Help Wanted: Identify Skills Gaps in Region’s Insurance Industry

SARASOTA, FL (July 17, 2018) – The CareerEdge Funders Collaborative is putting up a “help wanted” sign for local insurance companies: Help us identify the jobs and skills you need to grow your organization.

“A shortage of talent is one of the biggest impediments to growth in the insurance industry. We face a significant skills gap and are preparing to meet this business need. Deliberate action must be taken to recruit, retain and develop employees who can successfully execute against an organization’s strategy and vision. Insurers, like FCCI, are ready to tackle this challenge. A skills gap study will highlight the insurance industry’s talent demands so our region and its workforce can thrive,” said Lisa Krouse, Board member, EVP, Chief HR and Communications Officer at FCCI

The Insurance Skills Gap Study will contain data retrieved from employer roundtables and telephone interviews with local insurance industry leaders.  Training resources available in the region will be compared to the feedback and needs that employers mention in these interviews. The goal is to identify whether training currently exists and, if not, what must be changed or added by training partners to help insurance companies fill the skill gap, hire employees, and grow their companies. The survey is being conducted by Stephanie Kempton of Kempton Research and Planning.

In 2012 CareerEdge spearheaded a similar skills gap study for the manufacturing industry and it dramatically altered how our community understood the needs of those employers.  We now see that same potential in the insurance industry which, in the aggregate, produces a significant number of local jobs.  This new study will be the perfect stepping stone to support those employers by better understanding their needs,” explains Kevin Cooper, CEO and President of The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce.

CareerEdge Funders Collaborative joined The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce earlier this year to expand workforce development initiatives like this to more industries.

CareerEdge Needs Assistance from Employers:

Commitment and participation from local employers during the research phase of this project is crucial and can lead to eye opening results.  CareerEdge requests that local organizations who are interested in joining this discussion should contact, Lauren Meyer, CareerEdge Program Coordinator, for further information.

Machining Program Hits Five Year Goal


In June 2018, Sarasota County’s Precision Machining Program at Suncoast Technical College completed its fifth program year by graduating 13 new machinists. The occasion was marked with a celebration as those graduates brought the program’s five-year total to 102 skilled workers having been trained locally.

These results are attributable to the trailblazing efforts made by CareerEdge Funders Collaborative and its partners to start this forward-thinking initiative in 2013. Sarasota County Government and the Sarasota County School District agreed to support the concept and established a goal to graduate 100 individuals from the program by the fifth year. Funding for the program’s equipment, which totaled $325,000, was provided by Sarasota County Government and CareerEdge supported the establishment of the program with $25,000 and additional funding for internships. In August 2013, the first Precision Machining program began at Suncoast Technical College and the newest class will start on August 13, 2018 with 18 machinists

Read More About the Program:

Sarasota Business Observer

Sarasota Herald Tribune

Sarasota Magazine

SRQ Magazine

SRQ Magazine Saturday Perspective

Suncoast Technical College Precision Machining Blog

Press Release

Which States Have the Top Talent?

Skill gaps are prevalent across the nation, and CNBC launched a new exclusive called America’s Top States for Business to study and examine workforce challenges 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, which states are doing the best to attract them, available education, “Right to Work” laws and more.  Read more about the study here.

The Value of Inspiring Employers

The National Fund for Workforce Solution recently debuted a new #LIAW blog to showcase local investments at work.  The blog’s aim is to showcase collaborative members, and their work, across the nation.

CareerEdge had the opportunity to guest blog and share information on recent training and employer partnership strategies.  Read the blog here for more information.

Developing Leaders in High Demand Industries


After four years of offering leadership training in the healthcare sector, CareerEdge learned from manufacturing employers that they too were struggling with promotions and the development of quality leadership.  This discussion led to the launch of a new Emerging Leadership Training program for manufacturing companies. The program is helping employees in new leadership roles learn the soft skills needed to succeed, and was delivered by trainer Lori Ann Roth, the president of Learning and Reflective Growth for Individuals and Teams. 


Read More

Business Observer

SRQ Magazine

Sarasota Magazine

Press Release


Reframing Workforce

With an upcoming move to the Chamber, CareerEdge Funders Executive Director and Greater Sarasota Chamber Chief Workforce Strategist Mireya Eavey talked with SRQ Magazine to explain the exciting plans for workforce development in our region. Eavey addresses some of the new challenges, impact and future work the can be expected from CareerEdge with its move to the Chamber in June 2018.

Read More

SRQ Magazine

USF Nursing Expands to Sarasota-Manatee Campus


With a growing need for skilled nurses in our region, University of South Florida has announced the addition of a nursing degree program at the Sarasota-Manatee campus of the college.  Students accepted into the program will participate in a pre-nursing curriculum for the first two years of their education. Then, graduates of that program will complete their baccalaureate nursing degree at either the Tampa or Sarasota-Manatee campuses. Students will also gain connections with local Sarasota-Manatee healthcare employers during their time at the University.


Read more about the announcement here.

CareerEdge Evaluation Reveals Record Workforce Investment

In 2017, CareerEdge reached several milestones for its investments in the training of incumbent workers and job seekers for our region. These findings can be seen in the 2017 CareerEdge Evaluator Report, which was completed by a third-party evaluator.  CareerEdge Funders Collaborative focuses on being a convener for industry leaders, employers and community partners, and staying a head of the curve of workforce development needs.

Read More About the Report:

SRQ Magazine

Press Release

Full Report