CareerEdge Generates Millions in New Wages for Manatee-Sarasota

MANATEE-SARASOTA, FL (May 4, 2012) – An independent analysis of the CareerEdge Funders Collaborative finds that the nonprofit workforce-development program is producing millions of dollars in new wages and economic impact for the Manatee-Sarasota region.  The April 2012 analysis also documents why the organization’s innovative approach could serve as a high-impact, cost-effective workforce-training model for the rest of Florida.

“This independent research confirms what we have long believed—that when you deeply engage employers, funders, and local workforce programs as true partners, you get amazing results,” said Damian Thorman, National Program Director at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and chair of the Investors Committee for the National Fund for Workforce Solutions.  Knight Foundation is one of the original investors in CareerEdge, having seeded the bi-county workforce-development effort with a $1-million grant in 2009.

Conducted by Urban Market Ventures, with data review by Capital Analytics, the analysis finds that $1.54 million in investments by CareerEdge in 2011 and so far in 2012 will result in nearly $3 million in annual earnings increases for incumbent workers at local employers, and more than $5.6 million in new annual wages for jobseekers placed in new positions.  The regional impact of those investments includes nearly $4.3 million in new, “value added” income that is being pumped into the local economy.

“Each year’s investment requires about four years to bear full fruit, in terms of the pay raises and promotions that workers will earn by completing CareerEdge programs,” noted Mireya Eavey, executive director of CareerEdge. “So we will see an even larger share of the impacts in years two, three, and four for each worker.”

The most tangible impacts on workers, according to the analysis, are the pay raises and new wages they earn as a result of CareerEdge training programs.  The study found that 883 incumbent workers who participated will increase their household income by $3,376 per year.  Combined, the cumulative annual earnings increase for those workers is $2.98 million.

CareerEdge also helped place 284 jobseekers into new positions in 2011, including 139 previously unemployed individuals.  Those former jobseekers will earn $5.62 million a year in new wages, on top of which near-term pay raises are expected to add another $628,300 in cumulative annual earnings.

While the study focused on the real-world impacts on individual workers, it also reports that local employers—the other “customer” in the CareerEdge training model—and the regional economy as a whole are benefitting substantially.  Although some new jobs that CareerEdge secured would eventually have been filled by other workers, the analysis showed that 50 percent of the new wages for CareerEdge workers pours new income into the local economy.  All told, workers who started their CareerEdge training in either 2011 or 2012 will earn an added $8.59 million per year, $4.28 million of which is new, “value added” income for the regional economy.  Through spending, the economic “multiplier effect” of that new income is nearly $3 million per year in income to other local businesses and workers.  Combined, then, CareerEdge metes out a $7.28-million increase in the Gross Regional Product.

The analysis suggests that CareerEdge’s career-laddering model could double the region’s rate of job creation, and do so eight to 10 times more cost-effectively than prevailing workforce models.  “What I find most important in this evaluation is the hard evidence that our career-ladder model is working,” said Mark Pritchett, Senior Vice President for Community Investment at Gulf Coast Community Foundation, which is another initial investor in CareerEdge and co-chair of its investors committee.  “Workers achieve higher wages and gain new opportunities faster when we work closely with employers.”

The full analysis is available on the CareerEdge website at and on the Gulf Coast Community Foundation website at


By the Numbers: CareerEdge Impact on Workers’ Lives and Regional Economy
•  $1.54 million – CareerEdge investments in training in 2011 and 2012
•  2,568 – workers trained in the Manatee-Sarasota region
•  $8.59 million – total annual wage increases for 2011 and ’12 CareerEdge-trained workers
•  $4.28 million – total of above that is new income for local economy
•  $2.99 million – new annual income to other businesses through “multiplier effect” spending
•  $7.28 million – total increase in Gross Regional Product from CareerEdge
•  $7,700 – annual wage increase for CareerEdge workers previously classified as “low low-income”

Help Wanted from Manufacturers
The analysis shows that CareerEdge has helped existing training programs, like those at local community colleges, evolve their offerings to meet the real-time market needs of employers.  Now CareerEdge is asking local manufacturers, large and small, to help identify training needs in their sector.

CareerEdge will launch an online survey May 14 to “understand and quantify the skills gap for manufacturing jobs in Sarasota and Manatee counties,” said CareerEdge’s Eavey.  “We want to specifically identify the jobs and skills manufacturers lack as they seek to grow their companies.”  Created with help from the National Association of Manufacturers, the survey will be one of the first of its kind done on a local level, she added.