CareerEdge Funders Collaborative Advocates for Pell Grants

Release: February 13, 2017

CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, a workforce development  non-profit and United Way Suncoast partner, is working to get more people access to higher education funding. Program Director Deborah Chapman recently traveled to D.C. to meet with Florida’s congressional legislators as part of the National Skills Coalition. The Coalition is made up of U.S. workforce development organizations and is focused on supporting middle skills jobs in high growth industries. These include those requiring more than a high school diploma but less than a 4-year degree. Chapman met with staff from Senator Rubio and Senator Nelson’s offices, as well as those of 11 House members, including local District Representatives Vern Buchanan, Charlie Crist, Gus Bilirakis and Kathy Castor.

 

CareerEdge’s key advocacy focus is on expanding Pell Grant eligibility to include short-term certifications in high demand programs.  Currently, federal Pell Grants provide college students needs-based funding for certification and degree programs that are at least 600 instructional hours, or a minimum of 15 weeks in length.

Industry-recognized credentials in shorter-term programs are not eligible, yet some of these occupations are at critical shortage levels, “explains Chapman.

One example of a short-term program is Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA’s) which are in high demand locally by hospitals, healthcare facilities and home health agencies with wages also on the rise.  Job seekers are eager to earn these credentials; however, the education costs are often prohibitive. CareerEdge has funded several cohorts of CNA students over the last year, including a recent Red Cross-trained class at Booker Middle School in Sarasota County, and a group at the United Way Suncoast Sulphur Springs Resource Center in Tampa.  At a recent planning meeting, Booker Middle School Resource Center Associate, Leroy Butler, reported that he has a waitlist of 70 interested people for the spring program which can only accommodate 12 students.

Other examples of short term programs include those in IT, construction trades and automotive maintenance and repair fields, as well as commercial drivers license (CDL) truck driver training. Providing needs-based support for these types of certifications can open a pathway out of poverty for many individuals.

Currently, both the federal House of Representatives and Senate have bipartisan proposals being developed for reauthorizing the Higher Education Act with language to expand Pell Grant funding for these skills-based training programs.  The Senate’s version, known as the JOBS Act, would help to cover rigorous short-term job training programs so workers can afford the skills training and credentials that are in high-demand in today’s job market.

CareerEdge is working with lawmakers to ensure that they have the necessary data and field stories to make informed decisions about workforce policies, such as Pell expansion, which can drive economic prosperity for our region.

“As a leader in building demand-driven workforce systems, CareerEdge continues to advocate for policies that support both opportunities for individuals to earn livable wages in career-laddering occupations, while also providing employers in high growth sectors with the skills they need”, said Chapman.

Sulphur Springs Resource Center Graduates 11 Students in Certified Nursing Assistant Program

Released: May 9,2017

Tampa, FL – CareerEdge Funders Collaborative and United Way Suncoast will introduce 11 new Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) to the healthcare community on Friday, May 12th. This will be the second class to graduate from the United Way Suncoast Sulphur Springs Resource Center, allowing the participants to fulfill their dreams and begin a new career.
The CNA training, which was implemented to assist families in becoming financially stable and self sufficient, is funded by CareerEdge Funders Collaborative and United Way Suncoast. The program is seven weeks long and culminates in a graduation ceremony to celebrate the achievements of all of the students. To date, 18 women have successfully completed this course which was facilitated by Hillsborough Community College (HCC). CareerEdge, a workforce development non-profit, provides tuition and pays for the state license exam that is taken upon completion of the program. The United Way Suncoast Sulphur Springs Resource Center supports the CNA certification training, and provides services such as legal aid counseling, employability training, financial awareness and GED programs.
HCC has organized a job fair with local employers to help students build connections with healthcare organizations that are searching for CNAs. The high demand for nursing assistants in the Tampa area offers great promise with graduates earning approximately $10 – $15 per hour at hospitals, home health agencies, skilled nursing and assisted living facilities.
“When these students receive their CNA certification, they are earning more than just a title behind their names. They are building financial stability for their families, beginning a different chapter in their lives, starting a new career and moving themselves out of poverty,” stated Mireya Eavey, Executive Director of CareerEdge and Sarasota Area President for United Way Suncoast.
Tara Mulkey, a Sulphur Springs Resource Center CNA graduate, is a single mother of three who resides in the Sulphur Springs area. Tara had previously worked in the medical field but had to leave the profession to care for her children. However, she never gave up on one day returning to her career. Upon learning of the Resource Center’s CNA program, she knew it was her chance to start on her lifelong dream. Tara says, “It means everything to me to become a CNA because it has been my passion. The Sulphur Springs Resource Center CNA program has given me a second chance to have a career in the medical field. I am so thankful and happy.”
United Way Suncoast seeks opportunities that will impact lives and decrease poverty. By partnering with CareerEdge, both organizations are able to hone in on the communities and individuals that need help building a sustainable livelihood for their families.
“United Way Suncoast continuously seeks opportunities that will educate and empower individuals with the knowledge and resources they need to create lasting change for themselves, their families and their community,” says Xavier Russell, Director of Neighborhood Initiatives for United Way Suncoast. “We are especially happy to be able to work collaboratively with such wonderful partners as CareerEdge and Hillsborough Community College (HCC).”

