CareerEdge Partners with STC to Offer Tuition-Free Plumbing Program


For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                              Media Contact:

 August 1, 2016                                                                                                                                                                                    Mireya Eavey
President Sarasota Area, United Way Suncoast


CareerEdge Partners with STC to Offer

 Tuition-Free Plumbing Program


SARASOTA COUNTY, FL (August 1, 2016)

CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, a private workforce development non-profit, has partnered with Suncoast Technical College (STC) to offer a tuition-free Plumbing Technology certification program beginning this fall.

The 8-month class begins September 8th and will be held Monday through Friday, 7:45AM – 2:15PM, with both classroom and on-the-job training.   Graduates of the plumbing program are highly sought after by local employers given the shortage of workers in this trade.

Through a mass mailing campaign, the college is targeting high school graduates from the last six years who have not entered a traditional college program.

Our goal is to increase the number of 18-25 year-olds receiving an industry-recognized college credential in high demand occupations within our region in order to meet employer workforce needs and close skills gaps,” explains CareerEdge Executive Director Mireya Eavey.

While the focus is on young adults, the program is open to students of any age.  Once they complete the program, graduates will be able to enter apprenticeships with local employers leading to plumbing jobs with average wages of $54,000 a year, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

Jaime DiDomenico at Cool Today, Plumbing Today and Energy Today reports that the construction sector in Sarasota-Manatee added 1,000 jobs in May over last year and demand is growing.

“The specialty trades, such as plumbing, will experience the biggest shortfalls due to specialized training needs and required schooling.  While the needs are keen in the construction side of the business, the service side will steadily grow double digit percentage increases due to more homeowner occupancy,” DiDomenico explained.

CareerEdge will also fund internships for these plumbing students through its Internship Reimbursement Program, whereby employers receive up to $1,500 for hiring an intern.  The program provides financial incentives for local employers to utilize interns in high demand industries in order to meet their workforce needs.

“Our programs facilitate job creation and growth for local organizations, while moving individuals into family sustaining wage,” says Eavey.

Suncoast Technical College is hosting a Job Fair on August 8th from 5:00 -7:00PM in the main atrium of its Sarasota campus at: 4748 S Beneva Rd, Sarasota, FL 34233.  Employers and college representatives will be available to speak with prospective students about the Plumbing Technology training program and other construction trade offerings at the school.

Prospective students and employers interested in participating in the Job Fair should contact Chuck Drake at Suncoast Technical College: (941) 924-1365  X62429.

“CareerEdge continues to be a major force in creating successful workforce development strategies for our region.  This “Pathway to Apprenticeship” partnership will help Suncoast Technical College to continue to communicate and market its highly valued certification programs,” says Suncoast Technical College Director Dr. Todd Bowden.

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 or call 941.328.6985

CareerEdge Funders Collaborative and SunCoast Trucking Academy Partner to Increase Highly Skilled Drivers in the Region

CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, in partnership with Suncoast Trucking Academy, is funding a core skills training program called Bridges to Careers as an added component to the Academy’s already sought-after Commercial Drivers License (CDL) training and certification program. This collaboration is part of CareerEdge’s expansion into the Transportation, Logistics and Distribution (TDL) sector, as well as into Charlotte County.

CareerEdge’s mission is to provide an exceptional labor force to the region’s growing industries by leveraging community assets and forming high-performing workforce partnerships. The objective in offering the Bridges to Careers training is to grow jobs in this high demand TDL industry, and to improve the credentials and skill set of its workforce.

Employers in the region now will have candidates with both outstanding driving expertise and the soft skills necessary to ensure positive customer relationships and work behaviors. This custom-tailored TDL Bridges to Careers program offers training in areas such as Professionalism, Communication, Customer Service, Time Management and Team Building. Combined with SunCoast Trucking’s already established and highly regarded program, employers will have top level driver candidates from which to choose.

“SunCoast Trucking Academy is ecstatic about partnering with CareerEdge. There is strength and success in collaborating with key people and organizations in Southwest Florida. We look forward to a growing relationship with CareerEdge in 2016,” said Steve C. Johnson, Executive Recruiter/Admissions Director SunCoast Trucking Academy Inc.

According to Mireya Eavey, Executive Director of CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, the transportation industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of our local economy.

