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Expanding Economic Opportunity
in Florida's Gulf Coast Region

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Building Strong Relationships
in Florida's Gulf Coast Region
SRQAPRIL16_Career Edge-Education programs
Creating Employment Opportunities
in Florida's Gulf Coast Region
Creating Employment Opportunities
in Florida's Gulf Coast Region
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Expanding Career Opportunities
in Florida's Gulf Coast Region
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Innovative Strategies to
Workforce Solutions
Building a Strong
and Skilled Workforce

Get to know CareerEdge

CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, a national-award-winning workforce and business innovation initiative, is making waves by turning the traditional model for workforce investment in Florida on its head. CareerEdge partners directly with employers in fast-growing sectors in the regional economy, to help them fill skills gaps and meet their employment needs, while at the same time assisting individuals in entering the workforce and moving up career ladders. CareerEdge is a cutting-edge initiative and is transforming the way stakeholders in the region and around the state look at career training.

MISSION STATEMENT: Our mission is to provide an exceptional labor force to a region’s growing industries by leveraging community assets and forming high-performing workforce partnerships.

VISION STATEMENT: CareerEdge will be known as the region’s distinguished workforce development organization that promotes economic prosperity through strong employer-labor and community partnerships.

CareerEdge is the first Funders Collaborative designated as a National Fund for Workforce Solutions site in the Southeastern US. The collaborative uses donated funds to create a skilled labor pool in the Manatee-Sarasota region and helps local employers find the talent they need. Learn more about how we fulfill this vital mission and how you can help drive economic development in the Manatee-Sarasota region.

$9.8 Million

In Investments


Individuals Served


New Jobs Created


Certificates/Degrees Earned

$24.4 Million

New Wages & Raises

What’s New?

Automotive Industry Hiring Entry-Level Talent

Dealerships are in need of trained automotive technicians, but the problem lies in the fact that are no skilled workers for the jobs.  CareerEdge Funders Collaborative has partnered with a consortium of eight local automotive dealerships to help close this gap in our region.  Dealerships will select candidates for a completely funded express automotive technician training in the evenings, while they are employed by the dealership and working during the day. Students start full-time for $13 an hour with benefits at their respective employer at the conclusion of the class.  Read more here.

Businesses Still Need a Skilled Workforce

According to the Florida Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index Survey, this is the sixth quarter in a row that employers are concerned about finding skilled workforce to meet open job demands.  Businesses are also wary of economic uncertainty.  The Florida Chamber of Commerce has been conducting these surveys to better understand the issues that are most important to small businesses.  Read the entire survey here.

CareerEdge Convenes Workforce Council

In June 2018, CareerEdge reintroduced the workforce council strategy to workforce development and community partners. Local leaders gathered for a meeting to discuss workforce needs and the coordination of committees. Committees will be guided by the topics participants suggested, such as workforce development public policy, job seeker and employer engagement and developing a unified regional brand.  The workforce council was developed by Kathy Baliss in 2012.  Read more about the council here.

Which States Have the Top Talent?

Skill gaps are prevalent across the nation, and CNBC has launched a new exclusive called America’s Top States for Business study to examine this workforce challenge in all 50 states.  One portion of the study shares details on the Top 10 States and who is “Winning the War on Talent”.  The top ten were calculated by comparing the number of available workers and which states are doing the best to attract them, education, Right to Work laws and more.  Read more about the study here.

Five Years of Training Machinists in the Region

The Precision Machining program at Suncoast Technical College celebrated its fifth year of training, graduating and placing over 100 students in the machining workforce.  The program was initiated five years ago with the support of the CareerEdge Manufacturing Skills Gap Study, Sarasota County Government, Sarasota County Schools and countless employers and community partners.  Reflect on the program and its growth in the course instructor’s blog.

2017 Evaluator Report on Outcomes and Impacts

 $9.8 Million in Investments
 4,790 Individuals Served
 1,369 Jobs Created
 7,404 Certificates/Degrees Earned
 $24.4 Million in New Wages and Raises

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