SARASOTA, Fla. (April 13, 2011) – CareerEdge, an area nonprofit that helps low-wage workers improve their skills and local businesses to find skilled employees, today announced it has partnered with State College of Florida Workforce Solutions to provide the Florida Ready to Work placement test to 150 applicants.
CareerEdge, through a grant from Microsoft’s Elevate America community initiative, will cover the cost of the placement tests that will help PGT, one of the nation’s largest window and door manufacturers and one of the largest employers in Sarasota, employ 150 people by June 30. CareerEdge will also provide soft-skill training and observation tests to 200 of PGT’s recently hired employees.
“Our partnership with CareerEdge assists PGT in getting members of our community back to work more quickly and provides additional training and support to foster their success after hire,” said Alicia Adams, senior human resources manager at PGT Industries. “We have embraced the Florida Ready to Work program because candidates for manufacturing, glass operations and supply chain positions must meet WorkKeys testing requirements to be considered for employment.”
Applicants who complete the program earn a credential certifying that they have the foundational skills required for most entry-level jobs.
“With the addition of hundreds of new positions at the Florida facility we can maintain a qualified candidate pool and meet a challenging hiring schedule with the help of CareerEdge,” Adams said.
While Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the month of February was up slightly to 11.5 percent, according to the Agency for Workforce Innovation, unemployment is as high as 30 percent in segments of our communities, Sarasota Mayor Kelly Kirschner said in a recent statement.
CareerEdge focuses on preparing residents in low-income areas for careers in healthcare, manufacturing, transportation and technology. CareerEdge has worked with the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County to connect with manufacturing employers like PGT.
“Thanks to generous gifts from Microsoft and other funders, we are able to partner with PGT and State College to help unemployed individuals in our region find entry-level jobs,” said Mireya Eavey, executive director of CareerEdge. “Through these grants, CareerEdge will provide career counseling and technology skills training and will prove to be a valuable resource to the people who need it most.”
Job seekers may visit www.pgtindustries.com to apply for the placement test.
About Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County
The EDC of Sarasota County is the private, not-for-profit corporation leading the community’s economic development strategy to add high-wage jobs and diversify the local economy. The EDC provides business assistance to companies in Sarasota County and helps forge solutions to community challenges that affect quality of life. The EDC works in partnership with chambers of commerce, local governments and other organizations throughout the county and the region. For more information, visit www.edcsarasotacounty.com.
Founded in 1980, PGT® pioneered the U.S. impact-resistant window and door industry and today is the nation’s leading manufacturer and supplier of residential impact-resistant windows and doors. Utilizing the latest designs and technology, PGT products are ideal for new construction and replacement projects serving the residential, commercial, high-rise and institutional markets. PGT’s product line includes PGT® Aluminum and Vinyl Windows and Doors; WinGuard® and PremierVueTM Impact-Resistant Windows and Doors; PGT® Architectural Systems; PGT® SpectraGuardTM; and Eze-Breeze® Sliding Panels. PGT Industries is a wholly owned subsidiary of PGT, Inc. (NASDAQ: PGTI). For additional information visit pgtindustries.com.