“Through collaborative engagements with educational institutions such as Suncoast Trucking Academy, as well as direct partnerships with TDL employer organizations, CareerEdge is helping to build the skills of the local workforce to meet this high demand. SunCoast’s premier driving program was a perfect match for our soft skills training,” Eavey said.

To learn how to enroll in SunCoast Tracking Academy’s CDL program, or how to find high quality driver candidates, contact Steve Johnson at: or 941-347-7445

To learn more about CareerEdge Funders Collaborative and its additional partnership opportunities, go to or contact Executive Director Mireya Eavey at: 


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 Microsoft, Sarasota County Government, Jane’s Trust, Chase, and United Way Suncoast . For more information about CareerEdge and its partners, please visit or call 941.363.7231.
About SunCoast Trucking Academy
SunCoast Trucking Academy is located at 28040 Airpark Drive and within the Charlotte County Airport commercial corridor and offers each student a comfortable and up-to-date facility in which to learn and integrate with fellow students. The school offers a 1500 sq. ft. classroom with individual seating and a work station for each individual. Flat screen TV’s overhead monitors and additional props are used to enhance the learning experience and are a permanent part of the classroom. A break room adjoins the classroom for each break sessions. Also adjoining the classroom is the 1700 sq. ft. administrative office which houses the school’s administrative personnel. A designated smoking is available just outside the classroom compete with seating and a shaded area. Our large Truck Driving Range consisting of several acres is used to train students in all operational maneuvers for large-scale trucking. Our equipment includes 4 Tractor-Trailer Rigs with all up to date Trucks and 53’ Trailers with 10 speed manual transmissions. (no automatics). We also have on campus, a third part State Test Site and State Certified Examiners to conduct all testing here on site.

Blake Medical Awarding Medical Scholarships

Blake Medical Center Auxiliary Inc., awards scholarships to students who are pursuing a career in the field of medicine. These scholarships are awarded once an academic year. The number and amount of awards is based on the yearly budget set by the Executive Board of the Auxiliary.

PLEASE NOTE: Students applying for our scholarship must be currently enrolled in or accepted in a post secondary medical or medically related program at an accredited school, college, or university. The LPN, EMT, and Paramedic programs at MTC are acceptable.


  • Applicants must be Manatee County Residents and U.S. citizens.
  • Course of study must be in a medical or medically related profession.
  • Applicants must be currently enrolled in, or accepted by, a medical or medically related program at an accredited school, college, or university.
  • Scholarships may not exceed 4 calendar years.

In order to be eligible for an Auxiliary Scholarship, the following must be submitted:

  • A completed scholarship application
  • A letter of acceptance from the school, college, or university in which you are currently enrolled or have been accepted.
  • A certified copy of cumulative transcript (3.0 GPA or higher)
  • A letter of request or need
  • Three (3) letters of reference (Professional- Academic- Personal) No Relatives
  • A recent photo

* All 1st time applicants, meeting the above requirements, will be interviewed by the Scholarship Committee.

* The Scholarship Committee is authorized to determine, in its absolute discretion, whether or not a scholarship recipient shall have the right to challenge or otherwise take issue with any determination made by the Scholarship committee in this regard.

Applications may be downloaded from our web site – in PDF format. They are also available at Blake Medical Center’s information desk and the Volunteer Office on the 1st floor.


Applications must be mailed to:
Blake Medical Center Auxiliary, Inc.
Scholarship Committee
P.O. Box 14611
Bradenton, Fl. 34280


  • Feb. 12, 2016 DEADLINE for NEW APPLICANTS & THOSE REAPPLYING for 2015 – 2016 academic year
  • March, 2016 Interviews – NEW APPLICANTS ONLY
    Applicants will be notified as to Interview date, time and location via e-mail


  • April, 2016 Notification of Scholarship Awards via e-mail.
  • July, 2016 Checks will be disbursed to the school, college, or university recipients will be attending. The amount awarded will be deposited in each student’s account.

Detach and keep this document for your information before submitting your application.


Please notify us if you make any changes in (school, college, university, address, phone #, field of study, etc.)

CareerEdge Invited to Present Study at Washington, D.C., Conference

CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, a nationally-designated Funder for Workforce Solutions that started in the Bradenton area six years ago, will present its recent study at a conference next week in Washington, D.C.