About United Way Suncoast
United Way Suncoast staff, volunteers and trusted community partners connect people, create change, and impact lives in DeSoto, Hillsborough, Pinellas and Sarasota counties by developing, enhancing and implementing services and programs to help create a stronger, more vibrant community. United Way Suncoast fights for the education and financial stability of every person in the community through educational programs that give children the skills to succeed and help adults achieve long-term financial stability, as well as provide support services to those who need it most. To find Suncoast-area volunteer opportunities, visit www.volunteersuncoast.org. For more information, please call 941.366.2686 (Sarasota office) or 813.274.0933 (Tampa office), or visit www.unitedwaysuncoast.org.
About CareerEdge
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, Sarasota, and Charlotte 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 and United Way Suncoast. For more information about CareerEdge and its partners, please visit www.careeredgefunders.org or call 941.328.6985.

Booker Middle School Graduates 11 More Students From Certified Nursing Assistant Program

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Released: May 10, 2017

Sarasota, FL – On Monday, May 15th, newly pinned nursing assistants will cross the graduation stage and will be one step closer to fulfilling their dreams of becoming Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA). The class of 11 will be the second cohort to graduate from the United Way Suncoast Booker Middle School Resource Center’s CNA program.
The program was implemented to assist families in becoming financially stable and self sufficient, create access to career-laddering opportunities and begin a new chapter in their lives. Upon this graduation, 23 individuals will have successfully completed the rigorous seven week program that is facilitated by the American Red Cross.
“These students are receiving more than just CNA training. The graduates will walk away with the confidence and the soft skills they need to enter a nursing assistant position and build a stable foundation for their future,” stated Mireya Eavey, Executive Director of CareerEdge and Sarasota Area President for United Way Suncoast.
The CNA training is funded via a partnership between CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, a workforce development non-profit, and United Way Suncoast. The innovative funding pays for tuition and the state license exam that students must take upon conclusion of the program. CareerEdge also provided the Bridges to Careers soft skills training, with modules including communication, team work, interviewing and professionalism in the workplace. United Way Suncoast provides additional services at the Booker Middle School Resource Center, such as: financial coaching, legal advice workshops and mentorship programs.
“Booker Middle is pleased to be a part of this innovative partnership. Opportunities such as this play an important role in the lives of our students and parents. We are fortunate to have organizations like CareerEdge and United Way Suncoast participate and bring insight and enthusiasm to this initiative,” states Dr. LaShawn Frost, Principal of Booker Middle School.

The CNA program has given new hope to one student in particular, Shimara Gary. Before joining the class, she was a dietary aid and was searching for her next career path. When she learned of the tuition free CNA program at the Resource Center, she realized that this might be what she needed to move forward in her medical career. This was the perfect opportunity for her to better her life and show her children that anything is possible when you put your mind to it. “The program has been beneficial to my family and me in that it provided the opportunity to better my life. I am excited to use this experience as a stepping stone toward my goal of becoming a registered nurse.”
Also being offered on graduation day, CareerEdge has organized a job fair with local healthcare employers to connect the students with potential CNA job opportunities. Program graduates will have the opportunity to be hired at hospitals, home health agencies and at skilled nursing and assisted living facilities. The high demand for CNA’s in the Sarasota area offers great promise to these graduates with the potential to earn approximately $10 to $15 per hour.
The graduation and CNA job fair will be held on May 15, 2017 at the Booker Middle School Cafeteria, 2250 Myrtle Street Sarasota FL. 34234. The job fair will begin at 4:00 pm, with the graduation ceremony following from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Family and friends of the graduates, as well as community members, are welcome to attend. If local healthcare employers are interested in attending the job fair, please call (941)328-6983. Join us in congratulating these new CNA’s in our community.

About CareerEdge
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, Sarasota, and Charlotte 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 and United Way Suncoast. For more information about CareerEdge and its partners, please visit www.careeredgefunders.org or call 941.328.6985.
About United Way Suncoast
United Way Suncoast staff, volunteers and trusted community partners connect people, create change, and impact lives in DeSoto, Hillsborough, Pinellas and Sarasota counties by developing, enhancing and implementing services and programs to help create a stronger, more vibrant community. United Way Suncoast fights for the education and financial stability of every person in the community through educational programs that give children the skills to succeed and help adults achieve long-term financial stability, as well as provide support services to those who need it most. To find Suncoast-area volunteer opportunities, visit www.volunteersuncoast.org. For more information, please call 941.366.2686 (Sarasota office) or 813.274.0933 (Tampa office), or visit www.unitedwaysuncoast.org.

Speed Networking Event to expose teens to local vocational career opportunities

Sarasota, FL (April 20, 2017) – The Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County invites all high school students, their families and community partners to an exciting, fast-paced networking event designed to help grow their knowledge of available careers in our region’s skilled trade industry. The event will take place on Thursday, April 27, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Tom & Debbie Shapiro Career Resource Center, located next to the Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club at 3100 Fruitville Road in Sarasota.

