The Talent4Tomorrow Partnership, a community collaboration targeting local college attainment rates, is offering free assistance to Sarasota County families to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
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Mireya Eavey, Executive Director of CareerEdge and United Way Suncoast Sarasota and DeSoto Area President, shares her passion with the Sarasota Business Observer. Learn a little more about her and her new adventures here!
Governor Rick Scott visited Manatee Technical College to award the first grant from the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund. The grant is for $201,500 in funding from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). This funding will support the purchase of high-tech equipment needed to expand the workforce training programs in Advanced Manufacturing and Production Technology, which will help prepare more students for future career opportunities.
CareerEdge also supports the growth of the manufacturing industry in the Manatee and Sarasota region. The addition of this grant will provide high-level training to students that will lead to long-term careers in this growing industry. By giving our region the materials and resources to build a skilled workforce, the college will continue to place students in jobs.
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In December 2017, Senator Nelson’s Regional Director, Alicia Tighe, visited the CareerEdge Healthcare Collaborative meeting to gather policy feedback from the participants.
One such concern is the need to expand Pell Grants for short-term training programs. In-demand positions such as CNAs, phlebotomists and other certifications are not Pell-eligible, yet these technical careers and middle-skill jobs are in high-demand. The employers also shared how they invest in their workforce, through training grants with CareerEdge, education reimbursements, and up-skilling low-skilled workers through training within their organizations.
Along with the Senator’s support of Pell Grant expansion, Ms. Tighe shared information on projects the Senator is supporting to improve the economy and workforce. These include the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the physician and nursing shortages, Telehealth for rural populations and the chronically ill, and tax credits for apprenticeships. Accessibility to education is also important to the Senator, which many in the collaborative agreed is a major barrier for entry. The Senator also wants to work with the younger generation and would like to introduce career preparedness into schools through career counselors and mentors, which will help place more young people into jobs upon graduation. Healthcare members shared that when employers connect with young students they can expose them to training, funding and career opportunities before they graduate high school and have fewer resources.
Attendees shared the following healthcare workforce concerns:
- The Board of Nursing is understaffed and is inefficient in processing license dismissal.
- Exam screening of new graduates such as CNAs and RNs, takes a long time (6 weeks to 3 months) after they have completed their course.
- There is a lack of capacity in nursing programs and students have difficulty getting into RN programs because of the shortage of instructors.
- Tax incentives could be used to give Master Nurses in hospitals a reason to move to the education sector and teach future BSNs, versus putting the financial burden of raising the teaching salary onto the students.
- Employers could step in financially to help the universities if there are not enough classes or teachers to produce the nurses they need.
- Apprenticeship models can be used in healthcare. For instance, there is a coding and billing apprenticeship program with St. Pete College and Tampa General and there is a $1,200 per person incentive from a DOL grant.
CareerEdge was pleased with the turnout from employers and their readiness to share with the Regional Director their workforce barriers and ideas.
CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, in its ongoing mission to connect people to high demand, career-laddering occupations in the region, is partnering with six local automotive dealerships to offer a free short-term technician training program at Suncoast Technical College(STC). Students will be selected for an “express” automotive technician course at the college and will gain employment with one of six local dealerships (Gettel Automotive, Sunset Auto Group, Peterson Toyota of Sarasota, Venice Honda, Venice Toyota and Wilde Automotive).
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Individuals looking to start a new career in healthcare have found the perfect opportunity with the Tidewell Hospice and CareerEdge training for Certified Nursing Assistants. The training is FREE and if the students’ complete the course successfully, they will also gain full-time employment with Tidewell. Healthcare is the fastest growing industry in our region and employers are actively looking for skilled CNAs. This opportunity is one that will open many doors for professional and personal growth.
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CareerEdge and Talent4Tomorrow were awarded a grant from the Florida Philanthropic Network for work in college access and success. The partnership, which includes CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, will use the funds to grow college preparedness, access, and achievement in Sarasota County. With the grant, families will receive more information on college financial services, high-demand jobs and the education needed to reach and attain a sustainable career. Read more about the partnership and the FPN grant in a recent article by Sarasota Herald Tribune, here.
Given the high demand for skilled workers in our region, CareerEdge is partnering with local educational institutions to provide short-term programs in order to quickly move individuals into apprenticeship-based occupations in the trades.
CareerEdge partnered with Manatee Technical College on the Plumbing and Electrician programs by helping to recruit individuals, providing funding for the courses and offering a soft skills training for the students. Graduates of the 3-month program received certifications in the following industry-recognized credentials: NCCER, CPR, Forklift and OSHA, and participated in a career fair on graduation day.
Read more about the program in the SRQ Magazine Freshly Squeezed, here.
Read the Business Buzz in the Sarasota Herald Tribune, here.
Read the entire press release, here.
The Sarasota Herald Tribune shared a series on the major impact of population growth, age and skills gaps in our working population and other important economic factors. Mireya Eavey, Executive Director of CareerEdge and Sarasota Area President of United Way Suncoast, and other CareerEdge Funders all offered expertise on these topics and how we can better prepare our community. Read the full Herald Tribune Sarasota Drift Series here.