CareerEdge Hires Donahue as Program Manager


CareerEdge Funders Collaborative Hires Donahue as Program Manager



CareerEdge Funders Collaborative has hired Shauna Donahue as program manager to help manage workforce development initiatives, internal and external communications, grant administration, manage business and partner relationships and coordinate special projects related to CareerEdge Funders Collaborative.

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CareerEdge Receives Funding for Fast-Track Training Programs

CareerEdge Receives Funding for Fast-Track Training Programs



CareerEdge has received a $150,000 grant from the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, in partnership with the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, to implement “express” or fast-track training programs in high-demand occupations. This grant aims to build on and scale effective practices for training, placing and advancing low-income and low-skilled workers. Major goals of this grant-funded project include: minimize industry skill gaps, assist unemployed, low-wage and low-skill workers in obtaining employment at livable and competitive wages (150 anticipated to be served), help individuals obtain national and state industry certifications and training, assist regional industry employers meet their workforce needs and expand their businesses and grow the regional economy through meeting the supply/demand-side of workforce.

This model was recently piloted by CareerEdge in the trades sector. CareerEdge partnered with employers, post-secondary institutions and community-based organizations to provide short-term training programs in skilled trade occupations for both entry-level incumbent workers and low-skill job seekers. As part of the express program, employers offer ongoing work-based learning opportunities to further develop the graduates. Technical fast-track programs include Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC, Broadband, Machining and Automotive Technicians. Express certifications include manufacturing certificates such as CNC machining, Six Sigma, MSSC, CPT, Plumbing Helper, etc. Graduates of the job seeker programs will be placed directly with employers in full-time paid positions with benefits.

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Grant to Help Create Fast-Track Job Training Programs

The National Fund for Workforce Solutions recently awarded the workforce development nonprofit CareerEdge Funders Collaborative a $150,000 grant.  The National Fund for Workforce Solutions recently awarded the workforce development nonprofit CareerEdge Funders Collaborative a $150,000 grant to create fast-track training programs in high-demand occupations. Some of the goals of the project include minimizing industry skill gaps; helping unemployed, low-wage and low-skill workers obtain livable wages; helping individuals obtain certifications and training; and more. Read more

Employee shortage in insurance industry prompts interviews and roundtables with employers

CareerEdge study delves into how insurance industry in Sarasota/Manatee area can attract workers.

Construction, health care and manufacturing aren’t the only industries with worker shortages. The insurance industry is feeling it, too.

A new study by Sarasota-based CareerEdge Funders Collaborative addresses that issue, examining jobs and skills needed for area insurance companies to grow and meet the talent shortage head-on.

The study was put together using data from phone interviews and in-person roundtables with employers. One area employer that participated, for instance, has 60 job openings.

Mireya Eavey, chief workforce officer for The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce and CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, tells Coffee Talk many of the insurance companies that participated in the study are competitors. “They came together because they realize they have to work together to address this shortage of workers,” she says.

One key finding from talks with employers is students don’t understand insurance. “We have to change the story in schools,” Eavey says.

To do that, some rebranding of the industry and the available careers is in order. “The biggest thing is rebranding — highlighting this industry of good-paying jobs,” she says.

Employers also conveyed they want to be more involved in developing higher education programs about insurance. “Employers are eager to be part of the solution,” Eavey says. “The programs we currently have aren’t exactly what we need.”

The next step is presenting the findings to educators from a variety of educational entities, from Sarasota County Schools to State College of Florida. “We look at this as an opportunity for them,” Eavey says. “Educators are eager to have programs that fit the needs.”

After educator feedback is collected, a communitywide plan will be developed with specific action steps. The process is similar to one CareerEdge successfully followed for the manufacturing industry.


Two Experts weigh in on solutions for industry’s shortage of workers

Mary Dougherty and Mireya Eavey have been talking lately about the workforce shortage in the construction industry, and what can be done to relieve it.
Dougherty is the executive director of the 345-member Gulf Coast Builders Exchange, which represents and advocates for the building industry in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties. She has held that post since 2009.
Eavey is chief workforce officer at the CareerEdge Funders Collaborative of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. She resigned as Sarasota area president of United Way Suncoast in May when CareerEdge moved to the chamber.
In the Sarasota-Manatee region, 25,000 people were working in the construction sector in July, according to the latest state data. That was up by 1,600 workers over the year, but off from the July peak of 32,400 in 2006. States like Florida, where home values fell more sharply during the bust, experienced greater declines in their construction work forces.

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CareerEdge Offers Workforce Development Month Update

Nationwide, Workforce Development Month provides the opportunity to look at the current labor market and shine a light on approaches that are working to keep unemployment low and produce the skilled workers—and where they are working—to help more Americans connect to jobs and career pathways. CareerEdge Funders Collaborative has partnered with local organizations and The National Fund for Workforce Solutions to focus on the Sarasota/ Manatee region.  Currently, CareerEdge is partnering with the healthcare, manufacturing, construction, transportation and financial services sectors to implement strategies to close skills gaps and connect people to career-laddering occupations with family-sustaining wages.  Projects include fast-track technician trainings for automotive, air conditioning, plumbing, broadband and electrical, as well as funded certified nurse assistant programs.  CareerEdge also launched a skills gap study of the Insurance industry, and has convened a Regional Workforce Council of key stakeholders to address workforce policy.

Measurable outcomes from these efforts include: 233 employer partnerships established, 4,790 workers trained and/or served, $9.8 million invested in workforce development, 7,404 certifications earned and 1,369 new jobs created by funded employers.

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SRQ Magazine

College Explorations Program

CareerEdge and the Education Foundation of Sarasota County partnered in the 2017/18 school year to provide local college campus visits for Sarasota County 7th graders as part of the Talent4Tomorrow Partnership.  The tours were designed to help increase post-secondary aspirations, and to raise awareness about the many resources available to students. The visits included guided tours and activities which allowed the students to get a taste for life in college and the importance of earning a higher education credential.

The Value of Internships

CareerEdge recently had the opportunity to talk with 4 interns from the Internship Reimbursement Program.  CareerEdge received tours of the organizations where the college students worked throughout the summer, and spoke with them about their experiences.  The young professionals expressed their appreciation for having a job that not only helped to support them financially, but also gave them an opportunity to grow professionally. Learn more about these interns in the CareerEdge “Value of Internships” video.