Sarasota County Students Talk Career Pathways with Local Engineers

SARASOTA, Fla. (February 8, 2018) — The Talent4Tomorrow Partnership, CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, and Sarasota County Schools Career and Technical Education Program hosted the 3rd annual “Experience Engineering Luncheon” on Friday, February 2nd at Suncoast Technical College. 125 high school juniors and seniors met with engineers from 22 local companies to discuss career and educational pathways into engineering. The engineers, ranging in areas of specialty, also brought examples of their company’s products, diagrams, and project plans to help illustrate how they solve problems with engineering.
Participating engineers were from the following companies and organizations:
• Adams Group
• Allied Flex
• ASO LLC.
• Cruise Cars
• DMK Associates
• Florida Power & Light
• Hees & Associates
• Intertape Polymer Group (IPG)
• Karins Engineering
• Kimley-Horn
• Molex

• Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
• Pierce Manufacturing
• PGT
• RND Automation & Engineering
• Sarasota County Government
• Snell Engineering
• Stantec
• Sun Hydraulics
• Tervis
• Voaltė
• University of Florida, Gator Engineering

“We are honored to help connect students with local employers to ensure a pipeline of future workforce talent, particularly in the high demand STEM-related fields,” shared Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce President, Kevin Cooper. “It’s through the power of partnerships with great organizations like CareerEdge and Sarasota County Schools that we are able to foster the next generation of innovators for Sarasota’s future.” Todd Bowden, Superintendent of Sarasota County Schools, advised the students at the beginning of the event, “We want you to be successful in college and in your engineering programs, but we also want you to come back when you graduate. Today is about seeing that there are great engineering careers right here in Sarasota.”
Sarasota County Schools selected students from each area high school that have expre

CareerEdge Hosts National Workforce Development Meeting

The National Fund for Workforce Solutions, which has a network of 33 regional collaboratives in 26 states, gathered for a Site Director meeting this month in Tampa and was hosted by local National Fund member CareerEdge Funders Collaborative. The National Fund is a Washington D.C. based non-profit that focuses on economic and workforce prosperity by preparing individuals with in-demand skills, supporting local employers, and investing in economic growth. From January 24 to January 25, site directors from all of the collaboratives gathered for an informational and idea generating conference with the goal of continuing to make impactful change in each local workforce.

“We were thrilled to share what we have been working on in our region, and we are were eager to hear what other members are doing to assist their local workforce,” explains CareerEdge Executive Director and United Way Suncoast Sarasota Area President Mireya Eavey.

The two-day site director meeting will included discussions, roundtables and speakers on topics such as job quality, the tight labor market, barriers to success for workers and companies, promoting financial wellness, meeting the skilled-talent need and more.

Fred Dedrick, President and CEO of the National Fund, discussed the importance of these meetings saying, “We bring the local leaders of the National Fund network together to spread innovative ideas and successful programs and to develop shared solutions to common challenges. With more than 30 communities represented, the group was able to learn about the best models in the country and bring new approaches to their communities. We learn and grow from each other and advance the entire workforce development field as a result.

Federal Aid Assistance for Sarasota County Students

SARASOTA, Fla. (January 25, 2018) — 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). Trained community volunteers from CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, UnidosNow and United Way Suncoast, as well as financial aid officers from Ringling College of Art & Design, State College of Florida, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, and Keiser University, will offer guidance on completing the application. These FAFSA “Labs” are being offered to high school seniors at the following locations and dates:

• North Port High School— Tuesday, February 20, 3:00pm-8:00pm (Cafeteria)
6400 W Price Blvd., North Port, FL 34291
• Booker High School—Tuesday, March 6, 2:30pm-7:30pm (Media Center)
3201 N Orange Ave., Sarasota, FL 34234
• Sarasota High School—Tuesday, March 20, 3:00pm-8:00pm (Building 13, Room 101)
2155 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota, FL 34239

The FAFSA is required for any student applying for federal and state financial aid programs, such as Pell Grants, as well as for many scholarship programs. Through efforts made by the Talent4Tomorrow Partnership last year, 45.5% of Sarasota County high school seniors competed the FAFSA. This is a 9.1% change over the previous application year, equating to an estimated additional $513,180 in Pell Grants awarded to Sarasota County students, according to the Florida College Access Network, with the average Pell grant award in 2016-17 of $3,740, and the maximum of $5,820.

The Talent4Tomorrow Partnership is a broad community collaborative known as a “Local College Access Network.” Lead agencies in the partnership include: Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation, CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Education Foundation of Sarasota County, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Sarasota County Schools, The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, UnidosNow, and United Way Suncoast. Additional support for these FAFSA assistance events comes from the Florida Philanthropic Network through its College Access & Success Initiative (CASI). CASI is an initiative of the Florida Philanthropic Network, made possible through funding from the Helios Education Foundation and The Kresge Foundation, to strengthen Local College Access Networks around the state.

