SARASOTA, Fla. (February 25, 2019) —A diverse group of nearly 140 juniors and seniors from Sarasota County schools and 40 engineers from 15 different local companies met last Friday for the 2019 Experience Engineering Luncheon at the Suncoast Technical College (STC) Main Campus Conference Center. Attending engineers and students toured the STC facility and engaged in roundtable discussions, allowing students to gain insight into the many engineering opportunities in the Sarasota area.
This event reflects an extraordinary collaborative effort between four organizations of different areas of expertise: the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce (GSCC), in convening employers; the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering at the University of Florida, in engineering; CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, in creating career awareness and Sarasota County Schools Career and Technical Education (CTE), in bringing together a diverse of group of students.
Mireya Eavey, the Chief Workforce Officer with the GSCC, described how excited the GSCC and CareerEdge Funders Collaborative are to help facilitate a successful Experience Engineering Luncheon, saying “having four organizations come together to plan and execute this annual event shows the commitment to creating career awareness for our local high school students.”
These thoughts were echoed by many of the employers in attendance, including PGT Innovations. “We’re so pleased that our PGT Innovations’ engineers were invited to participate in the recent Experience Engineering event with the GSCC and the CareerEdge Funders Collaborative,” said Danielle Mikesell, a Senior Vice President of PGT Innovations and a Sarasota Chamber of Commerce board member. “We applaud these two organizations for creating an event that connects students with employers. Sarasota County is home to our corporate headquarters, and we are deeply committed to collaborating with community partners to help shape the future of its workforce by inspiring the minds of our youth.”
STC culinary students were also involved by providing lunch for the event.
“The opportunity was so unique because there were so many different types of engineers to connect with,” said Ava Plank, a junior at Sarasota High. “I really appreciated the advice about how to get an internship and how to get hired.”
STEM oriented students familiar with the robust employment opportunities in our region. This program connects local, practicing engineers with high school students considering a future in engineering.”