Mireya Eavey, Executive Director of CareerEdge, has been invited to present the organization’s recent case study, “The Power of Partnership,” at the closing session of the Social Innovation Fund’s Annual Grantee Convening on Sept. 17 at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel in Washington. The study highlights the organization’s model for community collaboration and how it has successfully impacted the Sarasota-Manatee region

The Social Innovation Fund is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service that empowers organizations to identify and support solutions that are making strides in bettering communities. It unites public and private resources to evaluate and grow community-based solutions that have evidence of improving the lives of people low-income communities.

CareerEdge was created in 2009 with the goal of preparing low-skilled workers in the Manatee-Sarasota counties region for higher paying jobs in the fields of healthcare, manufacturing, transportation and technology industries. It was formed through City of Bradenton agencies, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and private sector partnerships.

“The City of Bradenton prides itself on being the most entrepreneurial government in Tampa Bay and the CareerEdge Collaborative fits our model of bringing private-public partnerships together to help build a stronger community,” Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston said. “Mireya Eavey has provided leadership to CareerEdge in building an innovative, creative and bold platform for success. We are very proud of Career Edge and its leadership.”

The session will be attended by CEOs and program leads from Social Innovation Fund intermediary funding partners,—a diverse blend of the nation’s leading grant makers and social innovation centers—representatives from non-profit implementation partners, colleagues from the White House and across the federal government and some of the nation’s preeminent scholars, practitioners and leading thinkers on the subject of investing in innovation, evidence and scale. The closing session also will be livestreamed.

Although CareerEdge has been nationally recognized by the National Fund and the other 35 collaboratives which represent the same model, this is the first time it has been recognized by the US government.

Eavey said the presentation will show how a community can achieve success through working together – using the Sarasota-Manatee region as an example.

“It is a great template that can work in other communities as well if employers, educators and community organizations are willing to buy in and play nice,” she said. “In the end, everyone will benefit with a strengthened workforce and stronger economy.”

Visit the Power of Partnership document for more information: or contact:

Mireya Eavey
Executive Director, CareerEdge


Original Source: City of Bradenton, FL 

Tim W. McCann
Public Information Officer
City of Bradenton
101 Old Main St.
Bradenton, FL 34205
941-932-9497 (w)


With new CEO at its helm, Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation backs CareerEdge Funders Collaborative

Local workers will now have more opportunities to receive the specialized training they need to earn higher wages, thanks to funding from the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation.

Officially beginning work today, newly instated Barancik Foundation President and CEO Teri A Hansen wasted no time in partnering with the regional workforce-development organization CareerEdge Funders Collaborative in a philanthropic endeavor that will also provide internships and job training to students and unemployed workers.

CareerEdge Funders is an organization that strives to prepare an exceptional labor force for the Sarasota-Manatee region’s growing industries. As the only grantee of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions within the state of Florida, CareerEdge is uniquely positioned to enhance the region’s workforce system. The Barancik Foundation, meanwhile, with its efforts to support education and homelessness services and prevention in the community, is an ideal companion to CareerEdge’s mission to fix deficiencies in the workforce system. This new partnership has the ability to realign the region’s labor-force skill level with the labor needs of area employers.

“CareerEdge’s innovative approach to workforce development will fuel the mending economy and lead to greater economic growth and expansion,” said Hansen, who served as president and CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation for 13 years before accepting the offer to head operations at the Barancik Foundation. She is recognized as one of the region’s most influential fundraisers.

As the economy recovers, the demand for high-skilled workers is quickly rising. Many businesses have the potential to expand, but do not have enough qualified workers to support growth. With the help of organizations such as CareerEdge, low-skilled low-paid workers have the opportunity to enrich their skills and supply these companies with the labor force they require to expand. This, in turn, can create new jobs and procure higher wages and bonuses for these workers.

The $250,000 gift from the Barancik Foundation will give CareerEdge the ability to provide training grants to employers in healthcare, manufacturing, computer science/IT, and transportation and delivery logistics—regional growth industries targeted through labor-market research commissioned by CareerEdge. It will also allow the program to create paid internships for students to aid in post-graduation employment opportunities. Overall, the funding from the Barancik Foundation will expand CareerEdge’s capacity and help more people in the region acquire the higher wages they are capable of earning.

“We want to improve the quality of living for the working poor, so that they are able to sustain a family lifestyle without having to work two jobs with minimal pay,” said Mireya Eavey, executive director of CareerEdge Funders.