The Talent4Tomorrow Partnership is dedicated to bringing together community partner organizations to build a competitive workforce for the region by supporting data-driven programs and collaborative actions which increase the number of college graduates in fields that are in high demand. “Millions of dollars in financial aid grants are left unclaimed every year because parents and students don’t complete the FAFSA,” noted Steve Cantees, Executive Director of High Schools for Sarasota County Schools. “Through the Talent4Tomorrow Partnership, we are able to provide incredible support which will pay off in real college money for our students.”

Additional resources and event information can be found at www.t4tsarasota.org. For more information, please contact Mimi Cirbusova at mcirbusova@sarasotachamber.com or (941) 556-4038.
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CareerEdge Partners with 6 Local Dealerships to Fund Automotive Technician Program

Free Auto Training Flyer_001

Sarasota, FL (December 14, 2017): 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).

Piloted this past fall with a class of ten Gettel Automotive entry-level employees, the “express” certification class will launch a second cohort of students in January with the additional dealerships on board to participate in this training program funded by CareerEdge through a donor with the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

Gettel Automotive, Sunset Auto Group, Peterson Toyota of Sarasota, Venice Honda, Venice Toyota and Wilde Automotive will hire individuals with no experience at $12 per hour for full or part-time trainee positions. The new hires must then attend a mandatory, free 11-week automotive training program at STC’s Beneva Road campus on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., January 16 to March 28, 2018.

Once participants complete the 11-week class, they will be paid $13 per hour full time with benefits, and will have the potential for additional certifications and growth at the dealerships. Average wages for mechanics are between $40,000 and $50,000.

Interested applicants should apply online directly at one of the following dealerships. These employers will choose the students for the free automotive technician training program.

• Gettel Automotive: http://gettel.applicantstack.com/x/openings
• Sunset Auto Group: https://sunsetautogroup.applicantpro.com/jobs/689331-236271.html
• Toyota of Sarasota: https://www.toyotaofsarasota.com/employment-application/
• Venice Toyota: https://www.venicetoyota.com/employment
• Venice Honda: https://www.venicehonda.com/employment
• Wilde Honda: https://www.gowildehonda.com/careers/

Program offers prospective CNAs free training, guaranteed employment

CNA Scholarships Info Sessions Flyer

 

Sarasota, FL. (December 5, 2017): Tidewell Hospice, the American Red Cross and CareerEdge are offering a free Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training program with guaranteed employment for eligible participants interested in a healthcare career.

Thanks to an anonymous donor with Gulf Coast Community Foundation, the organizations are offering this opportunity for those who would like to work in healthcare but can’t afford CNA training. The costs of tuition and the state examination fee will be covered for those chosen for the program. Participants will only be responsible for their medical exam and the purchase of scrubs.

Upon successful completion of the training program, the CNA graduates will be guaranteed employment at Approved Home Health or Tidewell Hospice, with starting wages between $12 and $13 per hour.

The program will run Jan. 22, 2018, to March 31st 2018. Classes will be held from 5:00-9:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays (with two mandatory Saturday classes) at the American Red Cross office at 2001 Cantu Court, Sarasota. Applicants must pass a Level 2 background check per Florida healthcare regulations, submit to a motor vehicle record search and provide proof of auto insurance.

Prospective participants are invited to attend one of three information sessions. The sessions will be 5:30-7:30 p.m. Dec. 12 and Dec. 28 at Selby Library in Sarasota and 5:30-7:30 p.m. Jan. 4 at Tidewell, 3550 S. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. Light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP for the information sessions at cnascholarships.eventbrite.com.

CareerEdge Partners with Manatee Technical College to Fill Plumbing and Electrical Jobs

 

Student, Samson Snyder, speaks with McDonough Plumbing about careers within the company and training opportunities.

Sarasota FL. (October 31, 2017): CareerEdge Funders Collaborative announces the completion of another “express” training course with the graduation of 16 individuals in Manatee Technical College’s pilot program in Plumbing and Electrical service.

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 receive certifications in the following industry-recognized credentials: NCCER, CPR, Forklift and OSHA.

“MTC is thrilled to partner with CareerEdge to help meet the talent needs in the community.  Getting to know the students and seeing the impact they will have in the community is uplifting,” explains Manatee Technical College Business Services Director Martha Meyers.

