CareerEdge Receives Microsoft ‘Elevate America’ Grant

Careeredge Funders Collaborative Receives Elevate America Community Initiative Grant From Microsoft

Grant Will Fund Program To Help Underserved Populations in Sarasota and Manatee Counties Find Jobs

Sarasota, FL – CareerEdge announced that Microsoft  has awarded $209,000 in cash as well as the software needed to help the organization offer technology skills training and job placement services to the Sarasota and Manatee communities.

In today’s technology-driven economy, finding a job without strong technology skills and during a tough economic downturn can be extremely difficult. To help ease this burden, CareerEdge is partnering with Microsoft through the company’s Elevate America community initiative, to provide technology access and skills training to help people find employment.

CareerEdge is placing a special focus on underserved communities that have greater barriers to employment and re-employment than the broader population, including young workers, women, and minorities. About 80% of the participants will be young workers ages 18 to 25 and low- to moderate-income women of all ages. According to the Economic Policy Institute, young adults represent 13.5 percent of the workforce but account for 26.4 percent of unemployed workers.

Selected through a competitive funding process, the grants will help CareerEdge fund a comprehensive set of resources to help people succeed in today’s workplace, such as career counseling, technology skills training, job placement, and additional support services like childcare and transportation. CareerEdge Funders Collaborative is dedicated to moving low-wage workers into higher-paying jobs while providing employers with the skilled employees they need. This “dual customer” approach is critical so that employers have access to qualified employees, working residents can earn family-sustaining wages, and the region can remain economically competitive.

“We are thankful to Microsoft Corp. for these funds, which will help us support the development of needed workforce skills in our region and make a difference in the lives of individuals in our community,” said Mireya Eavey, executive director of CareerEdge.

“With unemployment as high as 30% in segments of our African-American community, this type of targeted grant for young minorities is urgently needed,” said City of Sarasota Mayor Kelly Kirschner. “We are most fortunate to secure this grant for both Sarasota and Manatee counties.”

“The City of Bradenton is thrilled to be at the forefront of advancing regional strategies that increase the skill sets and employment opportunities of disadvantaged populations in Manatee and Sarasota counties,” said City of Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston.

“Too many Americans don’t have the technology skills that many jobs today require,” said Pamela Passman, corporate vice president of Global Corporate Affairs at Microsoft.  “CareerEdge has demonstrated how it can reach some of the most underserved people in our society, and we’re honored to partner with them to provide training and job support to the people who need it most.”

Since 2003, Microsoft has been committed to providing technology skills training to people across the country through its Unlimited Potential program, which includes Elevate America. In partnership with thousands of nonprofit organizations including CareerEdge, the company has reached more than 27 million people. More information on Elevate America is available at