Since its inception in 2010, CareerEdge has trained 2,565 workers, who then went on to earn a total of 1,505 raises and 468 promotions as a result of completing skills training programs. In all, these workers earned a total 5,612 new career credentials. Ultimately, CareerEdge and its funders are responsible for $22 million in new wages in our region, according to Vestrics, a third-party evaluator. With the gift from the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation, the organization will be able to expand these efforts and continue improvements to the overall workforce-development system.

“This funding is going to help the underemployed enter into certification programs that will elevate their learning potential,” Eavey said. “We are extremely grateful for this funding, because it will help so many individuals achieve their dreams.”

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, Sarasota and Pinellas 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, Jane’s Trust, Jobs for the Future, JP Morgan Chase, Microsoft Elevate America, Sarasota County Government, National Fund for Workforce Solutions, and United Way Suncoast. More information about CareerEdge is at

About the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation

The Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation was founded in 2014 to promote meaningful change in the areas of humanities and the arts, education and science, humanitarian causes, the environment, and medical research. Although it funds national and international efforts, the Barancik Foundation has a special focus on the Sarasota, Florida, community. The Barancik Foundation does not accept unsolicited requests for funding. For further information, please contact Teri A Hansen at

Hire an Intern

CareerEdge was recently awarded funding to address industry skill gaps in this region, as well as to address the lack of experience & barriers students face while enrolled in higher education institutions. CareerEdge is proud to announce the launch of a first-of-its-kind internship program to eliminate barriers for students while helping them obtain the necessary skills required to succeed in today’s work environments, as well as provide supplemental income while still in school.

This program will not only better equip students for the workforce, but students will also be able to network with local area employers which in turn will open doors for future opportunities. It’s difficult to seek higher education while balancing finances, families & seeking work post-employment.

A developed industry-wide internship program is a critical component for the success of students. To not only earn wages while in school but to work in the environment of their studies, putting to practice skills as they acquire them will validate the educational experience.

This program will eliminate a multitude of barriers students face during transitional training. The need for a sole-earner to earn wages putting to practice their trade versus balancing work in another area & school can be overwhelming & debilitating to ones success. Working in the field reinforces what’s being learned while providing income. A student with less stress validates their learning as they practice in the field what’s being taught in the classroom.

Companies will pay $10.00/an hour to participating students, not to exceed 100 hours/student. Money paid by companies will be allocated through grants offered by CareerEdge (through the receipt of this grant). The program will run through the second half of a students’ academic program to allow students to first gain overall knowledge in the classroom then put those acquired skills to practice.

For questions on how to participate in this program, please reach out to CareerEdge Program Director, Deborah Chapman, at or call 941.328.6985.

Eavey Returns to CareerEdge

MANATEE-SARASOTA COUNTIES, FL (January 14, 2014) – Mireya Eavey has rejoined CareerEdge as executive director of the regional workforce-development collaborative.  Eavey served as the organization’s original director from 2010 to early 2013.

“Mireya has a real passion for helping people transform their lives by improving their job skills and advancing their careers,” said Commissioner Joseph Barbetta of Sarasota County Government, which is an investor in CareerEdge.  “She is willing to challenge systems—and create new ones—if it can mean better results for workers and employers.  Our region will benefit from her continued leadership.”

Eavey returns to CareerEdge following a stint as president of the One Biotechnology division of Osprey Biotechnics.  “My time at Osprey Biotechnics was successful, but I missed the way I can help people improve their careers through CareerEdge,” said Eavey.  “We have important work planned for 2014, and I’m excited to be back.”

Major CareerEdge projects this year include hosting the National Fund for Workforce Solutions’ Partners Council Meeting in Sarasota this March, and presenting a new labor analysis of the Manatee-Sarasota region to identify additional sectors ripe for workforce development.  CareerEdge and its manufacturing partners will soon welcome the first graduates of a precision machining program developed last year by Sarasota County Technical Institute in response to skills-gap data from CareerEdge.  In the healthcare sector, meanwhile, CareerEdge will help fund the first worker trainings provided through the Sarasota Manatee Healthcare Collaborative, a consortium of employers and educators focused on healthcare-specific workforce issues.

