CareerEdge Funders Collaborative of Bradenton, Florida Receives National Award for Exemplary Excellence

The National Fund for Workforce Solutions (NFWS), a national philanthropic initiative leading the advancement of low-wage workers and unemployed into family-supporting jobs, has named the CareerEdge Funders Collaborative in Bradenton, Florida, as a recipient of its 2013 Chairman’s Award for Exemplary Collaborative.

The CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, led by Executive Director Nathalie deWolf, is the first Funders Collaborative designated as a National Fund for Workforce Solutions site in the Southeastern United States. CareerEdge Funders Collaborative operates partnerships to address skills shortages in the healthcare sector as well as a Bridges to Careers program serving both incumbent workers and job seekers in partnership with four area employers. The group was chosen for their performance in producing measurable results that have met established outcomes, active engagement of a broad civic leadership group, and developing and executing a clear vision and strategy to effectively address gaps in the region’s workforce system.

In announcing this award, NFWS Chair John Padilla said, “On behalf of NFWS, I congratulate the CareerEdge Funders Collaborative as they are deserving of the National Fund Chairman’s Award. They embody the award’s spirit, bringing together employers, educators, government, service providers and philanthropic organizations to deliver education and training services that are advancing the careers of lower-income workers and building system capacity.”

“We are delighted to receive this award as it recognizes the significant impact that CareerEdge has had here in the Sarasota Manatee region”, said Nathalie deWolf.  “It is also important to note that our results are evaluated by a third party.  They do not come from us and, as such, have significant credibility”.

Indeed a recent impact study undertaken by Urban Market Ventures showed that the $1.54 million in investment grants made by CareerEdge over two years has resulted in adding approximately $14.5 million to the Gulf Coast economy.

Another report by Capital Analytics also showed that in its nearly 3 operational years, CareerEdge has created over 300 new jobs, and has assisted over 1400 incumbent workers attain credentials and ensuing pay increases and promotions.

The CareerEdge Funders Collaborative is one of three collaboratives across the U.S. to receive this year’s Chairman’s Award. Other recipients are the Workforce Solutions Collaborative of Metro Hartford (Connecticut) and Baltimore Workforce Funders (Maryland).

Nathalie deWolf, its current Executive Director, along with Mireya Eavey, its former Executive Director and representatives from the CareerEdge Funders Collaborative will formally receive their award at the Third Annual National Fund Meeting in Atlanta from June 11-13, 2013, in Atlanta, Ga.

For information about the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and its Third Annual Meeting, visit For information the CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, visit

About the National Fund for Workforce Solutions

The National Fund for Workforce Solutions (NFWS) is an unprecedented initiative of national and local funders whose goal is the career advancement of low-wage workers using a model of substantial employer engagement to increase the potential for successful outcomes. In 30 communities nationwide, NFWS is implementing innovative approaches to creating career paths for jobseekers and employees, particularly low-wage workers. Each community implements a customized version of the model with local employers in workforce partnerships to analyze the local labor market, identify current and future employer needs, and develop training and career pathway programs that meet those needs. To learn more, visit