County so much to the point that she considered it a second home growing up. In 1998, upon receiving a degree in Civil Engineering from Florida State University (and before later earning an MBA from Webster University), Paula decided it was time to relocate back to Sarasota County and make it a permanent place to stay.
The summer before graduating from FSU, Paula landed an internship with the Sarasota County Government. Following the completion of her internship, she was able to join the county’s Professional Engineer Development Program to support her career as an engineer.
Paula began working for the Sarasota County Government’s Public Works department and has moved up the leadership ranks ever since. By 2006, after receiving her Professional Engineering license, Paula was promoted to her current role as Transportation Planning Manager leading on projects that determine the future of Sarasota County’s infrastructure.
“I remember when University Parkway used to be a simple two-lane county road. Now we have a world class rowing facility,” Paula tells us. “It’s exciting to see where things are going. Sarasota is a slice of heaven, and it’s no wonder why people want to live here.”
By partnering with municipalities, regional metropolitan planning organizations, and state partners, Paula weighs in on jurisdictions for existing and future plans around the county. Given that Sarasota was ranked as number nine on U.S. News & World Report’s list of Best Places to Live in the U.S., the infrastructure has to be ready to accommodate the needs of its growing, vibrant community and population.
Through her position serving Sarasota County’s Public Works division, Paula plays a critical role mapping out the future of Sarasota County’s infrastructure. In fact, she is one of the first to know what the community might look like years before new projects even transpire.
What’s more, the sense of community is what truly keeps Paula from ever wanting to leave. While she’s away from the office, you can find her with family or spending time with members of her local church.
Sarasota County Government is currently hiring across all locations, departments, and services. To view current openings, visit the job search board on their website.