“Under Mireya’s leadership, CareerEdge revived this important forum where we share best practices, discuss challenges, and arrive at solutions together,” said Veronica Lequeux Thames, chair of the healthcare collaborative and vice president of human resources at Blake Medical Center.  “Because of the collaboration among industry leaders and with CareerEdge’s support, we are better prepared to offer staff development and training opportunities that will improve quality of care while making our region’s healthcare sector more competitive.”

Eavey takes over the staff leadership of CareerEdge from Nathalie deWolf, who resigned late last year in order to spend time with family.

CareerEdge Awards Grants to Bring New Manufacturing Jobs to the Region

CareerEdge Funders Collaborative has awarded five grants totaling almost $150,000 to help Sarasota and Manatee manufacturers train workers in a number of key skill areas.  One grant in particular—to new area employer Air Products and Chemicals—has already had significant impact.

First identified by the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation in its continuing efforts to attract new employers to the region, Pennsylvania-based Air Products will bring about 250 new jobs to the region through its recent expansion to Manatee County.  CareerEdge joined the recruitment effort in conjunction with Manatee Technical Institute and Suncoast Workforce to provide the skills necessary to ensure Air Products’ successful relocation to the region.  CareerEdge’s initial grant to Air Products covers the training for 110 welders and 20 manufacturing technicians.

“One of Air Products’ main concerns was whether we would have the talent pool necessary to grow our business if we relocated to Manatee,” said Bill Jurena, plant manager for Air Products’ new facility.  “By bringing in CareerEdge, MTI, and Suncoast Workforce, we were able to get assistance with access and funding for the necessary training resources to begin developing the welding skills necessary to meet our needs.”

Sharon Hillstrom, president and CEO of the Bradenton Area EDC, added, “Key workforce development partners are working together to provide the training and skilled workers necessary to meet the needs of Air Products, which will result in the creation of over 200 new high-wage jobs in the Bradenton area.  This is an example of collaboration at its best.”

CareerEdge also made grants to four other local manufacturing employers:  Radiant Power, Mustang Vacuum Systems, Eaton Aerospace, and KHS.  These training grants are focused in the areas of industrial electrics and supply chain management, and will train a total of 217 workers and save 110 jobs in the region.

“For over four years, Mustang Vacuum has struggled to get the necessary training to expand our highly specialized production, requiring a customized training plan,” said Brent McGary, purchasing and inventory manager at Mustang Vacuum Systems.  “CareerEdge has provided a flexible, holistic funding approach, which has been the catalyst for us to address long-overdue trainings that are essential to our growth.”

Together, the five employers have committed more than $800,000 of their own funds toward training their workers in partnership with CareerEdge.  The economic impact in the first year of the trainings is likely to be more than $4.6 million in new wages and wage increases to the local economy, according CareerEdge executive director Nathalie deWolf.

“The power of the CareerEdge model is that it lifts both the employers and the workforce,” said Mark Pritchett, senior vice president of Gulf Coast Community Foundation and co-chair of CareerEdge.  “We’re helping businesses in growth industries like manufacturing invest in their own people.  And the workers gain the skills they need for sustainable, career-path jobs.”

In addition, CareerEdge this month launched its Manufacturing Workforce Collaborative, a group whose mission is to help aggregate and communicate the skill needs of regional manufacturers.  That will give local education providers the information necessary to enhance their offerings in line with those needs.  The new collaborative also will support the manufacturing sector’s broader community-wide plan to raise awareness of the growing opportunities for manufacturing careers within the region.  For example, the group will promote internship, training, and job openings to facilitate entry into the manufacturing workforce, thereby narrowing the skills gaps it identifies.

“The current misperception about manufacturing is that it is repetitive, dirty, and lacking in real opportunity,” said CareerEdge’s deWolf.  “The reality couldn’t be further from that.  The growing areas of manufacturing in the U.S. and locally include a large portion of ‘advanced manufacturing,’ which provides significant opportunities for career advancement.”  The group aims to communicate to students and job-seekers what a career in manufacturing really means and show them how to step into that career by identifying the local vocational courses and jobs into which they feed.%uFEFF

CareerEdge Receives $20,000 from Bank of America

MANATEE-SARASOTA, FL  (July 23, 2013) – Bank of America has awarded $20,000 to CareerEdge to support workforce solutions programs in the region. CareerEdge is a nonprofit collaborative whose mission is to provide an exceptional labor force to the Manatee-Sarasota region’s growing industries by leveraging community assets and forming high-performing workforce partnerships.

