$205,210 in training money for health care

CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, a Bradenton-based nonprofit that seeks to match workers with employers by boosting skill levels in Southwest Florida, said it has awarded $205,210 in grants to area health care providers and also revived a Manatee-Sarasota county consortium aimed at improving workforce development in the sector.

The five employers who received grants from CareerEdge to partially offset training costs were Blake Medical Center, Life Care Center of Sarasota, Manatee Memorial Hospital, Pines of Sarasota Foundation and Venice Regional Medical Center.

The money, coupled with $1.28 million in spending from participants, will help train 464 local health care workers. Four had previously gotten training money from CareerEdge, but Venice Regional is a new partner.

Meanwhile, CareerEdge has revived the Bi-County Healthcare Committee, formed by Suncoast Workforce but dissolved when funding lapsed in 2010.

The newly named “Sarasota Manatee Healthcare Collaborative” has more than 30 employers and educators participating.

“We provide an open forum to share and learn best practices, discuss challenges, and arrive at solutions together,” said Veronica Lequeux, Blake Medical Center’s vice president of human resources and chairwoman of the collaborative.