In partnership with CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, this event will give attendees the opportunity to speak with local vocational employers and skilled trade workers and make invaluable connections with leaders in the Sarasota community. Guests will also receive a copy of the “Where are the Jobs?” career guide that was developed by CareerEdge to provide students, parents, guidance counselors or mentors with information about high-demand jobs in our region and the educational pathways for obtaining those jobs. The guide also provides students with quality career options while helping local employers increase their pipeline of skilled workers in order to foster growth and prosperity in our region.
“With the partnership between CareerEdge and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County, we will help introduce the many career opportunities and growing industries that are available to students in our region. We want to inspire and give these students the confidence that they can attain a great career when they grow up,” said Mireya Eavey, Executive Director of CareerEdge.
Fourteen trade industries will be represented at this event by a partner agency ranging from automotive and construction to manufacturing and plumbing. Partner agencies include Sunset Automotive Group, Echt-Architects, LLC, Manasota Flooring, Gilbane, Lee Wetherington Homes, Capital Grille, Sarasota Yacht Club, Badger Bobs, Marnie Sorensen Interiors, Rewired Solutions, PGT, Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Plumbing Today and Energy Today.
“We’re excited to host this event with CareerEdge and show our guests, especially our teens, that there are high-demand, well-paying jobs in our community that employers are looking to fill with qualified candidates,” said Bill Sadlo, President/CEO at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County. “Our participating partner agencies will provide a unique perspective and share not only what they love about their jobs, but also the steps they took to successfully secure competitive community employment in their specific field.”
At the end of the event, guests will have the opportunity to sign up to receive more information about a particular field and will be invited to participate in vocational programming in their field of interest later this year at the Tom & Debbie Shapiro Career Resource Center.
Individuals interested in attending this event must register with Suriya Khong, Director of Teen Outreach, by emailing skhong@bgcsarasota.com or 941-217-5295. For more information about this event, visit www.bgcsarasota.com or call 941-366-3911.
ABOUT THE BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF SARASOTA COUNTY:
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County have played an integral role in the Sarasota County community for more than 47 years, providing daily programs and services to thousands of young people. The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. The vision is to provide a world-class Club experience that assures success is within reach of every young person who walks through our doors, with all members on track to graduate from high school with a plan for the future, demonstrating good character and citizenship, and living a healthy lifestyle.
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 and United Way Suncoast. For more information about CareerEdge and its partners, please visit www.careeredgefunders.org or call 941.328.6985
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CareerEdge To Host Internship Roundtable for Employers

Released: March 24, 2017

Sarasota Fl.: CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, a local workforce development non-profit, will host an informational internship roundtable for local employers and educators on Tuesday, April 11th from 8:00AM-9:30AM at its United Way Suncoast office at 1800 2nd St. Suite 102, Sarasota Fl. 34236.

Employers will have an opportunity to learn about CareerEdge’s Internship Reimbursement Program, made possible through a grant from the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation, which provides employers with up to $1,500 per intern if they are paid a minimum of $10/hour. The program, which targets high growth sectors such as Manufacturing, Healthcare, IT, Financial Services, Transportation, and the Construction Trades, incents employers to provide experiential learning to students in order to help develop local talent and support their workforce needs.

Participants will learn how to implement an intern program within their organizations through peer sharing by an employer panel made up of FCCI, Sun Hydraulics and SouthTech who will share internship process and structure suggestions, as well as lessons learned in their programs. Local college representative also will be present to provide information on how to connect with potential interns.

To learn more or register for the Roundtable, please contact Lauren Meyer at 941-328-6984 or LMeyer@uwsuncoast.org.
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 and United Way Suncoast . For more information about CareerEdge and its partners, please visit www.careeredgefunders.org or call 941.328.6985

2016 Manufacturing Skills Gap Study

2016 Manufacturing Skills Gap Study

CareerEdge recently commissioned Kempton Research to conduct an updated 2016 Manufacturing Skills Gap Study. This qualitative analysis represents a follow up to a 2012 study, which led to the development of the Precision Machining program at Suncoast Technical College, the manufacturing Community-Wide Plan and other programs which have raised awareness about the manufacturing sector in the Sarasota/Manatee region.

Researcher Stephanie Kempton, who conducted in-depth interviews with 20 local employers, updated the reports results in order to capture current workforce needs of this industry. Key findings of the study include the following skills gaps identified by local manufacturing organizations:

Foundational Skills, such as:
Foundation Skills Pic• Basic math and understanding of business concepts
• Reading tape measures, blueprints, etc.
• Use of tools
• Financial Literacy

 

Soft Skills, such as:
Soft Skills Pic• Communication
• Time Management
• Resume Writing
• Interviewing
• Work Ethic

Technical Skills, such as:
Technical Skills PC• CNC/Machining specialties in areas like brake press and wood
• Fabricating (solid, metal, wood)
• Welding – especially aluminum
• Industrial Maintenance

 

Employers offered suggestions on how to close these skills gaps, and a team of community partners will be assembled to develop a plan of action for addressing these recommendations.