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