Starting wages for these entry-level plumbing and electrical technician positions are approximately $15 per hour, with average wages between $40,000 and $50,000.  At the end of the program, CareerEdge organized a job fair with 10 local employers participating in the recruitment of the students.

Aqua Plumbing’s Service Manager Charlie Stephens said, “I was surprised at how much knowledge the students have for an express program and how eager they are to learn.  The future of the industry depends on programs like this.”

The next cohort of express programs will begin in January 2018, with a daytime Plumbing class and an evening Electrical course.

According to Mary Dougherty of Gulf Coast Builders Exchange, “Programs like this help to address the tight labor market local employers are dealing with.  It provides an on-ramp to career laddering jobs where employers can continue to develop these individuals through apprenticeship and work-based learning strategies.”

To learn more about upcoming express programs at Manatee Technical college, please contact Martha Meyers at 751-7900 X1022.

 

About CareerEdge Funders Collaborative

CareerEdge is an innovative partnership of business, government, and philanthropic organizations that leverages public and private dollars to provide opportunities for better jobs and wages in Manatee and Sarasota counties.  The first regional collaborative of workforce investors in the southeastern United States to be designated as a site of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, CareerEdge was created with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, City of Bradenton Central Community Redevelopment Agency, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Bank of America, Bradenton 14th Street Community Redevelopment Agency, Bradenton Downtown Development Authority, and Manatee Community Action Agency.  It is also supported by contributions from the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation, Microsoft, Sarasota County Government, Jane’s Trust, JP Morgan Chase, Scheidel Foundation, Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg and United Way Suncoast.  For more information about CareerEdge and its partners, please visit www.careeredgefunders.org or call 941.328.6985.

 

 

About Manatee Technical College

Manatee Technical College is a postsecondary career and technical education center with four campuses within the School District of Manatee County offering over 50 career preparation programs, continuing education, adult general education, and personal enrichment classes.  Manatee Technical College is fully accredited by the Council on Occupational Education.  The mission of MTC is to meet the ever-changing needs of our communities and the workforce by producing highly skilled individuals and resourceful leaders through collaborative education.

 

 

 

 

Senator Marco Rubio’s Staff to Visit PGT Industries

Sarasota FL. (September 29): CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, a southwest Florida workforce development non-profit, has arranged for Senator Marco Rubio’s staff to visit local Venice-based window manufacturer PGT Custom Windows + Doors, a subsidiary of PGT Innovations, on Wednesday October 4 in order to highlight the importance of supporting industry-led partnerships, apprenticeships and other work-based learning opportunities. The Senator’s staff will meet with PGT employees who have seen career advances through these on-the-job trainings, and learn more about how philanthropy, business, community-based organizations, and the public sector are collaborating to ensure people are getting the skills necessary to fill in-demand jobs.

Across the country, jobs are going unfilled because of a lack of skilled workers. According to the National Skills Coalition, approximately 55% of job openings in Florida are for middle-skill positions, jobs which require education beyond high school but not a four-year degree. However, only 46% of residents have the right training and education to get hired for those jobs.

Workforce intermediaries, like CareerEdge, offer employees a chance to develop key skills to enter high demand middle skill occupations. The non-profit has supported PGT by funding career-laddering opportunities within the organization. Through a business-led collaborative process, the two organizations have worked together to provide training to low-skilled workers who then earn industry-valued certifications and credentials.

“Career Edge is an indispensable partner for PGT Custom Windows + Doors. Their resources have provided funds for training programs that have directly contributed to our team members’ skills development and career advancement,” said Rod Hershberger, CEO and Chairman of the Board for PGT Innovations. “From the employer-side, having these training programs available allows PGT to attract potential candidates who may have the soft skills that align with our core values, but not the level of technical skills required for the needed position. It would’ve been difficult to create a skills training program as extensive as we have now without the assistance of CareerEdge and Mireya Eavey, specifically. Her unwavering dedication to the workforce creates paths of funding and training for career development that provides a win-win environment for all parties.”

Lawmakers are currently crafting workforce development policies to bridge the skills gap – those policies include sector partnerships and collaborations between businesses, schools, and workforce entities such as CareerEdge. The bipartisan proposed JOBS Act is also an example of legislation which could enhance educational access to workers seeking family-sustaining wages by expanding Pell grant eligibility for short-term training programs.
“If we want our economy to work, we need to make it easier for businesses and workers to get the skills they need. We are working hard in our region to make this happen, but there are some ways that federal policy could better support the collaborative, business-led efforts already underway in our community,” explains CareerEdge Executive Director Mireya Eavey.

The PGT tour will highlight the importance of supporting industry-led partnerships and showcase the innovative strategies the manufacturer employs in developing its employees. The visit will be held on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at PGT Custom Windows + Doors, 1070 Technology Dr, North Venice, FL 34275.

