Local workforce group pushes for $450,000

By GRACE GAGLIANO – ggagliano@bradenton.com

The CareerEdge Funders Collaborative Manatee Sarasota spent Wednesday showcasing its plans to train workers for higher-skilled, higher-paying jobs to a group of national workforce officials.

The local organization wants to gain national designation from the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, an accreditation that could bring $150,000 a year over the next three years for workforce training in the health care sector.

“Our mission is dedicated to moving low-wage workers into higher-paying jobs and getting employers the skilled workers they need,” said Mireya Eavey, director of CareerEdge. “At the end of the day, if we have a skilled workforce our employees will have more efficiency in the workplace.”

CareerEdge formed in October to help build a local talent pool for the health care industry. It has already secured more than $3 million from nine public and private investors.

The collaborative made its first distribution in April when it awarded five grants totaling $35,457 to local health care facilities.

Allyson Hostetler, a registered nurse at Tidewell Hospice, is one of 60 Tidewell nurses who is attending a training course on how to help patients with the physical, psychosocial and spiritual needs at the end of life.

“It’s an incredible opportunity and savings for us,” said Hostetler of the $19,350 grant that went to Tidewell. “This is giving us the education to have a better understanding of what the patient is going through. If we have a better understanding, the patient outcome is better.”

Fred Dedrick, executive director of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, will make a recommendation on the local chapter’s national designation at an investor meeting in September.

Aside from the funding CareerEdge could receive, Dedrick said the classification will give the local organization access to educational workshops and professional advising to move the group forward.

“I can see by today’s turnout how important this application is to you,” Dedrick said, of the estimated 50 business leaders in attendance. “We’re in the work of helping people find a career to support their families and that is incredibly important work. I request that you not think about it as a charity but think about CareerEdge as something that’s going to help build up your community to be successful.”

Read more: http://www.bradenton.com/2010/08/05/2483867/local-workforce-group-pushes-for.html#ixzz129e5EkWM


Local Workforce Funders Collaborative Hires New Director

Mireya C. Eavey has been hired as the new director for the Manatee-Sarasota Workforce Funders Collaborative, a group made up of public, corporate and private-philanthropic contributors dedicated to preparing low-skilled workers in the two-county region for higher paying jobs.

Ms. Eavey previously was the workforce and project manager for the Sarasota County Economic Development Corporation which, similar to its counterpart in Manatee County, specializes in helping businesses expand or relocate to the area and enhancing the local workforce.

The Workforce Funders Collaborative’s approach is to build upon the existing infrastructure in place in the region, including a robust network of Industry Partnerships across the state to train and educate organizations in developing programs for incumbent workers that better meet the real needs of employers.

Ms. Eavey will report to MSWFC Co-Chairman Sherod Halliburton, Executive Director of the Bradenton Central Community Redevelopment Agency and is in charge of coordinating and managing all aspects of the Collaborative.

A Sarasota-area resident since 1977, she is currently enrolled at Argosy University and is a few credit hours shy of obtaining a Master of Business Administration in Sustainable Systems.

“MSWFC is very fortunate to have Ms. Eavey leading the initiative,” Mr. Halliburton said.  “Ms. Eavey brings significant experience working within our current workforce system. Her relationship with employers, educational institutions, the Suncoast Workforce Board along with her commitment to creating opportunities for employees is exactly what we were looking for in a director.”

About Manatee Sarasota Workforce Funders Collaborative

Manatee Sarasota Workforce Funders Collaborative was formed in 2009 by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Bradenton Central CRA, the Bradenton Downtown Development Authority, the Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice Inc., Bank of America and the Manatee County Action Agency. Mark Pritchett, Vice President of Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice, Inc. serves as Co-Chairman and is charged with fiscal oversight of the initiative.

MSWFC currently has five primary activities:

– Award program grants to IPs and other “sectoral initiatives” designed to help beginning and underemployed workers build the skills they need to get family-sustaining jobs.

– Issue capacity-building grants to improve the abilities of IPs and other “sectoral initiatives” to work with lower-skilled adults.

– Promote effective practices that expand opportunities for low-skilled workers.

– Garner additional resources by involving more foundations in sectoral initiatives.

– Advocate for the institutionalization of the IP model as the States principal vehicle for workforce development, and for the expansion and strengthening of IP networks