CareerEdge reported successes this quarter in job creation and job-readiness development, and Bank of America responded by awarding $20,000 following a grant request made earlier this year.

“A skilled workforce is important to the strength of a community,” said Bank of America Sarasota President Ed Luecke. “We are proud to have awarded $135,000 in recent years to CareerEdge to support their efforts preparing local workers for successful careers.”

A chief goal of the Bank of America funding is to provide opportunities for unemployed and low-skilled workers to progress in their careers.  One CareerEdge program through which this goal is achieved is Bridges to Careers for Low-Skilled Workers, a unique and transformative job-readiness program.  In addition, CareerEdge funds incentivize companies to train incumbent workers and develop career pathways to increase the skills of their employees. The Bank of America grant award will help fund these operations, as well as capacity building and workforce training development programs.

CareerEdge Executive Director Nathalie deWolf says, “Bank of America continues to support our work to create jobs and help low-skilled workers improve their career paths and therefore their lives.  By leveraging the generous donations of our funders, we are able to provide training and job opportunities that otherwise would not be available.”

As of March 2013, CareerEdge had served 1,846 workers in the region’s healthcare and manufacturing sectors and through its Bridges to Careers program.  Those figures include 390 job-seekers and 1,456 incumbent workers served,resulting in more than 230 promotions, 920 wage increases, and 300 job placements.

A separate impact analysis conducted by Urban Market Ventures indicated that the regional economy has benefitted extensively from CareerEdge’s intervention. The analysis showed that CareerEdge’s first two-year training investments of $1.54 million had resulted in $14.5 million in new wages brought into the Gulf Coast region.


About Bank of America Corporate Social Responsibility

Bank of America’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a strategic part of doing business globally. Our CSR efforts guide how we operate in a socially, economically, financially and environmentally responsible way around the world, to deliver for shareholders, customers, clients and employees. Our goal is to help create economically vibrant regions and communities through lending, investing and giving. By partnering with our stakeholders, we create value that empowers individuals and communities to thrive and contributes to the long-term success of our business. We have several core areas of focus for our CSR, including responsible business practices; environmental sustainability; strengthening local communities with a focus on housing, hunger and jobs; investing in global leadership development; and engaging through arts and culture. As part of these efforts, employee volunteers across the company contribute their time, passion and expertise to address issues in communities where they live and work. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter at @BofA_Community.


MANATEE-SARASOTA COUNTIES, FL (June 13, 2013) – The Sarasota County Commissioners have voted unanimously to fund up to $350,000 worth of equipment for a precision machining course to be launched at Sarasota County Technical Institute (SCTI).  The decision is another successful milestone in a community-wide plan to plug manufacturing skill gaps in our region.

That plan, spearheaded by CareerEdge, has brought together key community players, including the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County, Suncoast Workforce, Sarasota County Government, the Sarasota County School Board, SCTI, and the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce.  Their goal is to put more area residents to work while filling vacant positions within the manufacturing sector.  In approving the funding for SCTI, the county commissioners commended the community-wide team on their collaboration, adding that they hoped it would become a model for future public-private partnerships working to solve problems in our community.

The Sarasota County Manufacturing Plan of Action was launched after a skills-gap study commissioned by CareerEdge showed that, despite high unemployment levels in the region, manufacturers still had trouble finding skilled workers necessary to grow their businesses.  “This was clearly an unacceptable bottleneck,” said CareerEdge Executive Director Nathalie deWolf.  “At a summit we held last year to release the skills-gap study results, one manufacturer said he had as much as 30 percent pent-up demand for his product, but he simply did not have the skilled labor necessary to fill those  orders.”

As a result, several community organizations came together to create a collaborative solution.  One of the four key components of their plan is improving educational programs to meet the training needs of employers and workers.


Leveraging the county grant for the SCTI program, CareerEdge has committed $25,000 for equipment, while the curriculum itself was devised by SCTI Director Todd Bowden in conjunction with an advisory board of manufacturing-sector employers.  This employer-educator collaboration ensures that what is being taught is really what students need to be effective in the workplace.


In addition, manufacturers will continue to work alongside the school to create internship, apprenticeship, and job opportunities for program participants.  The School Board, for its part, has also committed to five-year funding for the program, while the EDC, Suncoast Workforce, and the Sarasota Chamber are working with the Sarasota-Manatee Manufacturers Association to raise awareness.