About CareerEdge Funders Collaborative
CareerEdge is an innovative partnership of business, government, and philanthropic organizations that leverages public and private dollars to provide opportunities for better jobs and wages in Manatee and Sarasota counties. The first regional collaborative of workforce investors in the southeastern United States to be designated as a site of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, CareerEdge was created with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, City of Bradenton Central Community Redevelopment Agency, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Bank of America, Bradenton 14th Street Community Redevelopment Agency, Bradenton Downtown Development Authority, and Manatee Community Action Agency. It is also supported by contributions from the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation, Microsoft, Sarasota County Government, Jane’s Trust, JP Morgan Chase, Scheidel Foundation, Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg and United Way Suncoast . For more information about CareerEdge and its partners, please visit www.careeredgefunders.org or call 941.328.6985

About PGT Innovations
PGT Innovations, headquartered in North Venice, Florida, with over 2700 employees statewide, creates value through deep customer relationships, understanding the unstated needs of an industry, a drive to create the strongest, safest products on the market, and a commitment to always moving forward. The Company’s trusted brands include CGI®, PGT® Custom Windows + Doors, and WinDoor®. PGT Innovations is the nation’s largest manufacturer of impact-resistant windows and doors, holds the leadership position in its primary market, and is part of the S&P SmallCap 400 Index. For additional information, visit www.pgtinnovations.com.

CareerEdge Announces First Express Class Graduation

mechanic

CareerEdge has graduated its first Express Program, the Automotive Technician Program at Suncoast Technical College. The automotive industry is facing a shortage in skilled workers to fill vacant positions as mechanics.  CareerEdge has stepped in to fill the gap and help train new employees for local car dealership Gettel Automotive.

To read the full press release on the program, click here.

To read the 941CEO Newsletter article about the program, click here.

Sarasota Herald Tribune article, click here.

CareerEdge Spearheading Short-Term Certification Programs

Automotive Tech

Released: June 12, 2017

Sarasota, FL: Given the high demand for skilled workers in our region, CareerEdge Funders Collaborative is partnering with educational institutions to provide short-term “express” programs in order to quickly move individuals into apprenticeship-based occupations in the trades.

One such program is targeting automotive mechanics. CareerEdge is partnering with Suncoast Technical College (STC) and Gettel Automotive to recruit entry-level automotive technician trainees for jobs at the dealership’s six service centers in Sarasota and Bradenton, in combination with a special STC “express” training program.

“STC appreciates the opportunity to partner with CareerEdge to help employers with their talent needs, as well as to provide individuals with skills and credentials which allow then to earn livable wages, explains STC Director Ron Dipillo.

Gettel Automotive will hire individuals with no experience at $12 per hour for full or part-time trainee positions. The new hires must then attend a mandatory free 10-week training program at STC on Monday and Wednesday nights, July 17 to September 25.

Once participants complete the 10-week class, they will be paid $13 per hour full time with benefits, with the potential for additional certifications and growth through the automotive apprenticeship program. Average wages for mechanics are between $40,000 and $50,000.

“It’s really a win-win for the community to have CareerEdge help facilitate recruiting and training programs for critical shortage occupations like automotive technicians,” explains Gettel ‎Fixed Operations Director Fred Bartholomew.

CareerEdge is also partnering with Manatee Technical College on express programs for Plumbing and Electrician certifications (see separate press release), and with Learning Alliance for a short-tern Broadband Technician program.

“CareerEdge continues to explore creative ways to help connect people to high demand career-laddering jobs while assisting employers with their workforce needs”, says Executive Director Mireya Eavey.

The automotive technician express program is funded by CareerEdge and a donor through the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

Those interested in applying for the automotive technician job and training program can call Gettel Automotive at: (941) 417-5411, or apply for the “Automotive Technician Trainee” position online at: www.gettel.com

About CareerEdge Funders Collaborative
CareerEdge is an innovative partnership of business, government, and philanthropic organizations that leverages public and private dollars to provide opportunities for better jobs and wages in Manatee and Sarasota counties. The first regional collaborative of workforce investors in the southeastern United States to be designated as a site of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, CareerEdge was created with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, City of Bradenton Central Community Redevelopment Agency, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Bank of America, Bradenton 14th Street Community Redevelopment Agency, Bradenton Downtown Development Authority, and Manatee Community Action Agency. It is also supported by contributions from the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation, Microsoft, Sarasota County Government, Jane’s Trust, JP Morgan Chase, Scheidel Foundation, Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg and United Way Suncoast . For more information about CareerEdge and its partners, please visit www.careeredgefunders.org or call 941.328.6985